Akaroa Favorites

  • View of Akaroa from Takamatua Hill.
    View of Akaroa from Takamatua Hill.
    by Kakapo2
  • Unfair race: 1 farmer + 2 dogs against 1 sheep...
    Unfair race: 1 farmer + 2 dogs against 1...
    by Kakapo2
  • Favorites
    by Kakapo2

Best Rated Favorites in Akaroa

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    A whale of a past

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated May 16, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Favorite thing: The French settlers who arrived in Akaroa were far from the first Europeans to set foot on the Banks Peninsula.
    Sealers had been visiting the place for decades and had ravaged the seal population in the insatiable and lucrative search for the skins of these gorgeous creatures - to the point where they eventually killed their own trade.
    Next came the whalers -who made good use of the Peninsula's safe harbours to careen their ships for repairs and to trade with with local people for fresh food and to take on water.
    In the days of sail, New Zealand Flax was a valuable commodity for the production of rope, miles of which were needed for each and every ship that put to sea, and so the flax traders joined the whalers.

    These were all itinerate callers but in 1837, a shore whaling station, the first permanent European settlement on the South Island, was established at Paraki soon to be followed by others in bays all around the Peninsula.

    These huge copper cauldrons are remnants of that age - they were used for rendering the blubber into the liquid gold that whale oil was in these days before gas and electric lighting.
    There are several of them along the waterfront in Akaroa - reminders of a horrible industry that, thankfully, is long gone. As such, they're hardly a "favourite thing" but they are a potent symbol of the long history of European contact with this distant corner of the world.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo

    The wee-est post office

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jan 20, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    How did they fit?

    Favorite thing: Between Duvauchelle and Akaroa you pass this wee building on the road. What is it?

    The red panels by the door give you the clue - this was the Robinson Bay post Office - you can still see the panel of post box doors and the posting box, though both are sealed up these days.

    It's not quite as small as the littlest post office I've ever seen ( the famous Ochapeepost office in Florida) but just imagine then what it must have been like in the days when the two sisters who ran it for years until it closed were at work - the image conjured up by Gerry Trott, the mailman on the Eastern Bays Mail Run, of the two "more than portly" ladies at work did make us wonder how they managed to fit themselves, their work tables, telephone exhange and the mailbags all in at the same time!

    Related to:
    • Backpacking

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  • kris-t's Profile Photo

    Akaroa

    by kris-t Updated Mar 2, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Akaroa

    Favorite thing: Even today you find the main streets retain their French heritage and some of the early forms of architecture relate to those early days. Often regarded as the Riviera of Christchurch for its bays and cobalt blue waters Akaroa is a major vacation and weekend retreat.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Beaches
    • Eco-Tourism

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  • rozehill's Profile Photo

    Beautiful Gardens

    by rozehill Written Apr 13, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Potter's Croft Gardens

    Favorite thing: "Potter's Croft"
    A turn of the century farmhouse has been renovated and extended to create an elegant homestead with wide wisteria-draped verandahs. Landscaped gardens of 3.5 acres, filled with roses, perennials and beautiful ornamental trees, feature a large natural pond, rustic bridges over the stream, rose-covered summerhouse and a superb pergola walk.
    A small flock of sheep are nearby and there are optional bush walks and magnificent ancient trees.

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  • rozehill's Profile Photo

    Akaroa has a lovely harbour

    by rozehill Updated Mar 13, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Harbour

    Favorite thing: This is Akaroa in the off peak season when it is peaceful.
    Southeast of Christchurch are the rolling hills of Banks Peninsula and the tiny township of Akaroa, established by French whaler, Captain Jean Langlois, in 1838. This historic settlement is located on the shores of Akaroa harbour, 83km from Christchurch, and is Canterbury's oldest village and New Zealand's only French settlement.
    The architecture, early buildings and French street names bear testimony to its founding fathers. Akaroa's main street, Rue Lavaud, is one of many French-named streets and the heart of this quaint harbourside village. The town is a popular holiday resort during summer.

    Fondest memory: The harbour - a sea-filled volcanic crater - provides excellent fishing in its inlets.

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  • rozehill's Profile Photo

    Peaceful

    by rozehill Written Mar 13, 2003

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    Calm before the storm

    Favorite thing: This is Akaroa in the off peak season when it is peaceful.
    Southeast of Christchurch are the rolling hills of Banks Peninsula and the tiny township of Akaroa, established by French whaler, Captain Jean Langlois, in 1838. This historic settlement is located on the shores of Akaroa harbour, 83km from Christchurch, and is Canterbury's oldest village and New Zealand's only French settlement.
    The architecture, early buildings and French street names bear testimony to its founding fathers. Akaroa's main street, Rue Lavaud, is one of many French-named streets and the heart of this quaint harbourside village. The town is a popular holiday resort during summer.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Fishing
    • Beaches

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  • rozehill's Profile Photo

    Pompellier House

    by rozehill Written Apr 5, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pompellier House

    Favorite thing: Bishop Pompallier established a mission station in Akaroa in 1840. The present St. Patrick's church was built in 1865. In 1897, two Sisters of Mercy arrived to establish a convent school. Satisfied they went home to Lyttelton and three different Sister's came over to live and teach. At first they lived in a nearby house and taught school in the church. A separate building which was to serve as a school room was moved onto church property in 1906 and the Sisters moved into their newly completed convent in Feb 1907. The convent was built by John James Walker and later the addition at the north end with 2 bedrooms, a music room and classroom in about 1912.

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  • ATXtraveler's Profile Photo

    Email Station - Bon-E-Mail

    by ATXtraveler Written Jul 29, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: As any good addicted VTer knows, it is important to add new cities to your map as soon as possible. When you arrive in Akaroa, you can immediately hit the main strip in town and add it quickly and effectively at Bon-E-Mail. It seemed to be an unintended email location that took coins, so just show up, use your $1 or $2 dollars worth, and head on about your way.

    The shop is located on the main street through Akaroa, although I did not write down the address.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Work Abroad

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  • CandS's Profile Photo

    Hector Dolphins

    by CandS Updated May 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hector Dolphin
    1 more image

    Favorite thing: While we were on our dolphin cruise we saw heaps of Hector Dolphins...they are so cute and so tiny compared to the dolphins we see in Australia. They apparently only live around the Akaroa area and were endangered at one stage but now there is a healthy amount of dolphins again...

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating

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  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo

    Orientation

    by Kakapo2 Written May 29, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: -

    I have added the main points of interest in this map of Banks Peninsula for better orientation.

    Remember, the road from Port Levy to Little River is gravel but you can drive on it in normal cars (best without too low spoilers) in good weather conditions.

    The map also shows the innumerous harbours and bays of the peninsula, testimony of the volcanic past, in quite an impressive way.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip

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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    The harbour

    by Kate-Me Written Mar 8, 2004

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    Fondest memory: One of the best memories I had is of taking a stroll by myself at leisure, down to the harbour, near the long pier, and admiring the palm and Norfolk Pine trees, and the small boats looking even brighter in the bright sunshine.

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    Flower walk

    by Kate-Me Written Mar 8, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fondest memory: Another of my favorite memories is of the walk I took immediately after we'd arrived and taken our gear inside Bon Accord backpackers.
    I wanted to see exactly how close we were to the water's edge, so I set off from Bon Accord, crossed the road, and followed a little path near Rue Jolie, which led me past a beautiful garden with many of these Red Hot Poker flowers, which looked just magnificent against the harbour and the blue sky.
    Not sure if they're a NZ flower, as we have them in Australia too, but this was the first time I'd been up close to any in NZ.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    The small pier

    by Kate-Me Updated Dec 31, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    small pier in background
    3 more images

    Favorite thing: My walk past the flowers continued, and I found myself with another beautiful tableau in front of me, this time of the small pier at the Rue Lavaud end of town (as opposed to the large pier, which is just a pier for bigger boats and the dolphin cruises, 600 mts or so further down at the Beach Rd end of the street).

    I was even more reminded of the meditteranean when I saw the rocks instead of sand! (A little like at Nice in France, but their rocks are more pebbles).
    There is a sandy patch of beach at Akaroa, but fairly small and further around the bay, towards the large pier.
    More photos included of the small pier from my December 2005 visit...

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    • Beaches

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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    Pohutakawa Trees

    by Kate-Me Updated Mar 8, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Pohutakawa trees

    Favorite thing: New Zealand is famous for its Pohutukawa trees with their flaming red flowers which stand out brightly and at a good distance on even the dullest days.
    Unfortunately though, the trees are becoming quite endangered in some regions (due in part again to having their foliage ravaged by introduced Possums, who have a lot to answer for!)
    In ancient times, the Maori used to plant one of these trees to mark the burial place of their chiefs.
    At last finding several of these trees together (and in a place where I could actually photograph them) was a special moment for me of the holiday.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Photography

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  • Kate-Me's Profile Photo

    Bumble Bee

    by Kate-Me Written Mar 8, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My first bumble bee sighting in NZ

    Fondest memory: I hadn't realized that New Zealand had bumble bees until I spotted one by chance in the garden outside our room at Bon Accord.
    The only other time I've ever seen one was in Germany, and being fond of insects as well as animals, this was a special moment for me too - and for my camera, since I managed to capture it on digital.

    Related to:
    • Photography

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