Akaroa Travel Guide

  • Akaroa
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  • Akaroa Harbor
    Akaroa Harbor
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  • Lonesome white sandy beaches, here: Okains Bay.
    Lonesome white sandy beaches, here:...
    by Kakapo2

Akaroa Highlights

  • Pro
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    Kakapo2 says…

     Wild natural beauty, remoteness, magic colours 

  • Con
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    Kate-Me says…

     A little remote, winters could be bleak 

  • In a nutshell
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    Regens says…

     A great place to leave your worries behind 

Akaroa Things to Do

  • French Bay

    Be amazed by the spectacular views of Akaroa Harbour and the Canterbury Plains on the high scenic drive from Christchurch

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  • Scenic Bays

    Just 90 minutes drive from Christchurch it is popular with day trippers, although the Banks Peninsula’s wealth of attractions

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  • One of the most beautiful War Memorials...

    There are larger war memorials in New Zealand, and higher ones, and, of course, also more important ones. But you will not find a lot of more beautiful ones and in a lovlier setting than the one in Akaroa. The foundation stone was laid on 31 March 1922 on the site of the former Akaroa Borough School, and it was unveiled on 12 March 1924. The...

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Akaroa Hotels

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Akaroa Restaurants

  • Open Fire !!!

    This is a typical resort restaurant with kerbside dining - great on a sunny day. It is also an accommodation house. We loved the sign outside - Open Fire !!! - I didn't have a gun! We only stopped for lunch so had the soup of the day which was a Thai Pumpkin. Very tasty with a piece of crunchy bread and butter.

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  • Only a true trencherman ....

    ... could hope to finish the enormous meals served at the Duvauchelle Hotel. This is tasty, substantial cafe food - nothing grand but well cooked standards such as steaks, fried fish, tender ribs, hearty pies, home-made soups as well as a few international flavours - good, rib-sticking stuff served with a smile in a friendly local pub...

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  • New name, same high standards

    Fresh white paint, a tempting blackboard menu and a new name greeted us when when turned up at a favourite Akaroa restaurant on our most recent visit. What had been "C'est la Vie" - an Akaroa institution, reknowned almost as much for its funky decor as its delicious food - had transformed itself with a stylish makeover into "The Little Bistro". A...

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Akaroa Nightlife

  • Evenings in Akaroa

    There's not a lot to do in Akaroa once the sun goes down. Dinner will take you a little while, and you can call in at the pub for a drink , but you might think that's about it. If all the fresh air and the day's activities haven't left you wanting simply to flop, you could check out the cinema. New Zealand has some great and quirky little cinemas,...

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  • the local pub family restaurant

    Lovely friendly pub for the locals ( aka local watering hole) or the traveller, also has a TAB here..........totalisator agency board.This is very much the New Zealand two-storeyed wooden hotel building, complete with characteristic balcony. Tidy dress

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  • Akaroa Hotels

    11 Hotels in Akaroa

    55 Reviews and Opinions

Akaroa Transportation

  • Rental Car - Best Option

    If you are not planning to stay in Akaroa for a long period of time, then your best bet economically is to rent a car. Since it is located a fair distance away from Chirstchurch, you will not likely find a public transportation system that is suited to your timing. It is also a very small town, so the time it would take to find a cab to take you...

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  • Akaroa Shuttles

    Visitors without their own transport can easily make the trip to Akaroa - there are two companies offering a daily shuttle service. TheAkaroa Shuttle leaves from the Visitors Centre on Catheral Square in Christchurch, pickups may be possible from your acccommodation in the city.The French Connection Shuttle offers a similar service.Fares for both...

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  • French Connection

    Another bus company which goes to Akaroa and return daily.You can take a scenic day tour for $40 returndeparts Christchurch daily 9.30am aand departs Akaroa at 15.45 or 16.15Departs Chch ......8.45am....all yearDeoarts Akaroa. 14.30..........all year

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Akaroa Shopping

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  • Blue Pearls

    The shop is in a unigue spot - along the wharf in Akaroa. It is painted a bright blue.Blue pearls are cultured pearls created in a NZ Paua rather than an oyster and the end result is incredible. There is a Blue Pearl farm in Akaroa so it would be a special item for that area. For quality pearl mounted in a basic design - $450 NZ - this can be...

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  • A little bit of everything

    If you are looking for a little store with a bit of everything mixed in, then Akaroa's Pot Pourri is for you. There was a wide assortment of souvenirs, trinkets, forgetme-nots, and other whatnots in the place that would make anyone not travelling to Akaroa jealous of your time here. What got me in the door however was the smell of fresh Akaroa...

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  • French gallerie

    Many French provincial and other items for sale, and rather unique ceramic ware (both indoor and outdoor - quite quirky as you'll see from the other photos - and pottery. They also do picture framing. French soaps (fairly reasonably priced too), French signs made of enamel or metal, French kitchenware, and unique animal themed glazed ceramic ware.

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Akaroa Local Customs

  • The annual French Fest in Akaroa

    The biggest event in Akaroa each year is the French Fest in which the town celebrates its heritage. The town becomes a big market place with French food, wine and market stalls, entertainment, fun and the re-enactment of the French landing on the vessel Comte de Paris 1840 in Akaroa.This year (2008) it takes place on 10 and 11 October...

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  • Maori Church near Akaroa

    Maori people aren't as common to see in the South Island as the North, but if you want to see a little of their culture/architecture in Akaroa, from the Akaroa township, keep driving about 6 kms further down the harbour, and you will come to a small village with both a Maori church and a meeting house (Onuku I believe it is called). The church was...

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  • Whaling pot

    A plaque on the whale pot reads: "Whaling Trypot used by Captain Hempleman, Peraki, 1835". Whaling was at one time New Zealand's most important industry. By 1836 at least eleven ships, four of them American, worked the season which began about May when the whales came close to the coasts to calve in warmer shallow waters." Migrating whales were...

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Akaroa Warnings and Dangers

  • Sheep on the Road

    As Banks Peninsula is very rural you must always be prepared to break for a sheep on the road. Somehow they always find escape ways out of their paddocks, and if a ewe makes her way outside the lambs follow her, and when a lamb gets out under a fence its sibling(s) follow and the ewe has to look after them… Whereas escapees are rather rare (but...

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  • Drivers beware

    There are far more roads on the Banks Peninsula than any comparable area of New Zealand, and they make exploring the region a real pleasure as they twist and turn and dip and dive, offering wonderful vistas at every turn. However, many of these roads are both very narrow and very steep - and not all are sealed. Also, there are few barriers and...

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  • Weather warning

    Don't let the weather spoil your time on the Banks Peninsula. Come prepared for changeable and unpredictable weather and you'll be fine. The brightest morning can change in a few moments to chilly grey - but the opposite is just as true - so be ready to shed a layer or add one on , and take it as it comes. Here they talk about 4 seasons in one...

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Akaroa Tourist Traps

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    Telephone

    by rozehill Written Apr 5, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It is wise to prebook accommodation if you intend staying over night here. Also when the Festival weekends are on.

    Unique Suggestions: Pre book accommodations

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Akaroa What to Pack

  • June Packing List

    I would recommend that you bring a couple different layers for your travel here in June. It was definitely warm during the days on our trip, but it would get quite nippy when a hefty breeze would blow in. I was fine in a windbreaker and jeans, but my wife had her warm coat with her!

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  • Be sure to take your good walking shoes

    walking shoes, jacket, umbrella Plenty of cash as there is no cash ATM (automatic teller machine) anywhere here.

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Akaroa Off The Beaten Path

  • Meet the God of the Wind

    You find this Maori carving at the Akaroa Reserve, high above the harbour. It depicts Tawhiri Matea, the God of the Wind. Really a very appropriate place for that wooden statue – although you might not get this impression on a calm day ;-)It was designed and carved by a local artist named Simon Rodgers from Onuku in 2000.Update 25 Nov. 2012The...

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  • The Eastern Bays

    However you take the time to explore the Eastern Bays of the Banks Peninsula, you'll be well rewarded. If your time is limited, or you don't have your own transport, a morning spent with postman Gerry on the Eastern Bays Scenic Mail Run will give you a great introduction to the tranqil bays, small hamlets and wonderful views on offer. With your own...

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  • some damaged structures(due to the...

    The walking tour also gave us a perspective on how strong the tremor that hit Christchurch was! Though Akaroa was 75 kilometres from this city, some part of Akaroa was also damaged like the bridge, the library, etc.

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Akaroa Sports & Outdoors

  • Sailing

    For those who want to get out on the water on something other than a cruise boat, this sailing boat (advertised as a sailing ship, I think) has 2 sailings a day, though when we saw it out in the harbour, it looked like it was under engine power rather than sail....

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  • Dolphin watching and/or swimming cruises

    I totally recommend this trip, which we took with Canterbury Cat (there are other operators doing them too but these guys came specially recommended to us, and we were very happy with the trip & service). A part of the money raised from the cruises goes back into helping these Hector Dolphins, as they are on the endangered list. Whether you're...

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Akaroa Favorites

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  • The wee-est post office

    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...

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  • French Street Signs and "Je ne parle pas...

    It is funny to see all these French street signs in Akaroa, knowing that not many New Zealanders are able to pronounce them correctly. The English pronunciation of the anglicised word “lingerie” always amuses me most, as they say “lonn-jerrey” instead of… something I cannot write in English LOL My hair also raise when cafés, restaurants and shops...

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  • The Bon Accord Bungy

    I find this little display seriously funny. And Kimi the Bear was delighted and was already heading into the Bon Accord backpackers accommodation to ask for permission to join the toy girl on her bungy cord ;-) You will easily find the spot. The Bon Accord is at the corner of Rue Lavaud (main street) and Rue Croix, right above the tiny Balguerie...

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Explore Deeper into Akaroa
Coronation Library - not really in Use anymore
Things to Do
Akaroa Museum - small but nice
Things to Do
Update: The Duvauchelle Hotel has gone
Things to Do
The Visitor Centre NOT in the former Post-Office
Things to Do
Explore Akaroa
Things to Do
Sailing with history
Things to Do
Join the mail run
Things to Do
Duvauchelle - Have a Break in "Du-wot-shelley"
Things to Do
Banks Peninsula
Things to Do
Whaling pots near the port
Things to Do
View Native plants and trees in Akaroa
Things to Do
Enjoying the beach & ocean views
Things to Do
Take a walking tour of Akaroa
Things to Do
Akaroa Port
Things to Do
Sample New Zealand gelato
Things to Do
Visit period homes (1880's)
Things to Do
Banks Pen.: Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum
Off The Beaten Path
Cycle on the Little River Rail Trail
Off The Beaten Path
Okain's Bay
Off The Beaten Path
Walk to the Packhorse Hut from Kaituna Valley
Off The Beaten Path
See the new Look of the Langlois-Etéveneaux House
Things to Do
Langlois-Etéveneaux Cottage - the oldest House
Things to Do
Akaroa Transport and Activity Company
Transportation
Britomart Memorial: Historic Place with Dream View
Things to Do
Visit the Lighthouse
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Taste and Buy at Barrys Bay Cheese Factory
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French Cemetery - a Surprising Burial Ground
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Trinity Presbyterian Church: It Started in a Home
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St. Patricks Catholic Church with exotic Flair
Things to Do
Take a Seat at the Fishermen’s Rest
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How the Lighthouse made it into Town
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This interesting Herr Waeckerle of the Grand Hotel
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Go Shopping at the Former Weighbridge Building
Things to Do
More than a nice Road Trip: Explore the Peninsula
Things to Do
The Roads on Banks Peninsula
Favorites
Links and addresses for Akaroa info and activities
Things to Do
Try Pots – the Remnants of the Whaling Times
Favorites
The Town Wharf - Blue Pearls and Dolphin Tours
Things to Do
Le Bons Bay - another one of those lovely Beaches
Off The Beaten Path
St. Peter’s Anglican Church
Things to Do
Map of Akaroa

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