Akaroa – Essentially French

Akaroa harbour, New Zealand

Beautiful Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula is 80km from Christchurch.

Akaroa is a charming village on Akaroa Harbour, on Banks Peninsula. It was originally settled by the French in 1840, and contains a unique mix of Anglo-French-Maori influences. Akaroa’s breathtaking harbour views, abundant marine and birdlife, artworks inspired by the landscape, and fresh produce from the volcanic soils of Banks Peninsula make this a destination like no other.

The early French settlers have left their distinctive mark on Akaroa, including many French street names. Add Maori and British influences to the mix and you have a township with its own special character. There is a wide range of activities in and around Akaroa village.

Swim with the dolphins, or enjoy a scenic harbour cruise with the opportunity to spot the rare Hectors Dolphins, blue penguins and New Zealand fur seals. Visit a local olive grove or a specialty cheese maker – or simply enjoy the fruits of their labour at one of Akaroa’s excellent seaside restaurants and cafes. Sailing, kayaking, a short hike or garden visit can also be included in your own personalised Akaroa experience.

A range of local artisans, galleries and stores make this a refreshing and unique place to spend a day – or longer.