Akaroa Banks Peninsula Canterbury South Island New Zealand

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Akaroa is a sea side town on the Akaroa Harbour, on Banks Peninsula in the region Canterbury in the South Island of New Zealand, it is at the end of state highway 75, and is 82 km south west of Christchurch. Akaroa is the South Island’s oldest town and one of the New Zealand's best preserved historic towns.

Akaroa is set on a beautiful sheltered harbour and overlooked by craggy volcanic hills, with many walking tracks to explore the peninsula.

Akaroa has some of New Zealand’s finest colonial architecture in the buildings around town. In 1840, Akaroa was settled by Frenchmen who had intended to establish a colony here, but the English only just beat them to it. Akaroa still has a French influence, reflected in many local place names, gardens and architecture.

Akaroa is a popular resort town and attracts many tourists throughout the year, and there is plenty of activities in Akaroa to keep them busy, there’s some fantastic gardens to see, you can take a harbour cruise, visit art galleries, walk along crater the rim, visit Onuku village the home of the local Maori population, visit the Akaroa museum, watch the wildlife, drive the summit road or picnic in the Bays. The Akaroa area features two wineries, a cheese factory, a lavender farm and a selection of excellent dining options, don’t forget to taste the Akaroa Salmon.

Hector's Dolphins are the smallest species of dolphin, they frequent the harbour, and "swim with the dolphins" boat tours are a major tourist attraction. You can get in the water and see these friendly, playful creatures, up close. There are water activities for everyone including wildlife cruises, swimming with the dolphins, fishing trips, boat hire and sea kayaking, or just relaxing on the beach, watching the tide come and go.

Ankaroa’s Accommodation offers a superb selection for the discerning traveller, ranging from backpackers to four star plus motel and hotel facilities. You’ll find bed and breakfasts, homestays apartments, camping grounds, holiday homes, hotels, and farmstays, some in historic buildings with a personal touch added from their dedicated owners.


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