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Akaroa is a charming town on Banks Peninsula in Canterbury. It is the only settlement founded by the French in New Zealand and emphasises the "French connection" in its visitor material.

Get in[edit]

Akaroa is accessed by SH75 coming from Christchurch, which winds over the hills of the peninsula with breathtaking views.

You can also take a shuttle from Christchurch.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Akaroa's harbour is home to an array of wildlife, most notably the rather tiny and rare Hector's dolphin. Cruises and dolphin swimming are popular attractions.

Do[edit][add listing]

A popular drive is to Pohatu Marine Reserve, centred on nearby Flea Bay. The marine reserve is set aside to protect the natural marine environment. The drive takes about forty minutes, sometimes on steep and exposed shingle roads. The drive has excellent views back over Akaroa Harbour.

  • Ecoseaker, Dalys Wharf, 0800 326 794, [1]. Oct-Apr, meet at noon. Swimming with Hector's dolphins. Trip lasts up to 3.5 hours. Wetsuit, mask and snorkel provided. Swimming with dolphins $150; watching $80.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Akaroa Dolphin Backpackers, 108 Rue Jolie, ☎ +64 3 304-7136. From $30.
  • Chez La Mer Backpackers, 50 Rue Lavaud,☎ +64 3 366-4556 or 0800 800 575 (tollfree in NZ). $25-80 with lowest prices offered to BBH members.


Get out[edit]

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