Akaroa's harbour is home to an array of wildlife, most notably the rare Hector's dolphin. Cruises and dolphin swimming are popular attractions.
A popular drive is to Pohatu Marine Reserve, centered 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.