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Akaroa is a charming town on Banks Peninsula in Canterbury. It is the only French settlement in New Zealand.

Get in

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 [1] from Christchurch.

Get around


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.






  • Akaroa Dolphin Backpackers, 108 Rue Jolie, 03 304 7136. From $NZ 30.
  • Chez La Mer Backpackers, 50 Rue Lavaud, 03 366 4556, 0800 800 575 [2]. $NZ 25-80. Lowest prices offered to BBH members.


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