The Giant's House - Akaroa
Giant's House, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Canterbury Tourism

Akaroa boatsheds
Akaroa boatsheds, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Canterbury Tourism

Kayaking in Akaroa harbour.
Kayaking, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Julian Apse

Akaroa is known for its scenic beauty
Akaroa, Christchurch - Canterbury

By Akaroa Adventure Centre


The most French town in New Zealand, Akaroa will have you entranced with its historic buildings, magnificent harbour and passion for fine food.

An easy drive south-east of Christchurch, Banks Peninsula is the South Island's most interesting volcanic feature. Originally an island formed by two volcanic cones, the peninsula has two dominant craters which form Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. The peninsula was named for botanist Joseph Banks, who sailed with Captain James Cook on the Endeavour.

Located on the south east side of the deep, sheltered Akaroa Harbour, the charming township of Akaroa has a special point of difference - it was the only French settlement in New Zealand.

In 1838 a French whaler, Captain Langlois, decided that Akaroa was an ideal location for a town that could service the whaling ships. He subsequently acquired the peninsula in a dubious land deal with the local Maori. He then returned to France and arranged for a group of French and German families to sail to New Zealand, with the intention of forming a French colony.

However, by the time Langlois and his colonists arrived at Banks Peninsula in August 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi had already been signed (the signatories including two Akaroa chiefs) and New Zealand's first Governor, Hobson, had declared sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand.

In spite of this unexpected turn of events, the French settlers decided to stay on. Akaroa's French street names and charming colonial cottages are their legacy.

The best way to explore Akaroa is on foot. Begin at the information centre, which is on the corner of Rue Lavaud and Rue Balguerie. You'll find brochures and maps that will help you to decide where to walk. Visit local restaurants with their focus on French cuisine and head along to Barrys Bay Cheese, where they've persevered with original methods for over a century. During milking season, every second day, you can watch their award-winning cheeses being made through the gallery window.

Take a self-guided walk to see historic cottages. Be sure to visit the museum - it tells the story of Akaroa with displays and an audio visual presentation. If you have time, take a harbour cruise to view dolphins, penguins and fur seals. Functional facts: Approximate population 700, information centre, restaurants, bank.

Content courtesy of Tourism NZ

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Akaroa Cottages - Heritage Boutique Collection - Accommodation in Takamatua New Zealand
8.60 310 Reviews
Akaroa Cottages offers free parking and secluded accommodations on 12 acres of private bush land with panoramic views of Children’s Bay, in Akaroa. There is a variety of private, fully-furnished rooms and cottages. Both rooms and cottages include panoramic views of the harbor, sea, and ... (more)
Akaroa Criterion Motel - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
9.10 155 Reviews
The Akaroa Criterion Motel, situated in the heart of Akaroa, offers luxury studio accommodation with stunning harbour views and a penthouse 2-bedroom apartment. Our spacious, tastefully appointed units all feature super king-size or twin beds and double glazing and open to a private sunny ... (more)
Akaroa on the Beach - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
8.60 52 Reviews
Three unique waterfront designer apartments with spectacular views of Akaroa Harbour. Each self-contained apartment has a sophisticated mix of classic and contemporary interiors, and is self-contained with beautiful ensuites, decking and harbour views. Choose one special apartment or, for ... (more)
Akaroa TOP 10 Holiday Park - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
8.50 4 Reviews
Akaroa TOP 10 Holiday Park is a Qualmark 4-star Holiday Park and is on the hill overlooking Akaroa Harbour and 500m from the village. It has 38 tent sites, 121 power sites, 4x1brm, 2 studio units and 7 park cabins. Akaroa TOP 10 Holiday Park is situated at 96 Morgans Road. Tariff (2 per... (more)
Akaroa Village Inn - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
9.20 239 Reviews
The Akaroa Village Inn has wonderful Waterfront location. We are located right opposite the Main Wharf and within minutes walk of Akaroa's finest restaurants and famouss Harbour Cruise. We have five different styles of accommodation to suit everyone’s taste and budget, from Superior Waterf... (more)
Akaroa Waterfront Motels - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
8.50 378 Reviews
Akaroa Waterfront Motels offers Motel accommodation on the waters edge in Akaroa. Located in a spacious garden setting with spectacular views over the harbour. Accommodation consists of 24 spacious self-contained 1, 2 & 3 bedroom family units. All units come with fully equipped kitchen,... (more)
Bon Accord Backpackers - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
7.80 24 Reviews
Built in 1862, Bon Accord offers accommodation just 3 minutes’ walk from French Bay Beach. Wi-Fi internet is available with 50MB free access per stay.Set in historic Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula, Bon Accord Backpackers is 10 minutes' walk from the colonial Akaroa village galleries and sho... (more)
Bruce Waterfront Apartments - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
8.70 39 Reviews
Overlooking Akaroa’s Main Wharf, Bruce Waterfront Apartments offer a private balcony with lovely harbour and bay views. All apartments feature full kitchen and laundry facilities.Bruce Waterfront Apartments Akaroa are 5 minutes’ walk from Stanley Park, and 10 minutes’ walk from the Akaroa ... (more)
Duvauchelle Holiday Park - Accommodation in Duvauchelle New Zealand
Duvauchelle Holiday Park is situated by the water's edge at the head of Akaroa Harbour.It has 23 power sites, 27 non-power sites, 3x5-berth cabins and access facilities available. Park facilities include communal kitchen, fridge/freezer storage, laundry, coin operated showers, TV lounge, p... (more)
La Rive Motel - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
6.60 139 Reviews
Just 3 minutes’ walk from Akaroa Beach, La Rive Motel offers self-contained accommodation with a private patio or balcony overlooking the gardens, a portable BBQ and a children’s playground. Guests receive the first 100 MB of Wi-Fi free of charge.La Rive Motel Akaroa is 7 minutes’ walk fro... (more)
La Rochelle Motel - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
9.00 230 Reviews
Located in the French-inspired village of Akaroa, La Rochelle Motel offers accommodation with a balcony or patio and views over the surrounding gardens. All accommodation offers cooking facilities and an LCD TV. It is a 3-minute walk to Akaroa Beach.Guests can play petanque or tennis, and ... (more)
Les Troupes Apartments - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
8.60 36 Reviews
Les Troupes Apartments offers self-contained accommodation, just 50 metres from Akaroa Main Wharf. Each apartment has fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities, private balcony and satellite TV.All apartments at Les Troupes Apartments Akaroa includes electric blankets, ironing faciliti... (more)
SiloStay - Accommodation in Little River New Zealand
9.20 56 Reviews
Little River, Little River
Located in the heart of Little River, SiloStay is 300 metres from the Christchurch – Little River Rail Trail. Built using innovative eco-friendly systems, it features a garden and accommodation with free Wi-Fi.SiloStay is 20 metres from Little River Art Gallery, 20 km from Bank Peninsula E... (more)
The Grand Hotel - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
7.00 17 Reviews
9 modern and refurbished double/twin ensuite studio rooms with Sky TV. Views of Akaroa Harbour, adjacent to tennis court. Lounge and family bar opens onto garden with indoor/outdoor dining. Function room (up to 30). Poker machines and fully serviced TAB.Just a few minutes' stroll along Aka... (more)
Tresori Motor Lodge - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
8.10 242 Reviews
Just a 2-minute walk from Akaroa’s Main Wharf, Tresori Motor Lodge offers stylish accommodation in the heart of Akaroa. All rooms are north-facing with beautiful mountain views.All accommodation at Tresori Motor Lodge Akaroa includes satellite TV, DVD player and CD stereo system. Electric ... (more)
Showing 1 - 25 of 44 events for the next month.
  • Gaiety Hall, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District
    Fri 24 Jan 2020 7:00PM / Classical Music
    “Barrocco celtico” Arrangements of modern and traditional tunes, from poignant airs to lively jigs and reels from Ireland, Scotland and other parts of the modern Celtic tradition, to beautiful arrangements of ... more
  • Akaroa Area School, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District
    Sat 25 Jan 2020 7:00PM / Classical Music
    Polonus Dance and Ceiligh A night of Polish, Irish and Scottish music, dances and dancing. No Partners or experience required, all welcome – and no high heels! Polonus - Polish Folk Dance Group, ... more
  • Gaiety Hall, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District
    Sun 26 Jan 2020 5:00PM / Classical Music
    Café Operana Featuring Helen Webby on pedal harp, Sophia Bidwell on accordion and Lois Johnston on vocals, Café Operana take their listeners on a musical merry-go-round ride through Puccini’s Florence to ... more
  • Akaroa Recreation Ground, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District
    Sat 22 Feb 2020 12:30PM / Swimming
    After a few years exploring other locations around the country, we’re thrilled to be returning to the simply beautiful Akaroa Harbour for the Generation Homes La Grande Swim! Rejoining the line up of events in our ... more
  • Okains Bay Maori & Colonial Museum, Banks Peninsula, Christchurch District
    Sat 25 Jan 2020 12:00PM / Festivals
    A day long family-friendly Music festival showcasing handpicked NZ and Aussie talent on an outdoor stage at the wonderful Okains Bay Maori & Colonial Museum in the height of summer! Free for children 12 years or ... more
  • Back Door Spa Retreat Centre, Christchurch
    Thu 23 Jan 2020 3:00PM / Mind & Body
    Join us for a 4 night 3 day wellness retreat in the heart of Sumner Christchurch for 4 to maximum 6 people. The core retreat is founded on fasting, colon hydrotherapy (high enemas), bodywork, yoga and meditation. In ... more
  • Visions and Vino Art Studio, Christchurch
    Wed 18 Dec 2019 11:00AM / Family & Lifestyle
    Visions is an Art Studio working with Children and Youth Art Classes Significance of Creativity - Helps your child grow in many ways - Drawing develops a child’s fine motor skills - Enhances a child’s ... more
  • Club Tavern, Christchurch
    Sat 25 Jan 2020 8:00PM / Metal
    It is with tremendous excitement that Chop Suey, the ultimate UK System of a Down tribute, announces its first down under tour! Beginning under the name Victims of a Down in 2015, their debut tour made serious waves ... more
  • Christchurch Town Hall, Christchurch
    Sat 25 Jan 2020 7:00PM / Singer-Songwriter
    Two-time Grammy Award winner Lauren Daigle, who has sold out every one of her shows to date, will open 2020 with her first headlining arena tour, the Lauren Daigle World Tour. It follows nearly 70 sold out performances ... more
  • Kensington Fun House, Christchurch
    Sat 25 Jan 2020 8:00PM / Comedy
    Join award winning comedian Corey Humm and his straight BFF Ben Kent for a night of laughs as they preview their 2020 show “This is not a date” before it hits the national and international festival circuit. All ... more
  • Elmwood Auditorium, Christchurch
    Sat 18 Jan 2020 11:00AM / Theatre
    Elmwood Players’ Kidz Theatre returns with Johnny Appleseed – the boy who saved the world. Join us this January when we meet up with young Johnny Appleseed and his talking, Elvis-impersonating dog Barkley as they ... more
  • Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch
    Fri 17 Jan 2020 9:30PM / Adventure, Extreme
    Friday Night Frights is N.Z's latest scare attraction. Our 2020 production 'My Beautiful Nightmare' takes you on a journey of survival as all your worst nightmares come true. This is a walk through attraction not ... more
  • Moorepark Speedway, Christchurch
    Sun 26 Jan 2020 4:00PM / Motorsport
    The Big Kahuna! This is the best field of speedway sidecars to compete in New Zealand end of story! and With 20k of prize money on the line, it's also the richest. With 6 of the top Australian Sidecars and the top ... more
  • Mt Pleasant Community Centre, Christchurch
    Sun 9 Feb 2020 1:00PM / Classical Music
    Baroque Music Community and Educational Trust of New Zealand with Julie Wylie Musical Play presents an Interactive Children's Concert. Children and their parents can experience the magical sounds of Vivaldi's Four ... more
  • CWEA, Christchurch
    Tue 28 Jan 2020 9:00AM / Business & Professional
    Make 2020 the year you leave work on time. Wouldn't it be amazing if you could leave work on time, having completed everything you set out to achieve that day. Instead of rushing to make the class at the gym, you walk ... more
  • Visions and Vino Art Studio, Christchurch
    Sat 1 Feb 2020 7:00PM / Contemporary Art
    Come and enjoy a couple of hours with Visions Art Studio & Corina's Fashion Label, first glass of bubbles and nibbles included - looking at art work by local and NZ artists - participate in a shared art canvas - ... more
  • Visions and Vino Art Studio, Christchurch
    Fri 14 Feb 2020 7:00PM / Socials, Singles, Balls
    Are Tinder and Bumble not cutting the mustard? Want to try something old but new? Then speed dating is just the thing for you. About this Event We’re taking it back to old school, putting down our phones and having ... more
  • Cossars Wineshed, Christchurch
    Mon 3 Feb 2020 4:30PM / Education
    Join makeup artists Annalee Kemsley & Stacey Banfield for an evening learning tips & tricks on basic skincare & applications of both everyday & evening makeup. All while enjoying a glass of bubbles and ... more
  • Metropolitan Lounge, Christchurch
    Sat 15 Feb 2020 7:00PM / Mind & Body
    Regardless of whether you think that your mother/daughter relationship needs a bit of work or that its already extremely solid, imagine strengthening it… Navigating the mother/daughter relationship can be confusing ... more
  • Blue Smoke, Christchurch
    Sun 9 Feb 2020 7:30PM / Folk
    Summer 2020 sees Tattletale Saints return home to celebrate the release of their new album, Dancing Under the Dogwoods, out on January 24th. Originally from Auckland, 2014 Tui Award winners Tattletale Saints now live ... more
  • BodyFix, Christchurch
    Thu 30 Jan 2020 7:00PM / Mind & Body
    A night of intentional goal setting and a reflective look at where we are now and where we going. New intentions for 2020 what are they? Di Foster is one of the best in the business. A talk not to be missed! $10 per ... more
  • Bromley Community Centre, Christchurch
    Sat 8 Feb 2020 10:30AM / Ethnic, Multicultural
    You are invited to experience the joy of African Songs, Drumming & Dancing in the supportive & fun environment created by Master Drummer Dancer Koffie Fugah from Ghana and Multi-Instrumentalist, Magaui Stewart based in ... more
  • South Christchurch Library, Christchurch
    Sun 21 Jul 2019 11:00AM / Mind & Body
    Divine Spirit expresses Itself in the world as Light and Sound. Would you like to experience these twin aspects of God’s love in your life? They bring wisdom, awareness, and new ways to handle life’s challenges. ... more
  • New Brighton Pier, Christchurch
    Sun 9 Feb 2020 1:00PM / Family Entertainment
    Join us for our popular pet and family portrait sessions at the New Brighton Pier. For an experience like no other. Bring your pet, your children and your family and we will capture some special moments. with 10 years ... more
  • Atlas Quarter, Christchurch
    Sat 1 Feb 2020 10:00AM / Public Talks & Tours
    Discover & discuss inner city life: join a free guided walk led by a local resident in south central inner city Christchurch. This central city neighbourhood has a network of laneways, new public spaces and ... more
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