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)
Chateau Mont Clair - Accommodation in Akaroa New Zealand
9.80 24 Reviews
Nestled on a 17-acre hillside estate, Chateau Mont Clair features free Wi-Fi, included breakfast and a helicopter pad. The modern, French-themed rooms boast a private patio and a 32-inch flat-screen TV.Set overlooking lovely Akaroa Harbour, Mont Clair Chateau is just 2 minutes' drive from ... (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)
The Olive Grove - Accommodation in Robinsons Bay New Zealand
9.80 55 Reviews
Robinsons Bay
Featuring an olive grove and views of Akaroa Harbour, The Olive Grove is situated just a 5-minute drive from the centre of historic Akaroa. Free WiFi access is available.The heated rooms all come with classic decor and a TV. Some rooms offer harbour views and some overlook the gardens. Eac... (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)
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