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"The Jewel in the Town of Canterbury"

Akaroa Tourism

Akaroa, a town in South Island, New Zealand is one of the most historic and bi-cultural places to visit. This town is located on the banks of the peninsula and is Southeast of Christchurch. The main employer industry in Akaroa is tourism, with tourists from across the world working here seasonally, giving this town an exotic vibe. 

Located around 84 kilometres from Christchurch and 25 kilometres from little river, Akaroa is one of the oldest cities in Canterbury, tracing its birth in 1840. The French culture here can be evidently seen in the street names in this town. Visitors often come here during the dry season which enables a comfortable experience around this seaside settlement and offers them a range of activities to do here.

Akaroa is most famous for its olive oil, herbs, cheese and wine, reflecting on the French flair. With the increasing number of foreigners exploring the peninsula Banks, Akaroa is leading its path to becoming the marine life hub in New Zealand. 

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This town is primarily known for its history with the French and British. Akaroa was the first town to experience French Settlement in the 1800s and was founded in August 1840. The growing French interest in New Zealand is said to have motivated the British to annex this country. Unfortunately, by the time the French had settled in, the Waitangi Treaty between the Maori chiefs and British crown had been signed officially.

Nevertheless, the French were still able to make their way into this town, and till date, their culture is clear in the kind of food and street names this place has. Along with that, the Maori culture is also very evident in Akaroa considering there is a Maori settlement called Onuku just a few kilometres away from this town.

Where to Eat

Akaroa has amazing seaside restaurants for visitors enjoy. Right from bakeries and breweries to restaurants, bistros and bars. A few good places to eat in Akaroa are: Ma Maison Restaurant and Bar is one of the best places with a beautiful sea view. Ratatouille French Restaurant offers one of the best traditional French delicacies with authentic products and methods of cooking. Ronas is the perfect place for casual dining long with good quality wine and cheese!

The Coffee Stop offer French-style baguettes, sandwiches, shakes, soft drinks and muffins. Another famous bakery is Sweet As Bakery which is famous for its Ciabatta, Baguettes, French Tarts, Pastries, muffins, pies, etc. Bach is an ideal joint for a heavy breakfast or brunch. This place offers a good range of pizzas, burgers, cakes and sandwiches.

La Thai offers some authentic Thai food along with a range of non-alcoholic beverages, beers and wines. Other options include Hours of the Local Eateries, French Farm Winery, Akora Fish and Chips, Little Bistro, Bully Hayes and The Wharf.

Things to Do and Places to See

  • Go on a hike! Akaroa has a number of walking trails, tracks and tours for visitors to do. Banks tracks, Vintage Car Tours, Canterbury Trails, Canterbury Leisure Tours, Discovery Travel Tours and Alpaca Farm Tour are a few good ones.
  • Attend local events at community arts council events, the exhibitions at Akaroa Museum, Little River Gallery and Gaiety.
  • Visit the Akaroa Lighthouse Be a part of Le Race running activities.
  • Shop at Boutiques, Jewellers and galleries for local handicrafts and arts. Celebrate Anzac Day and commemorate Waitangi Day. Visit the Farmers’ Market and the Bay Lions Paddy’s Market.
  • Attend the Cheese and Wine Fest. Take a boat ride with Adventure Center Boat or Classic and Traditional Boat Regatta.
  • Attend High tea, the walking fest or the French Fest that takes place in October.
  • Take a look at the cinema at Cine-Cafe. Akaroa Museum is definitely a place all visitors should go for those who want to see how Akaroa revamped after the two devastating earthquakes in Christchurch.
  • The war memorial represents all the struggles and sacrifices that locals made in wars across the globe.
  • Take a cruise or boat and get to see penguins, seals, dolphins and other sea creatures.
  • The Old French cemetery was the first burial ground in Canterbury. See the Customs House, the historical building that helped smuggle alcohol.
  • Visit the Giant House, filled with artworks, sculptures and mosaics of Gaudi and Miro from the late 1800s.
  • St. Anglican Church famous for its stained glasses and exposed timbers, similar to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church that features stained glasses from Stuttgart.

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FAQs on Akaroa

What is the best time to visit Akaroa?

The best time to visit Akaroa is from December to March, which is the summer season in New Zealand. During this time, cool weather enables an enjoyable experience for warm weather travellers. June, July and August are too humid for travellers to have a good time here.

It should be noted, however, that during March, July and June, the regular overflow of tourists may lead to an increase in hotel and flight prices. As opposed to that, visiting in November or December may benefit visitors not only because of the cool and dry weather (it usually rains only 3-5 times a month), but also because they may get better deals on flights and hotels.

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What are the places near Akaroa?

The top places near to Akaroa are Queenstown which is 368 km from Akaroa, Waipara which is located 85 km from Akaroa, Kaikoura which is located 166 km from Akaroa, Gisborne which is located 710 km from Akaroa, Invercargill which is located 463 km from Akaroa

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