Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? If you’re looking for somewhere a little different that combines glorious scenery with a strong sense of European culture, you can find it in Akaroa. Part of the Canterbury region on the South Island
, Akaroa is the only French town in the whole of the country. Wander around, admire French-style architecture and soak up the lovely atmosphere. Foodies will love the town’s wide range of French cafes and restaurants. Even better, it’s only three hours away from Sydney or Melbourne. Get a taste of France when you stay in one of our Akaroa hotels.
Things to see and do
Historic and romantic, most visitors will fall under the town’s charms. Take a walk to learn how a French whaler acquired the land from local Maoris and created a French colony. Akaroa Museum is a great place if you want to find out even more about the town’s history. Stroll along the beautiful harbour to admire the views and wildlife. Boat trips and swimming with dolphins are really popular activities, and if you do them you’ll see why, they’re incredible!
The Giants House Mosaic and Sculpture Garden is an unusual but fun attraction to visit in the town, especially if you’re travelling with kids or are just a big kid at heart. If you enjoy a round of golf, there’s a a beautiful golf course, as well as an assortment of cute shops and cafes, a top class cooking school, and an array of local arts and crafts galleries. Biking and kayaking are available if you’re feeling energetic, and are particularly enjoyable in summer, along with one of the most beautiful and scenic volcanic walks along the Banks Peninsula - a must-do in Akaroa. Visit Flea Bay and the fascinating Pohatu Marine Reserve, watch demonstrations (and then tuck into some fine cheese) at Barry’s Cheese Factory, and learn more about Maori culture at Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum.
Further afield, there are a number of interesting places within easy reach of the town, like Christchurch
which is only an hour’s drive from Akaroa.
With so much to do and see, a few days just isn’t enough! Check out our cheap flights to Christchurch
, which is a mere 50 kilometres away, and our excellent Akaroa accommodation, and fall in love with this charming place.