Only 75kms from Christchurch, uniquely situated in the heart of an ancient volcano, is the quaint, historic French village of Akaroa. Enjoy the incredible scenery encountered on the drive from Christchurch, with breath-taking views of the harbour bays as you drive over the summit. The lovely bayside town has many streets with French names with colonial architecture in abundance. Akaroa is the oldest town in the Canterbury district assuring Akaroa's popularity as a unique tourist destination.
The Madeira Hotel is an easy walk from the variety of art and craft shops, boutiques and art galleries.
Within 100 meters is the truly remarkable setting of the wharf, where you can take a cruise around the beautiful Akaroa harbour and view a variety of stunning wildlife including penquins, seals, birdlife and the endangered Hector's dolphins. They are the world's smallest and rarest dolphins and a harbour cruise gives you the opportunity to swim with them.
Enjoy a day's fishing from a charter boat, hire kayaks and explore the harbour or find a secluded beach of your own in one of the neighbouring bays and soak up the sun.
Akaroa celebrates its French history and heritage each year with the Akaroa French Festival, Bastille Day and also the annual bike race from Christchurch to Akaroa,
"Le Race", where Akaroa is the finishing line.
Banks Peninsula offers a huge range of sheltered beaches and bays, walking tracks, beautiful gardens and wineries ideal for a days exploring.