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Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Annual Events

Banks Peninsula is home to a lively events calendar with annual events drawing large crowds of both locals and visitors. Time your visit to coincide with one of the region's iconic events.

Waitangi Day

On 6 February, New Zealand marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The treaty was signed by representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs and is often considered to be New Zealand’s founding document. The day was first officially commemorated in 1934, and it has been a public holiday since 1974.

Since 1977, Waitangi Day has been celebrated by the Okains Bay Māori and Colonial Museum and the local community. The annual event, which is the longest continuous celebration in the South Island, includes a hāngī, waka being paddled up the river, and many other traditional games and activities.

NZAEE Seaweek

Seaweek, hosted by the New Zealand Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE), highlights the valuable resource of the sea and what we can learn from studying it. Various activities and events will be held during late February and early March.

Le Race

An annual cycle challenge, Le Race begins in Christchurch and finishes at Akaroa's Recreation Ground. Held in mid to late March, this popular 100km cycle race is complete with amazing views and plenty of hills to get the blood pumping and the heart racing!

Akaroa Harvest Festival

Held in Akaroa annually, this event profiles the wonderful Peninsula produce and chefs. This family-friendly event includes great food, music, children's activities, a jam competition and entertainment!

Bonjour Welcome to Akaroa FrenchFest 2019

Escape to picturesque Akaroa and immerse yourself in French culture, entertainment and romance as you celebrate Akaroa’s unique history (French, German & Maori) at the Akaroa French Fest.

11-13 October 2019

Friday evening - Relax with sea side dining and watch the waterfront come alive with entertainment and music.

Saturday - Take part in living history re-enactment with The Landing on the main beach followed by the parade to the Recreation Ground. At 11am on the Rec the official programme commences with speeches and the raising of the flag. From 11am - 4.30pm Le Jour du Marché (Market Day) is held with French inspired markets, games, food, entertainment and live music. 

Saturday evening - Ticketed cabaret highlighting an incredible array of music and entertainment.

Sunday - Antique Fair and a Circotica Circus workshop for the children.

Banks Peninsula Walking Festival

The Walking Festival celebrates the stunning scenery and intimate communities of Banks Peninsula. The walks take place every weekend in November and range from all day tramps to short scenic hikes.

  • Cruising into Akaroa?

    Make the most of your time in the region by visiting the Akaroa Adventure Centre Cruise Information Cabin located on the main wharf.


    • Free booking service
    • Comprehensive information service
    • Free Akaroa & Banks Peninsula maps


    • +64 3 304 7784