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Akaroa and Banks Peninsula

A Diverse Natural Playground

Banks Peninsula is one of New Zealand's most unique landforms. With endless hills, bays and hidden bush, this is Nature's Playground right on Christchurch's doorstep. 

Akaroa and its surrounds are steeped in Māori and settler history, adventures and unique experiences. Only a short drive from Christchurch, you’ll feel like you’re in another world.

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See & Do in Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

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Explore the Region

Hector's Dolphins in Akaroa Harbour

Nature’s Playground

Akaroa sits at the heart of an ancient volcano, stacked with sparkling bays, green hills and an eclectic range of eco-experiences.

Surrounded by natural wonders, this historical French settlement is your basecamp for exploring the Banks Peninsula.

Explore the beautiful deep harbour that is home to Little Blue Penguins, marine birds and the largest population of Hector’s Dolphins in the world.

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Statue looking over Akaroa Harbour

Heritage and Culture

With elements of Maori, French and English culture, Akaroa is unique in character and one of the oldest and best-preserved heritage towns in the South Island.

Explore stories of Māori settlement and culture, of one of New Zealand’s first European settlements, and how this history shaped Akaroa into the town it is today.

The town celebrates its French links with a bi-annual French Fest, a three-day celebration including market stalls and entertainment, French games and evening cabaret.

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Akaroa Food and Dining Scene

Fresh and Foraged Food

Foodies are spoilt for choice in Akaroa with an abundance of award-winning local produce and top-notch bars and restaurants.

The first vines planted by the French now yield excellent wines and the world’s most southern olive groves regularly win national and international acclaim. Nearby Barry's Bay Cheeses churn out stellar products, and Akaroa Salmon is served across the country.

From brunch spots in the sun to cocktails on the waterfront, beers at microbreweries to wines at hillside wineries, Akaroa is a foodie haven.

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Akaroa Harbour Sailing

Time to Explore

Akaroa offers endless possibilities to immerse yourself in the outdoors and the unique history and culture of this special area.

For those seeking adventure you can swim with dolphins, take a short walk or a three-day trek, jump in a sea kayak or paddle board across the harbour.

For a chance to escape and revive, settle into this serene corner of New Zealand. Galleries, museums and artisan shops, boutique restaurants and wine bars – while away the hours and let this idyllic seaside village work its magic.

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Lyttelton Port

11 Ways to Spend the Day in Lyttelton

Explore lively Lyttelton with quirky cafes, eclectic shops, the must-visit farmers market, and historical gems at every turn.

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Banks Peninsula Quail Island

Explore the History of Banks Peninsula

Learn about the rich tapestry of French, English and Maori culture that settled among the remnants of two volcanoes that today form Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours.

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Akaroa Couple Walking Esplanade

A Romantics Guide to Banks Peninsula

Get caught-up in the romantic atmosphere of Banks Peninsula. With idyllic locations and seclusive getaways it's the perfect location to propose or rekindle the romance.

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Christchurch Port Hills Walking Track Overlooking Lyttelton Harbour

Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Walks

Banks Peninsula offers a variety of walks with charming vistas and stunning views to reward every footstep. Explore the dramatic outer bays and take your time to soak in the magic of the region.

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Akaroa Harbour

Akaroa Escape

Enjoy Akaroa and the Bays by road.

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Akaroa Harbour Skies

Akaroa Visitor Information

Make the most of your time and discover all you need to know about the amenities available in Akaroa.

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Lyttelton Corsair Bay Beach

The Bays of Banks Peninsula

Take a road trip to discover the hidden gems of Banks Peninsula.

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