Nestled in an ancient volcano, the picturesque town of Akaroa lies just a scenic 90-minute drive from Christchurch. Its unique blend of French heritage and New Zealand's natural beauty makes it a tranquil and playful destination.
Day 1: Christchurch To Akaroa
Start out from Christchurch early to enjoy the drive with the morning sun on your back and reach Akaroa with the afternoon ahead of you.
On your journey, stop for one of Canterbury's best photo opportunities at the Hilltop Lookout Point, where you can take in Banks Peninsula and the five bays (what's left of an ancient volcano).
Stop in at Wainui to experience Shamarra Alpacas. Their farm offers a range of guided tours, where you can get up close and personal with these friendly and curious animals. Learn about the alpaca farming industry in New Zealand or opt for a walking tour where you can take a leisurely stroll with these adorable creatures.
Traverse the Akaroa foreshore and township before having a picnic dinner in the sun on the waterfront before your evening activity.
Pohatu Penguins is the go-to tour company for penguin enthusiasts, as they offer tours to Pohatu Marine Reserve, the largest Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect these charming creatures and their natural habitat, all while witnessing their playful antics in their home environment.
Day 2: Akaroa To Christchurch
Wake-up to a picture-perfect day in Akaroa and stroll along the water's edge to one of the many cafes on offer.
After breakfast, gear up for an exciting sea adventure in Akaroa Harbour.
For those keen on observing the world's smallest and rarest dolphin species, Akaroa Dolphins is the perfect choice. They offer a variety of tours, including nature cruises, where you can catch a glimpse of the adorable Hector's dolphin, as well as dolphin swimming tours, which provide an unforgettable experience of swimming alongside these magnificent animals.
Or, if you're looking to witness the incredible marine life in the area, Black Cat Cruises has you covered. Their range of sightseeing and wildlife experiences include scenic cruises around Akaroa Harbour, where you can spot a variety of marine creatures including dolphins, seals, and penguins. Alternatively, you can choose their swimming with dolphins' tour.
If you've managed to pack all of this into your Akaroa getaway, you're sure to be leaving satisfied and at one with nature!