The scenic 1.5 hours' drive to Akaroa from Christchurch passes the protected wildlife area of Lake Ellesmere and the rugged pebbled beach of Birdlings Flat. On the journey you'll pass Little River and the unique Silo stays are hard to miss! This innovative accommodation is made from old silos and provides the perfect spot to spend the night, especially if cycling the Little River Rail Trail. Little River is also the place to get your caffeine hit and the next door Art Gallery will be sure to leave your wallet empty!
Have your camera at the ready, the outlook from the highest point at the hilltop is breath-taking! Panoramic views capture the beautiful blue waters of Akaroa Harbour contrasted by the green of the hillsides. If you've got time to spare, instead of heading down to Akaroa via Barrys Bay, take the longer route along the tops of the hills to Akaroa via the Summit Road.
Akaroa's French origins are embraced with French street names, colonial architecture and gorgeous boutique shopping. Be sure to take-in the view from the water on a harbour cruise, kayak, yacht or paddleboard.
- Be sure to tick the view from the hilltop of the list!
- After a classic Akaroa shot? Be sure to snap Daly's Wharf with the turret roof shelter at the end.
- Stony Bay Peak, a rock formation just above Akaroa offers beautiful views over the town and bays.
- The Giants House with its mosaic and sculpture garden is an absolute must!
- Take a selfie with one of the cute alpacas from Shamarra Alpaca Farm.
- Indulge in Akaroa famous fish n chips and watch out for those cheeky seagulls!
- Sample delicious local vintages at French Peak Wines
- The Banks Track is one of the most scenic multi-day hikes in New Zealand
- Join Akaroa Cooking School for one of their Lonely Planet famous cooking classes.
- Want to see wildlife up close? Take a penguin tour or swim with dolphins.
- Sleep under the stars in a Stargazer Hut.