What makes Akaroa so spesh? It’s the only French town in New Zealand
! That means you can soak up the joie de vivre in this charming waterside village packed with French colonial architecture and delectable French cuisine. No complaints there! It’s also full of craft shops, galleries and cafes, and is an awesome spot to squeeze in some cute-as marine life sightings. So don’t skip this amazeballs but chilled town just 75km from Christchurch
– book one of our Akaroa hotels today and lock that baby in!
As if being French wasn’t cool enough, Akaroa is also special for its unique location nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano on Banks Peninsula – the South Island’s most fascinating volcanic feature. At the edge of the deep and sheltered waters of Akaroa Harbour, the town centre is best explored on foot to soak up the chillin’ vibes and take it all in. To get some history to explain the beautiful sights you’re wandering past, including many historic cottages, duck into the local museum – it’s pretty fascinating and explains how the French colonised this town despite British presence. But before you get too far, be sure to drop into the tourist info centre on the corner of Lavaud and Rue Balguerie for maps and brochures to get your Akaroa holiday swingin’ in full motion.
Any exploration of the beautiful Akaroa will take you to the beautiful bays along the harbour. This is your gateway to a world of nature that existed long before the French arrived with their delicious morsels of pastry. Take a harbour cruise to catch glimpses of the native dolphins, penguins and fur seals, or hire a kayak and explore it on your own terms. Not only are these waters home to the rarest and smallest marine dolphin, but Flea Bay in particular is home to the largest little penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Now that’s something to brag about when you get home!
But of course, food is just as good a reason to make the short trek to Akaroa. The local restaurants have a focus on fine French cuisine, and there’s a butcher, baker and chorizo maker to keep you stocked up for picnics. Cafes, restaurants and bars proudly pour out the boutique local wines and micro-brewery beers, and often serve local cheeses too. Then there’s the super popular Akaroa Fish and Chip shop, and if you’d rather get in the kitchen yourself, the Akaroa Cooking School is a top-notch spot to learn to cook the local cuisine!
Akaroa is a beautiful spot by the water to relax and sock up the free-flowing French vibes and get some sweet wildlife encounters. And best of all, it’s only just over an hour’s drive from Christchurch! Don’t skip this destie on your New Zealand South Island
adventure. Live every lastminute with our range of Akaroa accommodation below!
Image credit Jocelyn Kinghorn under Creative Commons