Things to Do

Akaroa, with its own beautiful bays and harbour and French and English history has an enormous range of activities to keep you busy for days. In Flea Bay you can take 4WD trips to the largest little penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Akaroa waters are home to the rarest and smallest marine dolphin and all around you will find fantastic sea kayaking in spectacular surroundings. There are cruises, sail boats, cycle tours, mail runs, and an excellent range of walking tracks. Don't miss seeing the Hector's dolphins and other special wildlife on a harbour cruise. There is so much to see and do in Akaroa that you will need more than a day trip.

  • We offer personalised tours for half day, full day or longer. Tours to suit your interests with numerous photo stops. We pick up from your cruise ship or from your hotel. A half day tour exploring attractions in the tranquil bays of Banks Peninsula or a full day can take in the attractions of Christchurch (or Akaroa) experiencing great scenery, wineries, Airforce museum, Canterbury Museum or the Maori and Colonial Museum, Antarctic Centre, cheese factory and gardens. Lots of possible options. Our 11 seater Mercedes mini bus offers comfort, tinted windows and informative commentary. Alan your driver/ guide has an extensive knowledge of the local area.

    Phone027 2277577

  • Operating between September through to the end of May. Akaroa Harbour is the only place on the entire planet where you can get up close and personal with NZ's playful Hector's dolphins. Depart on one of our safe and comfortable vessels. All year round an unforgettable adventure awaits you, where everything is provided for your pleasure. A separate price is available for dolphin watching only. Year round, face-to-face encounters with Hector's dolphins - the world's rarest. Everything is provided: wetsuits, snorkels, hot showers, hot chocolate, free gift pack. Winner Supreme NZ Tourism Award 2003/4.

    LocationMain Wharf, Akaroa & 61 Beach Road, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 7641

  • The GIANTS HOUSE. Sculpture, mosaic garden and Gallery. "The happiest garden on earth". Garden of National significance by NZ Garden Trust. Trip Adviser - award of excellence, recommended by Lonely Planet. The Giants House - A historic Akaroa house with original artworks, terraced gardens with sculptures and mosaics. Romantic secluded and quiet, but only a few minutes walk from the centre of Akaroa. Very Unique! Playful, zany, exuberant, astounding, colorful, surprising, seriously playful, unique in the will make you smile. B&B accommodation is also available.

    Location68 Rue Balguerie, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 7501

  • Let our Tour South team of vastly experienced driver/guides take you on a fully escorted tour of Akaroa, Christchurch or the wider Banks Peninsula area, to discover some of the dramatic scenery and fascinating history of this very special part of New Zealand. We offer our Quick-fire Akaroa & Bays Scenic Tour of 3 hours or choose our very popular Premier Share Tour for the best of the scenery of Akaroa, key City sights in Christchurch and some of the amazingly diverse and spectacularly beautiful Banks Peninsula area. Alternatively an Elite Private Hire, where you have the exclusive use of an appropriately sized vehicle complete with an experienced driver/guide for the day.

    PhoneDoug Bennet +64 27 269 6928

  • On cuise ship days there are a number of special transport services and tours available to service passengers. See the specific information when you click onto 'more details' and then the web site link to find out about the services available. There are some wonderful tours available both locally & over the hill to Christchurch.


  • Unleash the charm and beauty of Akaroa by enjoying a memorable ride in an open vintage car for up to four passengers. The Village is acclaimed to have one of the best seascapes in the World. On tour is a stunning wide-angle view of the harbour at height, a must for best photos. Comment from Rod & Maria, Bundaberg, Queensland, “Without a doubt your tour in the open Ford Tourer around Akaroa was the highlight of our recent trip to New Zealand”. Half-hour Tour at $60 N.Z. (g.s.t. incl) for 2 people, additional passengers $10 each. (Australian and U.S. currency accepted.) Longer tours by arrangement.

    LocationTaxi stand opposite main wharf, Akaroa

    Phone027 4322041

  • Akaroa and Banks Peninsula has many great walking tracks that you can enjoy for free. These vary from short hikes to all day tramps over the picturesque hills.
    Most of the walks have spectacular views of the Akaroa harbour once you get up into the hills above the township. 
    Click HERE to visit the website with maps and information about walking and tramping in Akaroa or Banks Peninsula.
    Then click a walk number or scroll down to find out more detail.



    LocationAkaroa and Banks Peninsula

  • Sightseeing tours on beautiful and interesting Banks Peninsula. Private tours exclusive to you - you do not have to share! Travel in comfort with a local owner/operator. Maximum seating - 6 persons. A variety of tours are available, all with photo opportunities. Tour 1: Historic Tour.  Tour 2: Cheese Factory Tour.  Tour 3: Rural Tour. Tour 4: Okains Bay Tour 5: Inner harbour/Alpaca Tour 6: Deluxe Tour. As this is a small business, get in early and pre book to avoid disappointment. For more details on the tours please go to the ' more details ' box.


    Phone021 410054

  • A Classic Ride Honda Goldwing & Sidecar Tours & luxury car tours. Honda GoldWing motorbike & sidecar sightseeing. Tours from 30 minutes to 4 hours. Prices start at $90 for 30 mins for 2 people. 3 people poa. Nissan Murano available for hire, with driver, fully certified, leather seats & air con. Up to 4 people. $190 per hour. 1 hr min. Customised tours including off the beaten track country roads. Transfers (e.g. to/from French Farm Winery). Book online or email enquiries to ph 03 3048946. Operating from near the end of the main wharf Akaroa. Payments accepted in $NZ, $AU, $US, Euro & Stg. Visa & Mastercard.


    Phone03 304 8946

  • Wildlife kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, paddle boats, biking, surfing with the seals, electric skateboards and wet suits. We are situated next to the Akaroa 4 Square Supermarket on the corner. You can book for your activities and accommodation in Akaroa. We can also take you to the top of the summit road for a 13km down hill cycle ride. Click HERE to view the ride of your life on You Tube.

    Location74a Rue Lavaud, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 7784

  • Direct Scenic Shuttles: Pick up point is Rolleston Ave -outside the Museum and Isite. Departs Christchurch daily at: 9.00am. Departs Akaroa daily at 4.00pm. Cost: $45.00 per person return $25 one way. French Connection is a quality assured passenger transport service who pride themselves on friendliness and punctuality whilst achieving a high standard of safety & comfort. They are also available for weddings and local transfers in the Akaroa and Christchurch regions.

    Phone0800 800 575 or 03 348 0897

    Fax03 348 0963

  • We have cars available in Akaroa. We specialize in one day, cruise ship rental car hire. Pick up and drop off made easy! Make the most of your trip to Akaroa and explore the area in your own time – we have various rental car options available from sedans through to vans.  After something special? We have Minis for hire – make it a day you’ll never forget! We do have limited vehicles available on the day so pre-book to ensure you’re not disappointed. Akaroa Car Rentals is part of Cruise Ship Rental Cars – make enquiries or book online HERE Phone 0800 548348 (within NZ), or Aussie free Phone number is 1-800-241-718. 



    Phone0800 548348

  • Akaroa’s boutique cinema is a great cinema experience. With sumptuous, luxurious and plush seating with a table for your coffee or glass of wine and the best of art, foreign, classic and new films. For a list of movies showing right now, go to the pdf, visit their web site or phone 03 304 8898. The cafe opens at 10am and films start at approx 12pm. Situated on the corner of Rue Jolie & Selwyn Ave. 

    LocationSelwyn Ave, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 8898

  • Come see spectacular coastline and magnificent wildlife aboard our classic Kauri launch. 2.5 hour trips, personally guided by skipper/owner Tony Muir. Boarding from far -end of Main Wharf, Akaroa at 10.15 and 1.45pm. Small groups on a spacious, dry and comfortable wooden launch. Private fishing & social charters are available. Summer cruises are $75 per adult. Children 1-14 years old $25. Infants under 1 year are free. 


    LocationAkaroa Harbour

    Phone0800 1 Coast or 021 228 8091

  • We share recipes, cooking ideas and entertaining secrets for up to twelve per class. We show how to prepare the dishes on that day’s menu in a relaxed & fun environment. A long lunch at the dining table will then be served savouring every dish from the class with matching NZ wines. All participants need to bring are their culinary interest and an appetite. We can also assist with your catering needs at your venue, private hire and the perfect place for corporate events, team building days, end of year function or mid winter get together. Give us a call to discuss your requirements.

    Location81 Beach Road, Akaroa

    Phone021 166 3737

  • Join us for a very personal nature cruise around Akaroa Harbour and headlands. View the spectacular landforms of this ancient volcanic crater, see fascinating bird life, seals, penguins and Hector’s dolphins, the world’s smallest and rarest. Your hosts’ heritage dates from the earliest settlers and you’ll hear fascinating tales of Maori and colonial history and the geology of Banks Peninsula. Complimentary wine & home-baking served on board.


    Phone03 304 7866

  • Experience the magnificent natural beauty and isolation of the Eastern bays, valleys and coastline. Travel 120km, weaving in and out of 10 bays from sea level to the crater rim delivering mail to farms and settlements. 5 days a week (Mon- Fri) 5 hour tours. 9am departure. Tours operate all year round and are $75 per person. For reservations please phone the Akaroa Adventure Centre on 03 304 7784. Email: or direct with the operators-Robin and Jo 03 304 8526 between 5pm and 7pm. If you are a cruise ship passenger you will be picked up at 9am from the Akaroa main wharf for this trip. Otherwise pick up is outside the Akaroa Adventure Centre, in the middle of Akaroa.

    Phone03 304 7784 or 03 304 8526

  • If you ever wanted to experience traditional New Zealand farming visit Paua Bay Hillcountry Farm on Banks Peninsula. Enjoy the stunning scenery on your trip to Paua Bay. Learn about the French settlers and the development of Akaroa . Enjoy the hospitality of the 5th generation farmers at Paua Bay. See sheepdogs working on the steep hills. Take part in sheep shearing and mustering and learn about farming in New Zealand. Relax with tea and scones on the homestead verandah and return to Akaroa after an experience which will be one of the highlights of your visit to New Zealand.

    LocationPaua Bay

    Phone03 304 8511

  • Sail with dophins, see wildlife. Akaroa harbour up close on New Zealand's oldest ketch Fox II. Learn about local history & help crew if you want. With 2 wooden masts and 6 sails there is always a halyard to hoist or a sheet to be pulled. 3 hour tour with historic narration, complementary fresh brewed coffee, tea, homemade hot chocolate and biscuits. The only boat in Akaroa with dolphin guarantee! You will see dolphins, penguins and seals (sometimes albatross), visit Cathedral Cave, see a waterfall and giant cliffs. Akaroa's best value at $80pp  ($40 per child). Departing Dalys Wharf 10.30am and 1.30pm. The only boat to offer real sailing in the Pacific Ocean, not just the inner harbour. 

    LocationAkaroa Harbour

    Phone0800 369 7245 or text 027 4144 879

  • A popular course with panoramic views. This delightful 18 hole golf course occupies 28 hectares of undulating country at the head of picturesque Akaroa harbour. We hire out equipment at a reasonable rate. Please phone us for all your enquiries. We also hire out the Golf Club for weddings and functions.


    Phone03 304 5704

  • Explorers, wanderers, dreamers... Get set! It's time to rekindle that adventurous spirit and experience the tranquility and magic of the Akaroa Bays from the comfort of your kayak. Your guides will lead you through this Eco paradise we call home, it is a must do for any visitors to New Zealand! Take this once in a lifetime opportunity to paddle in an extinct, sea flooded volcanic crater whilst taking in some of the most spectacular scenery in New Zealand. With over 17 square miles of stunning coves and bays to explore, your guides will ensure you have the best possible experience on the water. 


    Phone021 1564591

  • A tapestry of tales will unfold as you explore romantic Akaroa, the oldest and best preserved colonial town in the South Island, and its only French settlement. For groups we recommend a Historic walk with a guide in person - pre-booking is essential. Contact Suky to discuss a quote for group bookings. 


    Phone03 304 7733

  • Join supreme tourism award winners – Black Cat Cruises, aboard our large comfortable catamaran. Discover and learn about rare Hector's dolphins, seals, penguins and more. See Volcanic Cathedral Cave, relics of the area's past and a salmon farm. Complimentary tea & coffee on board and a postcard. Cruises depart daily from the main wharf.  If you don’t see any dolphins, come again for FREE!

    LocationMain Wharf, Akaroa & 61 Beach Road, Akaroa

    Phone0800 436 574

  • To add to the many attractions that the beautiful Akaroa harbour provides, we specialize in giving the more adventurous an unforgettable jet boating experience, a must for those seeking that something extra! Climb aboard our 20 seat, twin v8 600HP 'Phat time' jet boat. This 7.5 metre cobra jet boat is the latest design combining power and speed with built-in comfort and exceptional safety features. A high speed 360 degree spin will show you just what this jet boat is capable of.

    Location61 Beach Road, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 7092

  • Akaroa Museum reflects the varied and colourful history of Banks Peninsula. Three heritage buildings-the Langlois-Eteveneaux cottage (early 1840’s), the Customs House (early 1850’s) and the Court House (1878) are part of the Akaroa Museum complex. ‘The Long Harbour-a 20 minute DVD tells of the volcanic origins of Akaroa and it’s settlement. The permanent collection includes a complete edition of the Akaroa Mail from 1876, nineteenth and twentieth century costume, photographic and family history archives. Right in the centre of Akaroa. The Museum also has a great gift shop with excellent cards, books and Maori carvings. Open daily 10.30 am until 4.30 pm. 

    LocationRue Lavaud, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 1013

  • Akaroa Wildlife Sailing Cruise. Relive the golden era of sailing experience the timeless beauty of a large graceful CLASSIC…a style of yacht rarely seen nowadays! Hand-built, original condition & lovingly maintained with 9 coats of varnish. No engine noise, no diesel smell, no pollution to harm the unique endangered wildlife. Most often you’ll be surprised to HEAR dolphins & wildlife BEFORE you see them. Intimate humorous historical storytelling; no loudspeaker. Help sail or relax in the ‘Royal seats’. Boarding 10.15 am sailing 10.30am to 1 pm. Boarding 1.15 pm sailing 1.30pm to 4pm. Max 20 pax never crowded. $75 pp. Book Now! No children under 5 years old thanks.

    LocationMain Wharf, Akaroa

    Phone0800 724 528

  • Akaroa Winery is a beautiful Mediterranean style venue, overlooking the stunning Akaroa inlet. Nestled in Takamatua Valley, the organic, family-owned vineyard is located on the north facing slopes of the lush hills of Banks Peninsula overlooking Takamatua Bay. We produce the highest quality grapes with every aspect of our growing and planting dedicated to the environment, using sustainable farming techniques. We believe that our fruit makes superior wines. We are focused on creating extraordinary age-worthy wines that express the unique characteristics of the fruit from Takamatua Valley. The rugged terrior of our vineyard produces wines with great intensity and finesse. Enjoy...

    Location59 Long Bay Road, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 8990

  • Akaroa's worldly famous mini golf club, set amongst New Zealand native palms and gardens. Stream side setting. 18 holes to challenge all age groups and skill levels. Open from 10.30am until 4.30pm every weekend and school holidays and all cruise ship days. Groups welcome, tournaments organised. Yearly "Akaroa open" second Sunday of January every year. Lots of prizes and heaps of fun. Prices: $3.50 for teeny weenies, $7 school kids and $9.50 for Adults. We look forward to seeing you soon.

    LocationRue Jolie, Akaroa

    Phone021 2763763

  • “Alpaca heaven on earth” - tripadvisor. Alpacas are beautiful and mysterious animals with a long and fascinating history. Frank and Anya, who own over 130 alpacas, will share this story and their experience with you. After an interactive presentation you will have the opportunity to handle alpacas and appreciate the unique qualities of their amazing ultra fine fleece. Walk an alpaca among our herd while these majestic animals graze with their young, then feed them by hand.  The memorable views over Akaroa harbour are breathtaking. Afterwards, browse the excellent Alpaca Shop. 

    Location328 Wainui Main Road, French Farm

    Phone03 304 5141

  • The Banks Peninsula Track pioneered hut to hut walking over private land in NZ's and is still regarded as the finest private walking track in the country. Beginning in the historic seaside village of Akaroa, the 35km Track includes spectacular volcanic coastline, waterfalls, native bush, open pasture, and four delightful rocky or sandy beaches. Renowned for its charming accommodation, the Track is designed to provide a special and memorable experience for the intrepid explorer and holiday-maker alike. The same route can be covered in two or four days. Online booking available.

    Phone03 304 7612

  • Originally one of nine dairies dotting the peninsula in the late 1800s, Barrys Bay Cheese is the last remaining factory. Today, we still use the traditional recipes brought to New Zealand by the early English settlers. We believe using fresh, local Bank Peninsula milk is the key to producing such consistent, beautiful cheese.  Stop in and watch cheese making Monday through Thursday (Oct to May) and on non-make days a DVD is available. Enjoy complimentary samples and shop our assortment of local wines, craft beer and preserves available at our shop.  Open 7 days a week from 9am-5pm.

    Location5807 Christchurch-Akaroa Road, Barrys Bay

    Phone03 304 5809

  • Call Jeeves Tours specialise in bespoke (tailor-made) tours using a range of small luxury high class vehicles complete with driver/tour guide services. Our tours do not run to a restricted itinerary. Our friendly and flexible range of tour options are available at a number of New Zealand ports and are ideal for small or larger groups. Our vehicle and driver may be exclusively yours for the entire duration of your tour. Call Jeeves Tours are very experienced and established operators in providing private small group tours from the sea-side holiday resort village of Akaroa, and from the ports of both Lyttelton and Timaru over the summer cruise ship season.

    Phone0800 000 898

  • Canterbury Leisure Tours has over 20 years experience in offering high quality tours and activities to International Visitors. Our tours offer the top activities and attractions the region has to offer. All departure and return times from the cruise ship will ensure your brief visit to this most beautiful region of New Zealand is thoroughly enjoyable. For a detailed list of our cruise tours go to our web site.

    Phone0800 484 485

  • Sea kayaks, SUP and paddle boats. For hire daily. Have fun and enjoy the sparkling waters of Akaroa Harbour in your own time. Available for hire on the foreshore, Beach Road, Akaroa or book at the i-SITE (Rue Lavaud, next to 4Square supermarket). 

    Location65 Beach Road, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 7784

  • Specialising in small group guided tours for over 19 years Canterbury Trails offers a day trip to Akaroa from Christchurch.  We also offer cruise ship tours from Akaroa wharf which visit a number of Canterbury wineries, Christchurch city sights and scenic drive over Banks Peninsula.  Full details of all our tours can be found on our web site. We can also put together a private tour for you ensuring that you get the most from your visit to Banks Peninsula.


    Phone03 384 6148 or 021 384 614

  • Discovery Travel is a top Trip Advisor rated tour company. We operate affordable private fully-guided tours from Akaroa, enabling you to experience the beauty, history and scenery that make our region unique.  Let us create an itinerary with just you in mind. We have an extensive selection of options available for you to experience in Christchurch  - the International Antarctic Centre; New Zealand's national icon, 'The Kiwi' at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve; delicious wine and cheese tasting; Airforce Museum; farm tours; punting on the Avon River; Botanic Gardens and the Canterbury Museum; jet boating and more. We have a range of modern fully air-conditioned vehicles available and we can cater for any number of people.

    Phone03 357 8262

  • A 2 hour tour experiencing all of the high points Akaroa Harbour has to offer. Things you are likely to see, 1000 foot cliffs, Sea Arches, Amazing Volcanic Formations, Caves, Marine Farms, White Flippered Blue Penguins, Albatross and other seabirds, Akaroa Marine Reserve, Nikau Palm Gully and occasional Blowholes. Hear about the Volcanic and Maori history. Steve the owner & captain is a 5th generation local who knows the secrets of Akaroa Harbour. The boat is a fun, fast, adventurous 12.5 meter Rayglass Protector (an ex America’s Cup Chase boat and Coastguard Marine Rescue vessel with 600HP four stroke outboards). 


    Phone0800 ECOSWIM (326 794)

  • Come and join us on one of our small friendly personal tours and experience the magic of your dolphin swim with an intimate group of only 12 swimmers in the water per trip, watching spaces also available. And swim with or view the world's rarest and smallest ocean going dolphin - The Hectors (New Zealand) Dolphin. We are a small local family business and offer longer trips to maximise your experience and your value for money. 90.5% success rate. We provide warm wetsuits, mask & snorkel, hot chocolate & biscuits. Akaroa’s #1 Dolphin Swim on Tripadvisor. YOU FIND US WE FIND THEM. Department of Conservation Approved.



    Phone0800 ECOSWIM (326 794)

  • A helicopter flight from Akaroa to Christchurch takes just 15 minutes! Quick and convenient, leaving you more time to explore Christchurch City and attractions but also offering an incredible scenic flight over Banks Peninsula and the City itself.  Our pilots are some of the most highly skilled and experienced in the country but are also excellent narrators and will entertain and inform you with commentary along the way.  Other options include flights to Mt Cook, Heli-jetboating, heli-golf packages or why not fly to Pegasus Bay winery, one of NZ’s finest offering superb cuisine and wines. Email or phone 03 358 4360 or 0800 359 424 for more info. 


    LocationChristchurch Airport

    Phone03 358 4360 or 0800 359 424

  • The wine is grown on the hillside off Lighthouse Rd on the south side of Akaroa overlooking the township. The vineyard is readily visible from the town as well as the Main and French Bay wharves. The grape varieties grown are Riesling, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The wines reflect the wines from Alsace in the NE of France. Vintages from 2009 onwards are available. The 2014 Pinot Noir has a bold light cherry colour, aromas of the forest floor and ripe forest berries with a hint of cocoa on the finish. NZ$30 per bottle.

    LocationVineyard 35 Lighthouse Rd, Akaroa. Tasting Room 42 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa

    Phone03 304 8754 or 021 304566

  • Sail on Akaroa Harbour in a fun MRX yacht. The 10.2 metre (33ft) yacht was designed for match racing so is responsive and enjoyable to sail with a large open cockpit. A range of sailing options are available including harbour sailing, coaching and learn-to-sail courses. No previous sailing experience necessary. Max 5 Passengers. Sailing times are flexible. Please enquire for bookings and further information. From $70 pp.

    LocationAkaroa Boat Shed

    Phone027 4848830

  • Visit the Museum at the heart of historic Okains Bay. Enjoy the relaxed environment as you learn about life on Banks Peninsula in former times. Significant taonga Maori and early European items are among the exciting range of treasures on display in the Museum’s diverse complex of heritage buildings. Gift shop, tea and coffee available. Just 2kms to beautiful Okains Beach. Hours 10am – 5pm daily. Open every day except Christmas Day.

    LocationOkains Bay

    Phone03 304 8611

  • The Orion Powerhouse Gallery began its life in historic Akaroa as the building which housed the hydro-electric power equipment from 1911. In 1977 an incorporated society took over running the Powerhouse as a gallery and concert venue. The newly refurbished Orion Powerhouse Gallery comes to life in the warmer months when Akaroa is full of visitors and holiday-makers.  The gallery hosts exhibitions featuring artists from Banks Peninsula and beyond, many of national and international recognition.  It also provides a wonderful venue for intimate musical events also featuring a range of artists from New Zealand and beyond.

    Location1 Rue Pompallier, Akaroa

    Phone0064 3 304 8776

  • Francis and Shireen Helps have protected the White-flippered Penguins at Pohatu-Flea Bay for more than two decades. Tours enable you to see the penguins unobtrusively. Sea Kayaking allows you to enjoy the spectacular scenery and wildlife of Pohatu Marine Reserve. Scenic Nature Tours will enable you to experience a wide range of endemic wildlife amongst dreamlike landscapes. See web site for departure times for Penguin Tours, Sea Kayaking Safaris, Nature Safaris and Overnight Packages.

    LocationFlea Bay

    Phone03 304 8542 or 021 2469556