Activities

Bright with possibilities, Akaroa has an abundance of activities to fill your day.

Pohatu Penguin Tours & Sea Kayaking

Pohatu Penguins is a family-run business with a long-standing history of protecting the Korora (Little Penguin). The colony survival is accredited to Shireen and Francis Helps who have cared for the penguins for 30+ years.

When the Helps first began their conservation work the penguins faced massive challenges that threatened their very existence. These challenges included predation via introduced predators such as dogs, cats, ferrets and stoats, gill net fishing and other human disturbances. Colonies around Banks Peninsula declined at an alarming rate and most disappeared altogether. Through predator trapping, monitoring, rehabilitation and immense dedication the Helps have stabilized the Pohatu Colony - and it continues to grow! In addition to their penguin conservation work the Helps family have also, for many years, protected native forests and other endemic species. Their work helped found the award-winning Wildside Conservation Project.

To this day, the Helps family continue to be leaders in conservation.

Their efforts continue to be fully self-funded via Pohatu Penguins’ tours.

When purchasing a tour, clients have a positive input on our little Korora.

 

Small group tours run from Akaroa over one of the most scenic back country roads by 4WD van to Pohatu/ Flea Bay and Pohatu marine reserve, a beautiful sheltered bay out on the wild south eastern corner of Banks Peninsula and home to the largest Little Penguin Colony on mainland New Zealand with over 2000 penguins breeding there.

Many tour options to see and experience this thriving Little penguin colony include Evening penguin tour, Nature tours, Sea-kayaking safaris, Hiking or a 24 hour package with a night in the middle of the colony.

 

Evening penguin tour:

Observe penguins in the wild on this evening adventure. A wonderful option for people who wish to take part in our monitoring program and learn more, in depth, about our conservation efforts giving you great insight into the life of a penguin.

Departure time changes due to the sunset so please get in touch (guidelines: 3 pm in winter and 7pm in summer)

Sea-kayaking safari:

Observe penguins in the wild on this evening adventure. A wonderful option for people who wish to take part in our monitoring program and learn more, in depth, about our conservation efforts giving you great insight into the life of a penguin.

Depart at 8am and 12pm (from September to April and 11.15am from May to August)

4-hour scenic Nature safari:

Join a 4WD safari to the spectacular, award winning Wildside Conservation area. Learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program.

Depart at 12pm (from September to April and 11.15am from May to August)

2-hour nature tour:

Ideal for people on a day trip in Akaroa! This option gives you the chance to learn more about Pohatu Penguins while still having time to explore our historic town.

Depart at 1.30pm

24-hour Pohatu package:

Enjoy all of what Pohatu has to offer in this 24-hour package including accommodation.

Depart at 12pm (from September to April and 11.15am from May to August)

Hike and Kayak combo:

Looking for an active day? Join us for a full day of adventure combining a morning hike through endemic ancient forest down our private walking track to Pohatu bay and join our sea-kayaking safari in the afternoon to encounter Pohatu marine reserve wildlife.

Depart at 8am

Watch this awesome video to check out a Pohatu Penguin tour: https://youtu.be/GGWmV5ZQy8Y

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Associations we belong too 

DOC Approved label 180     Sustainability tourism   Logo3  SMART  Outdoors Mark

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Black Cat Cruises, Akaroa Nature Cruise

Family Pass Special

$195 for 2 adults and up to children 

Saving you up to $90. Under 5's cruise free all year regardless

Visit blackcat.co.nz/specials for more info and to book

And we offer a Hector's dolphin guarntee. *If you don't see any (2% chance) you can cruise again for free! 

Join Akaroa’s only Qualmark Gold rated operator for an eco-tourism experience on Akaroa harbour like no other. Founded and still operated by a fifth-generation Banks Peninsula local they are the longest-running nature cruise operator on the peninsula who put safety, customer experience, conservation and passion at the forefront of what they do. So step onboard the harbours largest, most spacious and stable catamaran as you cruise through the belly of an extinct volcanic crater. Your knowledgeable skipper will unfold stories from Akaroa’s significant historic past, it’s geological wonders, and it’s marine mammal inhabitants and birdlife.  Akaroa Harbour is home to the Hector’s dolphin. The world’s rarest and smallest oceanic dolphin that’s only found on the South Island of New Zealand….along with New Zealand Fur Seals, Little Blue Penguins and an abundance of coastal birdlife. Every trip is unique and personal as they operate respectfully around the nature and environment that surrounds them from volcanic Cathedral Cave, Elephant Rock and Scenery Nook, to interacting with the local wildlife on their terms.  Akaroa is the only place in the world you can encounter a Hector’s dolphin on a daily basis and so they are able to offer all of their customers a Hector’s dolphin guarantee*. Passengers numbers are also limited, and you have a 360 degree viewing platform around the whole boat, along with an upstairs viewing terrace for the best wildlife viewing opportunities. Their friendly Skipper also operates an open bridge policy and welcomes you into the top cabin (and possibly even on the wheel) to experience what it’s like cruising along the waters of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful landscapes. Free tea and coffee is also provided throughout.

Black Cat Cruises are recognised as one of New Zealand’s original eco-toursim operators, and current winners of the New Zealand Tourism award for conservation. They heavily advocate for the protection of Hector’s dolphins, and work closely with the New Zealand Whale and dolphin trust to raise funds and support their work. They also operate an education programme that is free to all kiwi children. By supporting them you are helping to further support and protect these precious endangered dolphins.

 

Cruises depart daily from the main wharf 365 days a year!

For ALL Black Cat specials, click here. 

Video for cruise

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Akaroa Dolphins | Harbour Nature Cruises

Akaroa Dolphins | Harbour Nature Cruises

Special
$200 FAMILY PASS
 
Akaroa Dolphins $200 Family Pass
Our $200 Family Pass is valid for 2 adults and 2 children (aged 0-15 years), a saving of $84!
If you have a bigger family, please speak to one of our helpful team members so we can tailor a Family Pass for you.

To book this special deal, please call +64 3 304 7866 or email us at cruise@akaroadolphins.co.nz

Akaroa Dolphins is an award-winning tourist attraction in Akaroa, New Zealand. Join us on our luxury boat where you will enjoy a 2-hour cruise around Akaroa Harbour and meet the world's smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins, the Hector's dolphin, as well as New Zealand fur seals, White-flippered penguins and an array of seabirds, all while taking in the spectacular scenery. Over the past 12 months, we’ve had a 98% success rate with dolphin sightings. If you’re among the rare few who don’t see dolphins, you can cruise again with us for free. From our check-in team to our skippers and onboard guides, you’ll be greeted with smiles every step of the way. An integral part of the team is our expert dolphin spotting dogs. Equipped with dog life-vests and a keen ear, they’ll help make your dolphin encounter an unforgettable experience.

Akaroa Dolphins - A little bit about us

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Winter Hours

Akaroa Dolphins ticketing office is open every day over the Winter period from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm. Our friendly team will be answering phone calls out of these hours.

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Akaroa's Fox II

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.

DOC Approved label 180               

Akaroa's best value at $90pp ($45 per child). Seniors get a $10 discount and under 5 are free.
Departing Dalys Wharf 10.30am and 1.30pm.

The only boat to offer real sailing in the Pacific Ocean, not just the inner harbour.

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Black Cat Cruises, Swimming With Dolphins

Black Cat Cruises Swimming With Dolphins experience is New Zealand’s original dolphin swimming encounter. There fantastic team are highly experienced and this eco-tour has been listed by Lonely Planet as one of the top ten marine mammal activities in the world, as well as being voted the number 1 bucket list activity in New Zealand by travellers.

Hector’s dolphins are only found here in New Zealand, and they are the world’s rarest and smallest oceanic dolphin. We only allow a maximum of 12 swimmers per trip to ensure you have a personalised experience and up close encounter.

We see Hector’s dolphins on 98% of their trips. Due to the high success rate they offer a two tier ‘dolphin guarantee’ policy. As a leading eco-tourism operator we interact with these on their terms. We also advocate, educate, support and fund research into the Hector’s dolphins so by choosing to come out with us you are helping to support and protect these wonderful marine mammals.

Recognised as New Zealand’s first true eco-tourism operator, they are also the only operator in Akaroa who are awarded with the industry Qualmark Gold certificate. Please say this instead of the final sentence of being a finalist.  


Pre-booking is highly recommended. 

For ALL Black Cat Specials, click here.

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ecoSeaker -Harbour Cruises

ecoSeaker -Harbour Cruises

Harbour Cruise 2:30pm

Do you have a sense for adventure?

Then join us on our Harbour Adventure Cruise - you will not be disappointed. The scenery and wildlife here are incredible. Steve the captain & owner is a 5th generation local who knows all the secrets and special places of Akaroa Harbour. We run one 2hr Harbour Cruise per day, exclusively limited to 12 guests. Our boat is a 12.5-meter Rayglass Protector (an ex America’s Cup Chase boat & Coastguard Marine Rescue Vessel) It’s an exciting, fun, safe sea-going boat. We are 100% locally owned & operated. Highly recommended on tripadvisor.

On our boat, you are part of the environment not removed from it.

While dolphins surf under the boat you can feel the spray from their blowhole!

DOLPHIN SWIMMING  10:30AM

Come and join us on one of our small, personal tours and experience the magic of swimming with the Hectors Dolphin in Akaroa New Zealand. They are the smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins in the world. Akaroa is the only place in the world you can experience them personally in their natural habitat. We are a small local family business, 100% locally owned & operated. We run one swim tour per day exclusively limited to 12 guests, offering a longer dolphin swimming tour to maximize your experience and your value for money with a 90.5% success rate. Wetsuits, masks & snorkels are provided, hot chocolate & biscuits. Akaroa’s #1 Dolphin Swim on tripadvisor. YOU FIND US WE FIND THEM. Department of Conservation Approved.

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Akaroa's Eastern Bays Scenic Mail Run

When booking directly with us...

* 4 adults travel for the price of 3 per trip

* Local Banks Peninsula discounted rate

* 1 child travels free per paying adult

*  Saturday bookings by prior arrangement

Email us directly: 

easternbaysscenicmailrun@gmail.com (for next day bookings no later than 6pm please)

Jeff & Suzi invite you to join their rugged and remote rural mail delivery that has delighted tourists and locals alike for over 30 years.

Discover the magnificent natural beauty and isolation of the Eastern bays, valleys and coastline on this unique mail run experience.

We travel 120km weaving in and out of 10 bays from sea level to the crater rim delivering mail to 140 letterboxes to farms and settlements in the comfort of our red Rural Post Van.

Your tour includes an interesting local Postie’s commentary, a delicious homemade snack/tea/coffee break, a visit to a historic church and a short walk on beautiful Le Bons Bay beach. Plenty of photo opportunities and comfort stops.

The tour operates from Monday to Saturday, leaving opposite the BNZ Bank at 9am, and arrives back at approximately 2 - 2:30pm. Tours operate all year round. $85 per adult, $40 per child (5 to 15 years of age)


Bookings are essential as we only have 8 seats.
Please note: Saturday bookings by prior arrangement (for minimum of 4, & up to 8 passengers
email Jeff & Suzi directly: easternbaysscenicmailrun@gmail.com

 

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Coast up Close Wildlife Adventures

Coast up Close Wildlife Adventures

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 . Boarding time for our scenic wildlife cruise up until 25 December is 12.45pm. From 26th December boarding times are 10.15 am for the morning cruise and 1.45 pm for our afternoon cruise. Small groups on a spacious, dry and comfortable wooden launch. Private fishing & social charters are available. Please call Tony on 021 228 8091 to book a private charter. Summer cruises are $85 per adult. Children 3-15 years old $35.  under 3 year are free.

- "Join us for the Best wildlife trip!"

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Akaroa Winery

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...

Akaroa Winery will be closed from 3rd May - 1st September and will reopen in Spring with new wines to try! 

Akaroa Winery, situated in Takamatua valley, overlooks the beautiful local harbour. Akaroa Winery is Akaroa's first and only certified Organic Vineyard and Winery Estate. Tour the vineyard and modern wine making facility. Taste some of the many wine vintages available while touring the amazing grounds and see the "dirt to bottle" experience first hand. Complimentary Shuttle Service available.

Open daily 11am to 4pm.
Private Tours and Tastings can be made by appointment.

Contact Allan for more information.

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Banks Track

Banks Track pioneered hut to hut walking over private land in NZ and is still regarded as the finest private walking track in the country. Beginning in the village of Akaroa, the Banks Track includes spectacular volcanic coastline, waterfalls, native bush, open pasture, and delightful beaches. Renowned for its charming accommodation, the Banks 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 three days. Online booking is available.

You can choose between the Three Day Classic Walk at $370.00 or the Two Day Hikers Option at $195.00.

Check online for availability.

Banks Track is open from October to April.

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ecoSeaker - Dolphin Swimming

ecoSeaker - Dolphin Swimming

On our boat, you are part of the environment not removed from it.

While dolphins surf under the boat you can feel the spray from their blowhole!

DOLPHIN SWIMMING  10:30AM

Come and join us on one of our small, personal tours and experience the magic of swimming with the Hectors Dolphin in Akaroa New Zealand. They are the smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins in the world. Akaroa is the only place in the world you can experience them personally in their natural habitat. We are a small local family business, 100% locally owned & operated. We run one swim tour per day exclusively limited to 12 guests, offering a longer dolphin swimming tour to maximize your experience and your value for money with a 90.5% success rate. Wetsuits, masks & snorkels are provided, hot chocolate & biscuits. Akaroa’s #1 Dolphin Swim on tripadvisor. YOU FIND US WE FIND THEM. Department of Conservation Approved.

 

Harbour Cruise 2:30pm

Do you have a sense for adventure?

Then join us on our Harbour Adventure Cruise - you will not be disappointed. The scenery and wildlife here are incredible. Steve the captain & owner is a 5th generation local who knows all the secrets and special places of Akaroa Harbour. We run one 2hr Harbour Cruise per day, exclusively limited to 12 guests. Our boat is a 12.5-meter Rayglass Protector (an ex America’s Cup Chase boat & Coastguard Marine Rescue Vessel) It’s an exciting, fun, safe sea-going boat. We are 100% locally owned & operated. Highly recommended on tripadvisor.

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Akaroa Jet Adventures

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.

Summer Tour times:

Touring times are 1.30 pm 

Groups can be individually catered for with regards to times and pricing. Please contact us to discuss your requirements..

Prices: Only $79 per Adult and $49 for Children (13 years and under). 50 minute tours. 

Weather depending. Can take 18 persons.

Operates from Beach road shop. Book at Akaroa Jet on 61 Beach Rd.  

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Akaroa Museum

Following a programme of earthquake strengthening and repair, Akaroa Museum has created three new long term exhibitions about the history of Bank Peninsula: Ngā Taenga mai Arrivals, Land & Sea, and Tales of Banks Peninsula. These have been produced in collaboration with Ōnuku rūnanga and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Open:
The Museum is open 7 days a week. 10.30am until 4pm. Entrance is FREE. 

Open:
The Museum is open 7 days a week. 10.30am until 4.30 pm. Entrance is FREE. 

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Walking Tracks

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. The brochures are available to purchase at the Akaroa Adventure Centre 03 304 7784.

Visit Banks Peninsula Walks here to start planning! 

Private Track: 
Banks Track is a famous coastal private walking track. Sharing our backyard since 1989.
Choose between a 3 day classic walk and a 2 day hike. 

Public Walking Access:
Special thanks go to the landowners who allow the public on their land to enjoy these walks.
Please respect their private property and thank them if you meet them. 

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Akaroa Nature and History Akaroa

Marie Haley has extensive knowledge of the environment, nature and history of the area. An incredible storyteller who creates a deeper understanding and an emotional connection to Akaroa and New Zealand, Marie will leave you with inspiration and hope for the future.

Marie will take you to some of the nation’s most important historic sites and nature conservation projects and tell one comprehensive story that is easy to follow. Contact Marie directly on www.theseventhgeneration.org

Special:Private Family Tour

3 hours | 2 Adults + 2 Children ONLY $290 | Save $150 Extra Adults: $120, Children $25 | Departs Akaroa 10am or 1pm

Get to know your own country a little better. Find out all about your history as New Zealanders, brought to you by a direct descendant of the French settlers. Visit some of the most important historic sites such as Takapuneke, the site of the Brig Elizabeth Te Rauparaha massacre, Onuku Marae where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and Britomart Monument, the place of the British declaration of sovereignty. Experience the stories of the past in a new way, and leave with a new sense of hope and appreciation for New Zealand.

Book Tour

Akaroa French festival tour - with a french descendant!

3 Hour | Depart Akaroa 1pm - Friday 15th October | Adult $120, Child $80

The Akaroa French Festival is on again this October 15!
Make the most of your time in Akaroa by taking this unique tour to deepen your knowledge of Akaroa's incredible history.
ONE TOUR ONLY : 1pm Friday 15 October : BOOK NOW limited space!

Discover the scenic beauty, history, nature and culture of Akaroa in one complete comprehensive tour. Visit some of the most important historic sites such as Takapuneke, the site of the Brig Elizabeth Te Rauparaha massacre, Onuku Marae where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed and Britomart Monument, the place of the British declaration of sovereignty. Experience fascinating natural sites like the Heritage Park that provides stunning views over Akaroa, the Wildside Project, a community-driven collaboration for predator control and the protection of native species, and the internationally renowned Hinewai Reserve. You will see, learn and experience the stories of our past, and leave with a sense of hope and inspiration for the future.

To view all Seventh Generation tour options click here.

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Alpaca Farm Tour Akaroa

 Alpaca Farm Tour Akaroa

 Full of attitude, seriously cute and very, very photogenic – come and meet our friendly award winning alpacas.

Just one hour from Christchurch, you’ll find Shamarra Alpaca Farm on the beautiful Banks Peninsula across the harbour from Akaroa.

With over 170 grazing alpacas you are guaranteed to make some furry friends while enjoying spectacular sea views. Tour our farm and visit our shop, exclusively stocking our luxurious New Zealand-made Shamarra alpaca knitwear.

Your Alpaca Farm Tour
  • Your tour starts with a brief introduction to alpacas and their unique and quirky habits. You will be coming into close contact with your new found friends so we will also give a quick safety briefing with an alpaca in the barn.
  • An award winning alpaca fleece is on display and you get to feel the incredible cashmere like softness of superfine alpaca whilst learning about their amazing qualities.
  • We will then walk you through our alpaca herd where you can enjoy interacting with these gentle animals while they graze contentedly in their natural habitat.
  • Feed the mothers with their their young by their side. This provides some amazing close up alpaca contact and great photos.
  • Take advantage of the views across Akaroa harbour which are absolutely stunning and provide endless photo opportunities for lasting memories of your visit to our farm.

Tour duration: 1 hour

Tour times: 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm

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Summer Family Package $95 (2 adults/2 kids)
Family Alpaca Tour for 2 adults/2 children.  Our 1 hour tour is an interactive experience where we share our knowledge of these majestic animals, their unique fleece and their adorable personalities.  Visitors enjoy time in the paddocks with a group of friendly boys and also get to feed the mums with their cria (baby) nearby.  Endless photo opportunities and lots of alpaca cuddles.  At the end of the tour, a beverage and home baked biscuit are served in our Visitor Centre.  Included in our Summer Special is 25% discount in our farm shop on our exclusive range of Shamarra Alpaca knitwear.
Family Spring Special valid till March 31th 2021.
Please book through our website Click here  or Akaroa iSite.
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The Giants House

The GIANTS HOUSE. Sculpture, mosaic garden and Gallery. "The happiest garden on earth". Garden of International 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 world....it will make you smile. B&B accommodation is also available.

Summer Hours
Open 11:00am - 4:00pm everyday 

Winter Hours May 1st - September 30
Open 11:00am - 2:00pm everyday

Tour of the Garden. Rate:$20.00 per person, $10 per child (2-15 years). Family Concession:2 Adults + 1 Child $45, 2 Adults + 2 Children $50, 2 Adults + 3 Children $55, 2 Adults + 4 Children $60, Students (with ID) $17.50, Seniors (with NZ Gold Card ID) $17.50.

For larger groups ( pre booking for these is required)  Visit through the historic art house, introductory talk by the artist, visit of garden and gallery is $25.50 +gst pp

Cafe style lunch is available in Summer for groups up to 20 people

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