Adventures await on land or on the water as our local tours share the abundant wildlife, breathtaking scenery and conservation programmes that make this area so unique.

Akaroa Dolphins | Harbour Nature Cruises

Akaroa Dolphins | Harbour Nature Cruises

Step into a world of wonder and adventure with Akaroa Dolphins the 100% locally-owned and operated family business. Embark on a luxurious 2-hour cruise around Akaroa Harbour and be swept away by the beauty of New Zealand's natural scenery. Meet the world's smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins, the Hector's dolphins, and watch in awe as they swim alongside the boat. Located in a prime habitat, our tours offer a high success rate for sightings of Hector's dolphins, White-flippered penguins, and New Zealand fur seals. With our commitment to conservation, we do not swim with the dolphins. From our friendly check-in team to our expert skippers and knowledgeable onboard guides,you will feel welcomed and comfortable every step of the way. And let's not forget our amazing dolphin-spotting dogs, equipped with life vests and a keen ear, who will make your encounter even more memorable.

Visit, call +64 3 304 7866 or email us at to secure your spot.



Our ticketing office is open daily to help you plan your adventure. During the summer, we're here to assist you from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and during the winter, our hours are from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. If you need help outside of these hours, our friendly team will still be answering phone calls to assist you.

Akaroa Dolphins - A little bit about us

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Fox II Sailing and Wildlife Cruise

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               

$120 per adult, $55 for child and $320 for a family of 2 adults and up to 3 children. Seniors get a $10 discount and under 5 are free.
Departing Daly's 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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Pōhatu Penguin Tours & Sea Kayaking

Pōhatu Penguin Tours & Sea Kayaking

Pōhatu Penguins is a family- owned and operated eco- tourism business with 30+ years history of advocating and helping to fund the protection of Kororā (Little Penguin) on the family farm in Pōhatu/Flea Bay. Our guides are all conservationists, friends and family - with years of working in penguin conservation, a passion for sharing their stories and a wealth of local knowledge passed down several generations.

When the Helps family 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 family has stabilized the Pōhatu colony and it grew for many years to become the largest of its kind on mainland New Zealand!

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 and have recently received the New Zealand Order of Merit in recognition of their work.

Their efforts continue to be funded via Pōhatu Penguins’ tours so when purchasing a tour, you have a positive input on our little Kororā.

Small group tours run from Akaroa over one of the most scenic back country roads by 4WD van to Pōhatu/ Flea Bay and Pōhatu 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 1500 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 Pōhatu’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 Pōhatu Penguins while still having time to explore our historic town.

Depart at 1.30pm

24-hour Pōhatu package:

Enjoy all of what Pōhatu 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 Pōhatu bay and join our sea-kayaking safari in the afternoon to encounter Pōhatu marine reserve wildlife.

Depart at 8am

Watch this awesome video to check out a Pōhatu Penguin tour:

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Associations we belong too 

DOC Approved label 180     Outdoors Mark    Qualmark Gold Award Tiaki New ZealandLogo3  SMART  Sustainability tourism

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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 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's Eastern Bays Scenic Mail Run

*Gift vouchers available

*School holidays special - 1 child travels for free per paying adult

*We offer a Banks Peninsula locals rate

To arrange these please email Jeff & Suzi directly:

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 old BNZ Bank in central Akaroa at 9am, and arrives back at approximately 2pm. 

Tours operate all year round. $95 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: 

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Akaroa Stargazing

Akaroa Stargazing offers expert-guided celestial adventures in stunning Akaroa. Your window to the Southern skies. We invite you to explore the cosmos, witness breathtaking constellations, and create cherished memories under New Zealand's starry canopy. Discover the universe's wonders with us and experience the magic of the night sky.

To learn more and book with us:

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Canterbury Trails

Akaroa Day Tour with Harbour Cruise and Lunch 

Get  15% discount on advertised rate
Tours include all transfers in our luxury vehicle from your City Hotel/Homestay, crater rim scenic drive, local knowledgeable guide, picnic style morning or afternoon tea, lots of stops for short walks and photos, Harbour Cruise and lunch at an award winning harbour side Café.
Depart Christchurch at 8.30am- arrive back to Christchurch approximately 5.45pm
Daily till 31th March 2021 except Christmas Day 
Please email us on to book this with code AK01

Specialising in small group guided tours for over 19 years Canterbury Trails offers a day trip to Akaroa from Christchurch 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.

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The Bonjour Akaroa tour

Experience the Banks Peninsula on a local tour around the inner coast of Akaroa Harbour extinct volcano, stopping along the way at magical view points and visiting our local award-winning boutique producers in New Zealand’s only French settlement.

3 stops with wine, olive, gin tastings and seasonal local produce platters.


The Bonjour Wine Tour

Tour length: 1.30pm to 4pm
Depart from: Akaroa main wharf or Wildside booking office at Unit 2, 8 Rue Balguerie (just behind the BNZ bank)
Price: $125 per person (minimum 4) - All inclusive

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Shamarra Alpaca Farm Tour Akaroa


Memorable moments surrounded by quirky critters with a tonne of love to give.

If you’ve ever dreamed of escaping to a place of warm hugs and postcard-perfect surroundings, welcome.

A Shamarra Alpacas Farm Tour is an unparalleled opportunity to get up close and personal with alpacas, learn about this loving animal, and create some memories with friends and family in a stunning location.

You’ll find your new furry friends here in a beautiful harbour on the slopes of an extinct volcano and overlooked by craggy volcanic hills. Shamarra Alpacas is just over an hour’s drive (73km) from Christchurch Central, and only a 20 minute trip from the historic seaside village of Akaroa, which is worth visiting for its culture and architecture alone. Our panoramic views of Akaroa harbour and the rolling hills and peaks of the surrounding valleys are breath-taking, and will make every one of your selfies with an alpaca post-worthy.

We are open year round, with the scenery changing beautifully through each season and the alpacas staying cute throughout.

Tour duration: 1 Hour (approximately)

Tour times: 11am, 1pm and 4pm

Tour Days: 7 days per week (closed on Christmas Day)

Tour Prices: $55 per adult / $30 per child (aged 4-15) / NZ SuperGold $50 / Family Pass (2 adults & 2 children) $155

Bookings essential

Click here too book your tour!

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Deal - Family Pass 

The perfect family fun day out for cuddles, scenery and memories made.

Our Family Deal is only $125 for 2 adults and 2 children, essentially a free child ticket!

Family deal valid to Aug 31st.

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Akaroa Nature and History Akaroa

Akaroa has FIVE of the most important historic sites in New Zealand, with a "narrative more important than Waitangi". 

You will not find these sites in any guide book, nor on any other tour. The only way to understand these incredible stories is to travel with a seventh generation local, Marie Haley. 

Marie is the #1 expert local guide, historian, ecologist and natural born storyteller. 

The Seventh Generation Reviews are all 5⭐️ : "World Class Tour", "Best Tour Ever, Anywhere", “Best Tour of Our Entire Trip”. “Remarkable”….

Incredibly Insightful Tour

“We had an incredible tour with Marie. She was very knowledgeable of Akaroa and Maori history and she provided unique insights to the land that you can't get on any other tour. I can't recommend this highly enough, this tour is a must-do in Akaroa!!!”

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Schools, Universities and Groups Tour

Flexible Duration | 25% OFF Group Bookings PROMO: LEARN25

Group tours uncover New Zealand’s history, nature and unique ecology. We can tailor trips to your needs and fit the NZ School Curriculum. Learn about some of the most important historical events by visiting and learning about the Brig Elizabeth Te Rauparaha massacre, Onuku Marae, Treaty of Waitangi, and Britomart Monument. Learn first-hand from a French descendant about the race-for-Akaroa and learn about the nature conservation projects and inspiring future of hope that Banks Peninsula has, directly from a conservation ecologist with decades of experience. Learn about the history and nature of New Zealand in an engaging way, so that you leave with more knowledge, a deeper sense and understanding of New Zealand and hope for the future.

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To view all Seventh Generation tour options click here.

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