Historical experiences

A rich tapestry of French and Māori culture, Akaroa is a place like no other. Explore one of New Zealand’s first European settlements and how history has shaped Akaroa into the destination it is today.

To Read More about the History of Akaroa click Here

Akaroa Generator

The Akaroa Hydro Power Station was opened on the 9th of September 1911 in the purpose built building that still exists on Rue Pompallier, Akaroa. It had an output of thirty five kilowatts - fifty horsepower, and was supplied from a reservoir, also purpose built, behind and three hundred and fifteen feet above the station. Learn more about the history visit our website.

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Historic Buildings Database

Historic Buildings Database

The Akaroa Civic Trust has developed a database of all the historic buildings and sites in the Akaroa historic area. If you would like to find the location of the cottage that used to be in your family way back or find the name of the person that build your family bach, the database is a great place to start. The database is fully searchable from the Akaroa Civic Trust website.

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Okains Bay Maori & Colonial Museum

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.

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Vintage Car Tours

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 $70 NZ. (GST incl) for 2 people, additional passengers $15 each. (Australian and U.S. currency accepted.) Longer tours by arrangement. Jack now has a closed car as well, suitable in all weather.

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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.

Current exhibitions

J. H. Menzies: Design & Decoration

This exhibition discusses the architectural and furniture design of J. H. Menzies.

It features six pieces of his furniture, including the magnificent Stanford Family Pātaka Cabinet, a recent co-acquisition by Akaroa Museum and the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetū. 

Read More about the Stanford Family Pa'taka Cabinet

Facebook Page HERE.

Ngā Taenga mai  Arrivals focuses on a period of intense change from the 1830s to the 1850s and explores the simultaneous histories of whaling, the failed French colony, naval occupation, the arrival of Pākehā settlers, and the struggle by Ngāi Tahu to get a fair deal for their land.

Land & Sea is about the human relationship with the natural environment, and how settlers from both Polynesian and European origins made their living from the land and sea around Horomaka Banks Peninsula.

Tales of Banks Peninsula has local identity as its theme. Meet some of the heroes (and villains) that punctuate our history - Frank Worsley, Bully Hayes, Captain Bruce, Jessie Buckland and Pompey the Penguin.

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

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Akaroa Guided Walks

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 Linda to discuss a quote for group bookings.

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Akaroa Lighthouse Preservation Society

Akaroa Lighthouse Preservation Society

The Akaroa Lighthouse Preservation Society moved the lighthouse from the Akaroa heads to its present location on 2 August 1980. Today a roster of volunteers 'man' the light house to enable the public to visit and view this iconic historic Akaroa landmark. All funds raised are reinvested into maintaining the lighthouse for all to enjoy. Opening hours are 11am – 2pm both Sundays and cruise ship days. 10 minutes walk along water. $2.50 Adults, 50c Children to go up.

For more information on the Akaroa Lighthouse please phone Ben Hutchinson on 03 304 8008 or Kevin Templeton on 03 304 7508 or 027 4346971 or email ktempletonbuilder@xtra.co.nz

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