Make the most of your stay
Akaroa and it’s picturesque harbour present an incredible range of superb opportunities for embracing a host of adventures – from active and energetic through to more gentle.
Akaroa’s Amazing Marine Environment
Embark on an unforgettable jet boating experience with ‘Akaroa Jet Adventures’. Enjoy a fun few hours within the harbour where you can hire almost any small water craft –from canoe to paddle boat – from ‘Akaroa Kayak, Canoe and Boat Hire’.
Experience the thrill of deep sea fishing by booking a day or half day with ‘Akaroa Fishing Charters’. ‘Akaroa Fishing and Diving’ can take you to the best spots and offer you an amazing days fishing within or outside the incredibly beautiful harbour.
Swim with the dolphins or simply immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Akaroa harbour area by booking an excursion with ‘Akaroa Harbour Cruises’. This is the only place in N.Z where you can get up close and personal with the rare and endangered ‘Hectors Dolphin’.
Travel the Banks Peninsula Track – a 4 day ‘gourmet’ tramping trip with the most stunning scenery and the most unique of huts.
‘Onuku Heights’ is a horse lover’s mecca. They have a range of quarter horses and trekking routes to suit almost any traveller.
The Giant’s House is a historic home with terraced gardens displaying the most incredible sculptured mosaics. This is an absolute must for any visit to Akaroa.
Wander the timeless streets filled with historic buildings and the most magnificent gardens. It will truly take your breath away.
‘Tree Crop Farm’, within easy walking distance (20 mins) from Akaroa, is a small café and open garden that offers you the chance to enjoy a true wilderness setting and a matrix of intriguing walking tracks through bush close to the township.
Situated at the very head of the harbour and 15 minutes drive from Akaroa lies the Akaroa Golf Club. It is an 18 hole course with panoramic views of the harbour.
Takamatua – the last bay before Akaroa – hosts an intriguing and very recently setup smoked salmon business. Using only oak sawdust for the process and using recipes handed down over many years, this would indeed make a very delectable stop. Talk to Neil and Rebecca – they would be only too pleased to show you around and sell you some beautifully packaged salmon.
If food is your passion, take the time to be entertained with a whole raft of culinary ideas, menus and anecdotes from ‘Akaroa Cooking School’. Enjoy the fruits of their instruction with a laid on lunch to finish this gastronomic experience.
What the Outer Bays Offer
Every one of the outer bays of the peninsula has hidden treasures to explore, an eclectic mix of professional craftspeople to visit, and stunning scenery to feast your eyes upon. Each bay has it’s own special character. The difficult part is choosing what to leave out of your itinery.
The Okains Bay Museum houses an extensive collection of significant colonial artefacts and Maori treasures within a matrix of history filled buildings. It is one of the best kept secrets of Banks Peninsula, and with a café on the complex and an inviting, sandy beach to explore not more than 3 km away, this also is a ‘must’ to visit.
Le Bons Bay is the only other bay with a large sandy beach. Take a day off and a picnic hamper and explore this beautiful area.
Along the Summit Road, almost directly up from Akaroa, lies Hinewai Scenic Reserve. This is cared for by the infamous Hugh Wilson - a man revered the breadth of the country for his immense knowledge, innovative ideas and principled approach on the native flora and fauna of New Zealand and the Banks Peninsula area in particular. Wander the myriad tracks within this native bush haven and see first hand how forest protection and preservation can be (and is being) maintained on a local level.
The Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory – with a history of traditional cheese making since 1895 – will tempt you with a huge array of exquisite cheeses, all made on the premises, a viewing window to watch this age old process, tastings, and even a video on the topic. This is an award winning business that certainly deserves a visit.