Cruises to Akaroa
the port of call for Christchurch
With its very French clapboard buildings and Gallic street names, Akaroa - the gateway to Christchurch - always comes as a surprise to travellers who are used to a very British or Maori New Zealand.
During the 1800’s the waters around Akaroa were popular with whalers. In 1838 French whaling captain, Jean Francois L’Anglois thought that it would be a good idea to establish a settlement to service the whaling ships. He contacted local Maori leaders, paid for the rights to the entire Banks Peninsula and went back to France to assemble a group of 63 colonists. The English beat him to it, signing the Treaty of Waitangi and declaring sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand in 1840. Nonetheless, permission was given for the French settlers to land with the provision that they would not attempt to change the controlling power of the islands. Other immigrants from France and Germany followed throughout the decade. Today, much of Akaroa’s Gallic character and picturesque architecture dates from these hardy pioneers.
At A Glance
567 (2006 census)
English and Te Reo Maori
New Zealand Dollar
Akaroa Shore Tours
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.
International Antarctic Center & Canterbury Boutique Winery
What To See
Enjoy water-based pursuits
Akaroa is home to the world’s rarest dolphins, the Hector’s dolphin, which you are able to swim with. There are also fur seals, little blue penguins and a myriad of bird life. You can experience these incredible marine attractions on the Akaroa Harbour Swim with the Dolphins Shore Tour and the Akaroa Habour Nature Cruise.
Take a look around town
Those who enjoy walking will find charming lanes, colonial architecture, cottage rose gardens and stunning views. Boutique art and craft shops show off superb local works including crafts and jewellery. Make sure you sample the local French cuisine and seafood.
Go for a bush walk
There are some beautiful hiking tracks surrounding the village, suitable for all fitness levels. Hiking maps are available at the Akaroa Visitor Centre in the middle of town.
Your ship will anchor offshore and tender boats will transfer you ashore to Main Wharf.
A limited number of taxis are available at the pier. Taxi drivers will only accept local currency.
When in New Zealand you must try local seafood, lamb, kiwifruit and famous hokey pokey ice cream. There are also numerous local award winning wines and beers. Akaroa is most famous for its French pastries and delicacies. Don’t leave without sampling some of them!
Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products and sandwiches to be taken off the ship however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
Akaroa’s best shopping is located along the main street, just a two minute walk from the end of the pier. Popular buys include wool and sheepskin items, Maori and greenstone artifacts and paua shell jewellery.
Akaroa’s average summer temperature ranges from 16-22 degrees. Its average winter temperature ranges from 2-13 degrees.
Major credit cards and charge cards are widely accepted. Automatic teller machines can provide currency to foreign card holders.
Some public telephones and internet access are available throughout the town. Mobile coverage is generally available as long as global roaming is selected prior to leaving home.
WHAT TO WEAR ASHORE
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing and a hat. You are also advised to bring sunscreen, bottled water and a warm, waterproof jacket in case it gets windy or starts to rain.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Akaroa. Tours can be booked onboard at the shore tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each shore tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Please dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.