Akaroa has an otherworldly character – a French colonial village nestling in a picturesque harbour in a remote corner of the Pacific.

This charming seaside settlement is found in French Bay on Banks Peninsula, some 80 km from Christchurch. It was here that a disparate group of French and German settlers successfully founded the only French colony in New Zealand.

AkaroaToday the town is a popular holiday destination with a relaxed atmosphere and a pervasive sense of history. The descendents of the first settlers still reside here and the Akaroa Trust strives to preserve the character of this boutique-style colonial village – New Zealand‘s ‘Little France’. The result is an endearing bouquet of ‘cuisine Francais’, quaint cottages on the promenade, and streets named Rue Lavaud and Rue Jolie.

It is fun to take a leisurely stroll among the art galleries and craft shops along the waterfront. On the Historic Village Walk you will find the old colonial buildings, churches and lighthouse. The Old French Cemetery is off Rue Pompallier. AkaroaThe Akaroa Museum has an audio-visual of the town’s remarkable history and some fascinating early photos of the settlers. Nearby are the tiny Customs House and the Langlois-Eteveneaux Cottage, one of New Zealand’s oldest houses. Climb L’Aube Hill in the evening to enjoy the harbour vista and sunsets.

A special delight for the traveller is savouring the sights, sounds and smells among the fashionable bistros, brasseries, cafès and restaurants. The blend of French cuisine and local specialities adds piquancy and flavour to your Akaroa dining experience.

AkaroaThe town provides access to the popular four day Banks Peninsula Track. This tramping route over private farmland enables you to enjoy some dramatic coastal scenery and Kiwi hospitality.

Daily harbour cruises give you a unique opportunity to see the rare Hector’s dolphins, little blue penguins and New Zealand fur seals. Trips to the local marine reserve also allow you to come face to face with yellow-eyed penguins.

Akaroa is an intriguing blend of French flair and Kiwi life and will provide you with memories to cherish.