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akaroa 1 akaroa waterfront akaroa dolphins

Akaroa-Christchurch

Now the port of call for Christchurch

The small enchanting settlement of Akaroa is a 90 minute drive from Christchurch and is now the port of call since the 2010/11 earthquake, replacing Lyttelton. Please note that tour places are very limited so you should book your activity as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Akaroa Road views on the way to Christchurch

AKA-1  |  Christchurch Highlights  |  6.00 hrs  |  

NZ $115.00

Make the most of your time in Akaroa on our "Christchurch Highlights" small group (15 persons or less) tour. Be guided to see the stunning sights of Akaroa, Banks Peninsula and Christchurch city, plus we have time for one of Chris ....

instant booking

akaroa waterfront

AKA-7  |  Akaroa Local Sights  |  2.00 hrs  |  

NZ $45.00

Enjoy a luxury coach tour of the panoramic Akaroa Harbour and local bays, steeped in history. Try the award-winning cheese at Barry's Bay Cheese Factory. Then up to the Historic Hill Top Tavern with time for some refreshments as w ....

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Akaroa views

AKA-12  |  4WD 2 hour Scenic Nature Tour  |  2.00 hrs  |  

NZ $71.50

Come with us as we monitor penguin nesting boxes and learn of the conservation work we do in the largest colony of little penguins on mainland New Zealand. This tour is a shorter version of our 4 hour tour

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Sea cliffs in Akaroa Harbour

AKA-11  |  Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise  |  2.00 hrs  |  

NZ $79.00

Cruise aboard our modern 60 ft catamaran, the largest and most luxurious on the harbour, perfect for viewing the natural wonders of the stunning Akaroa Harbour. See the Hector's Dolphin, as well as penguins and many other sea bird ....

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Akaroa Dolphin Watch Cruise in New Zealand

AKA-10  |  Dolphin Watching with AKA-9  |  3.00 hrs  |  

NZ $89.00

If you are not able or keen to swim in the ocean then you can still experience the beauty of nature on our Dolphin Cruise to see the world's smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector's Dolphin, protected by a marine mammal sanctuar ....

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Pohatu Penguins 1

AKA-6  |  4WD Scenic Nature Tours  |  4.00 hrs  |  

NZ $99.00

Pohatu is the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Learn how owners Francis and Shireen Helps have worked over the last two decades to protect these White-flippered Penguins, Canterbury's own variant ....

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Kayak Adventure on the Banks Peninsula

AKA-8  |  4WD Sea Kayaking Safari  |  4.00 hrs  |  

NZ $99.00

Our adventure begins with a journey along 4WD tracks to the Pohatu Marine Reserve and our Kayaks. We will paddle to the outer coast of the Reserve to spectacular towering sea cliffs, sculpted by the sea into rock stacks, reefs, an ....

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Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Kea Bird

AKA-5  |  Willowbank Wildlife and City Tour  |  6.00 hrs  |  

NZ $140.00

A scenic drive around the Banks Peninsula brings us to Christchurch for a short city tour, then to the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, situated on the outskirts of the city. Here you will be able to see native New Zealand wildlife an ....

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Akaroa Harbour on Christchurch Shore Excursion

AKA-3  |  Christchurch and Antarctic Centre  |  6.00 hrs  |  

NZ $145.00

A scenic 90-minute drive from Akaroa by coach takes us into the heart of Christchurch, past Lake Ellesmere and through the farming district of the Canterbury Plains. A short break at the Botanic Gardens to look around and then to ....

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Sheep Dog

AKA-13  |  Christchurch Sights with Sheep Farm Tour  |  6.00 hrs  |  

NZ $150.00

Visit a working New Zealand sheep farm and combine it with a chance to see the ever-changing city of Christchurch. Get up close and personal with our woolly friends and enjoy a sheepdog demonstration.

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Underwater shot on our Dolphin Swim Cruise in Akaroa Harbour

AKA-9  |  Akaroa Swim with Dolphins  |  3.00 hrs  |  

NZ $160.00

A once in a lifetime experience on the ultimate dolphin encounter by swimming with the world's smallest and rarest dolphins, the Hector's Dolphin. They are protected by a marine mammal sanctuary and our cruise gives you the chance ....

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Jetboating1

AKA-14  |  Christchurch Sights with Jetboat Thrills  |  6.00 hrs  |  

NZ $165.00

See the highlights of Christchurch city, then take a 30 minute blast on one of Canterbury's snowfed braided rivers. An adrenalin-filled experience not to be missed.

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15 seat Ford Transit Minibus

AKA-S100  |  15 passenger minibus Akaroa  |  from 6.00 hrs - 15 persons -

from NZ $1,250.00

Book one of our comfortable 15 passenger minibuses driven by our experienced guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time. We can a ....

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Mercedes E Class Sedan

AKA-S12  |  Luxury 3 seater sedan private tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 3 persons -

from NZ $875.00

Book our luxury 3 seater Mercedes E-Class sedan driven by on of our experienced Guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

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Audi Q7

AKA-S2  |  Luxury 4 seater SUV private tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 4 persons -

from NZ $875.00

Book one of our luxury 4 passenger Audi Q7's driven by our experienced Guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

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Mercedes V Class LWB

AKA-S13  |  Luxury Mercedes 6 seater private tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 6 persons -

from NZ $960.00

Book our luxury 6 seater Mercedes V-Class LWB mini van driven by our experienced Guide. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

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VW Caravelle 6 seater minibus

AKA-S1  |  VW Caravelle 6 seater private tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 6 persons -

from NZ $915.00

Book our comfortable VW Caravelle 6 passenger minivan driven by one of our experienced Guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time ....

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VW Crafter 11 seater luxury minibus

AKA-S3  |  Luxury 11 seater private tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 11 persons -

from NZ $985.00

Book one of our comfortable 11 passenger luxury minibuses, driven by our experienced Guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

enquire for availability

Private Car Tour in Akaroa New Zealand for Cruise Ship Excursions

AKA-S5  |  Private Car Day Tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 3 persons -

from NZ $745.00

Book one of our comfortable 3 passenger cars driven by our experienced guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

enquire for availability

9 seater minibus

AKA-S6  |  Minibus Day Tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 8 persons -

from NZ $875.00

Book one of our comfortable 9 passenger minibuses driven by our experienced guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

enquire for availability

16 seater mini coach

AKA-S7  |  Minicoach Day Tour  |  from 4.00 hrs - 16 persons -

from NZ $1,275.00

Book one of our comfortable 16 passenger mini coaches driven by our experienced guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

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Volkswagen Caddy

AKA-S8  |  Mobility Vehicle 4 seats and 1 wheelchair  |  from 4.00 hrs - 5 persons -

from NZ $640.00

Our specially adapted tour minibus can take one wheelchair user and up to 4 additional passengers. The experienced driver/guide will make sure you travel in comfort and safety and see and do whatever you want.

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Mobility vehicles for private tours in Akaroa

AKA-S9  |  Mobility Vehicle up to 10 passengers  |  from 4.00 hrs - 10 persons -

from NZ $880.00

Specially adapted tour minibuses can take up to four wheelchairs and up to six additional passengers. The experienced driver/guide and additional care assistant will make sure you travel in comfort and safety and see and do whatev ....

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14 seat private minibus tour vehicle in Akaroa

AKA-S10  |  Private 14 passenger Minibus  |  from 4.00 hrs - 14 persons -

from NZ $880.00

Book your own experienced driver/guide and our 14 passenger minibus and we will make sure you travel in comfort and safety and see and do whatever you want.

enquire for availability

21 seater mini coach

AKA-S11  |  21 seater mini coach  |  from 6.00 hrs - 21 persons -

from NZ $2,070.00

Book one of our comfortable 21 passenger mini coaches driven by our experienced guides. They will discuss the options with you on the day and make sure you see and do what you want, getting you back to the ship in good time.

enquire for availability
Akaroa Road views on the way to Christchurch

AKA-G1  |  Christchurch Highlights Group Tour  |  6.00 hrs

Make the most of your time in Akaroa on our "Christchurch Highlights" group tour. See the stunning sights of Akaroa, Banks Peninsula and Christchurch city, plus you may to try the City Tram, Punting or the Botanic Gardens.

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Punting on the River Avon in Christchurch NZ Shore Excursion

AKA-G2  |  Christchurch Highlights and Punting Group Tour  |  6.00 hrs

Make the most of your time in Akaroa on our "Christchurch Highlights" group tour. See the stunning sights of Akaroa, Banks Peninsula and Christchurch city, plus we have time for one of Christchurch's famous activities - Punting on ....

enquire for availability

Waimak jetboat

AKA-G7  |  Alpine Jetboat with City Sights  |  8.00 hrs

Take a 1 hour adrenaline filled jetboat ride through the stunning Southern Alps. Afterwards, visit Christchurch city - and witness a city rebuilding before your eyes.

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Manderley Sheep Farm Tour in Akaroa for Cruise Ship Shore Excursions

AKA-G8  |  Christchurch and Sheep Farming Group Tour  |  7.50 hrs

A scenic drive around the Banks Peninsula to a working sheep farm begins our tour, then onto the City of Christchurch to see many of the remaining landmarks of this earthquake ravaged city, including the Botanic Gardens, Canterbur ....

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Arthur's Pass Station

AKA-G12  |  Trans Alpine Rail Tour  |  8.00 hrs

For those ships whose time in port allows, our 8 hour program lets you ride the Trans Alpine Train back from Arthur's Pass in the afternoon, after a morning of sightseeing in Christchurch on the way.

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Akaroa is an enchanting small settlement just 90 minutes drive from Christchurch, which it replaces as the port of call for most ships due to the recent earthquake. The town is steeped in history and was the location of the first French settlement on New Zealand soil and still promotes its French charm today.

Akaroa Harbour lies within the crater of a long extinct volcano and is a great place to embark on a short cruise to see marine wildlife that thrives in these sheltered waters, or join one of our tours to the city of Christchurch, as it starts its mammoth job of rebuilding after the recent earthquake.

Set on a beautiful, sheltered harbour and overlooked by craggy volcanic hills, Akaroa is a popular resort village and in summer the temporary population can reach 15,000. Many Hector's Dolphins may be found within Akaroa harbour, and 'swim with the dolphins' boat tours are a major tourist attraction.

In 1830 the Maori settlement at Takapuneke, just east of the current village of Akaroa, became the scene of a notorious incident. The Captain of the British brig Elizabeth, John Stewart, helped North Island Ngāti Toa chief, Te Rauparaha, to capture the local Ngai Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui, his wife Te Whe and his young daughter, Roi Mata. The settlement of Takapuneke was sacked. Concern over the complicity of John Stewart, amongst other lawlessness among Europeans in New Zealand, led to the appointment of an official British Resident James Busby to New Zealand in 1832 - the first step in the British involvement that led to the Treaty of Waitangi. In 1832 Te Rauparaha, fresh from his successful three-month siege of Kaiapoi, took the pa on the Onawe Peninsula at the head of Akaroa Harbour.

In 1838 Captain Jean Francois Langlois made a provisional purchase of land in "the greater Banks Peninsula" from Tuaanau. A deposit of commodities in the value of 6 pounds was paid and a further 234 pounds worth of commodities was to be paid at a later period. On his return to France, he advertised for settlers to come to New Zealand and ceded his interest in the land to the Nanto-Bordelaise Company, of which he became a part owner. On 9 March 1840, 63 emigrants left from Rochefort. The settlers embarked on the "Comte de Paris" - an old man-of-war ship given to them by the French government - for New Zealand. The "Comte de Paris" and its companion ship the "Aube" captained by Commodore Charles Francois Lavaud arrived in the Bay of Islands in the North Island on 11 July 1840, where they discovered that the Banks Peninsula had been claimed by the British. The French arrived in Akaroa on 18 August and established a settlement.

The area still has a French influence, reflected in many local placenames. Before 1840, the area of the current Akaroa village was also known as Wangaloa, and the subsequent French settlement was known as Port Louis-Philippe, named after the French king of the time.

After constantly refusing to recognise New Zealand as a British colony the Crown issued an Imperial Proclamation on 15 June 1839, which cited New Zealand as part of the British Realm. After being informed of the French intent to colonise Akaroa and use further as a whaling port, the English ship the "Britomart" was despatched in order to proclaim sovereignty for the Crown. The "Britomart" arrived in Akaroa on 16 August (although the captains' log shows this arrival date as the 11th of August in 1840), Captain Stanley raised the British flag and held a court at each of the occupied settlements.

James Robinson Clough, also known as Jimmy Robinson, had arrived at Akaroa several years before. He acted as interpreter for Captain Owen Stanley at the flag-raising of 1840, and was the first Pakeha to travel up the river Avon in 1843. Mr Robinson Clough's descendants are still prominent on the Peninsula today. The following English emigrants settled in both Akaroa and German Bay (Takamatua) along with many German farmers who set up dairy, sheep and cocksfoot farms.

    Is there a bus service to Christchurch from Akaroa that we can use?

Not one suitable for cruise ship schedules, though there are some tours you can book that will get you to and from the city, which is a good 90 minute drive each way.

    Is it far to walk into town when we get of the ships tenders?

No, the tender embarkation point is right in the centre of town. There are nice walks to the outer areas along the waterfront and also up into the hills.

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Latest News

Have just added our new "Highlights" tour for Akaroa/Christchurch, these great value small group tours [no more than 15 persons] allows for a much more personal tour experience and lets you see and do more than the large coach tours.

We have recently added the Dolphin Swim and Dolphin Cruise options here in Akaroa, codes AKA-9 and AKA-10, really great trips out into the harbour on these small but stable craft to interact with one of the worlds rarest creatures,

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