Learn about local history & help crew if you want. Step into this garden that looks like something out of a fairy tale. It’s a short drive to get there (the roads are winding though) and it’s a good place to add to your itinerary if you’re also keen to explore some of the other places above (it’s close to the Hinewai Reserve and the Otepatotu Scenic Reserve). There’s a lot to explore and there are some decent views in some areas. … You’ll notice the French influence straight away, especially the street names and the way some of the business are decorated. Another of the free things to do in Akaroa is a short hike to see Newtons Falls. I don’t think many of the buildings actually date back to the French settlement origins, but the atmosphere makes up for it. It’s great for a late afternoon stroll! Book Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise, Shore Excursion: Guided Sea Kayaking through Akaroa Marine Reserve + Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise with Dolphin Watching tours. This 3-hour return track takes you along the ridgeline overlooking Akaroa and other bays in the Banks Peninsula. The waterfall itself is pretty, if low-key, and the walk to get there takes you through the forest and is quite relaxing. Check Out the Akaroa Museum…. This lighthouse is unusually situated inside the harbour after lighthouse enthusiasts saved the structure from being demolished when it was no longer in use. Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? One of the popular things to do in Akaroa is to join an Akaroa Harbour 2-Hour Nature Cruise. Barrys Bay Cheese is a 12km drive from Akaroa along the main highway between Akaroa and Christchurch. 3. The walk is either a 3-hour loop, or another good option is to walk to The Rhino, taking about an hour, and return the same way. 15th Oct 2021 through to 17th Oct 2021. www.akaroafrenchfest.co.nz Hinewai Reserve. Akaroa Museum. However, when you’re staying a while in the “French Capital”, or you’re travelling on a low budget, you’re going to want to find some free and cheap things to do in Akaroa. Best Things to Do in Akaroa New Zealand See the Akaroa Dolphins – the World’s Smallest Dolphins The one thing that drew us to visiting Akaroa was to see the world’s smallest and rarestdolphins – the Hector’s Dolphins! A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. If you have time, take a harbour cruise to view dolphins, penguins and fur seals. The following activities are popular things to do around Akaroa. Near Airports. The best way to save money in Akaroa is to do a few hikes. Top Attractions in Akaroa. This is a relatively new hike as until recently the waterfall was located on private lands and was not accessible. We’ve also included some extra free and cheap activities in Akaroa giving you variety in things to do. In Akaroa, swim with dolphins for an experience many people only dream of. There’s a cafe on-site and an art gallery. The reserve holds around 12km of walking tracks, with the main feature being Stony Bay Peak. The church is accessible to the public and well worth checking out. Dolphin watching is easily one of the best things to do in Akaroa and is the main reason to visit outside of the old town. Otherwise known as the Children’s Bay Walkway, this walk and free thing to do in Akaroa is accessible from Akaroa town itself. The lighthouse is easy to spot from the town centre so simply walk toward it! Discover 2020's top Akaroa attractions. Whether you’re looking to get active in the great outdoors sample the cuisine of Akaroa or catch up with the vibrant local culture our guides to Akaroa attractions ensure that you’ll have a successful trip whatever the season. The Newton’s Waterfall is in the Misty Peaks Reserve down a 10-minute walking track. Here a few suggestions to get you started. There are a few other things to do in Akaroa, including galleries, kayaking and penguin spotting tours and the two popular places listed below. You will discover wildlife and gaze upon giant volcanic sea cliffs and hear about Akaroa’s fascinating past. 3. We have reviews of the best places to see in Akaroa. 2. Home / Things To Do In Akaroa – Dolphin Swim, Boat Trips & Nature Tours. By using this website you agree to our, Advertise your business on New Zealand's most popular travel guide, 5 Best Places to Swim with Dolphins in New Zealand, South Island in Two Weeks: New Zealand Road Trip Itinerary, 11 Things to Do in Westport on a Rainy Day, Where to Spend New Year’s Eve in New Zealand. 84 reviews. Only found in waters around the South Island of New Zealand, Akaroa Harbour boasts the highest population of the Hector's dolphins. Alternatively, walk from Akaroa (30-45 minutes one way). Dolphin & Whale Watching in Akaroa. Children’s Bay Walkway is one of the closer walks to downtown Akaroa and it features something a little out of the ordinary. Of course, hiking is the free option for things to do in Akaroa, and another fantastic hike is the Misty Peaks hike. You’ll turn off at Duvauchelle if you’re doing the Onawe Pa Walk, which is a few minutes drive from the hotel. Luckily, the town and the surrounding Banks Peninsula are full of them. Akaroa is most famous for its French influence, but there are heaps of other fun things to do in Akaroa. See 2 Experiences. Sightseeing Tours in Akaroa. Akaroa Lighthouse. (But once you’ve tried the baguettes at the French bakery, it’s easy to let things spiral out of control. The Hinewai Reserve is a 15-minute drive away from Akaroa. Spot Akaroa Harbour’s rare Hector’s dolphins on a catamaran wildlife cruise that includes fresh-baked cookies and a drink. Kayaking & Canoeing in Akaroa. I only did a short section of the track (and the view was awesome) but it’d be worth descending into the bush if you have the time. Top things to do in Akaroa 2020.11. Hotels near (CHC) Christchurch Intl Airport. Trust us!) The following two tabs change content below. There’s also a camping ground there which would be an awesome place to stay in the summer. The cruises also give you a good look at the scenery near Akaroa, and you might spot some seals and maybe a penguin. Other than that, there isn’t much else to specifically seek out, just wander the streets and enjoy the vibe! See Tripadvisor's 10,001 traveller reviews and photos of Akaroa free attractions Akaroa has a huge French influence, which means great food! It’s true, Akaroa is a small town packed with activities: dolphin swimming, sailing cruises, wildlife tours and more! Garden of Tane. Visit top-rated & must-see attractions. There’s also an old lighthouse to look at and there are some hotels which take advantage of the nice views. Exploring the Akaroa Harbour by kayak or stand up paddleboard is an affordable experience with one-hour hire being around NZ$20. The walk itself is straightforward (and there are some nice views of Akaroa from the top) but it’s the big animal statues that will catch your eye. attractioncategory.name.v3.57. © 2020 NZ Pocket Guide. Let me know if you’ve been and whether you recommend it for our readers! Sitting 800m high above the Banks Peninsula, it’s a great place to soak in the scenery. It’s also a short walk from town and is close to Newton’s Waterfall. I visited this place in winter, so it wasn’t really at its best, but it’d be a good place to visit in the warmer months. For those of you who love the great outdoors, look no further than the Hinewai Reserve! The road follows the ridge of the volcano and has great views. It’s one of the many free things to do in Akaroa! I saw a little group of giraffes on the way and there’s a big metallic rhino at the top. 2. Location: 8km inland from Akaroa along Long Bay Road. I haven’t been to this quirky little garden thing, but I’ve heard it’s worth checking out. A great vantage point of Akaroa (that’s also easy to get to) is from the Akaroa Lighthouse. Banks Peninsula native bush in it's natural state, all under the control … Hector's dolphins are common here -- they are known for being the smallest marine dolphins in the world. Boat Tours in Akaroa. Top Things to Do in Akaroa, Canterbury Region: See Tripadvisor's 9,986 traveller reviews and photos of 22 things to do when in Akaroa. Nestled in native bush, the Newton’s Waterfall makes a pretty picture opportunity. As well as the walks I’ve mentioned, there are heaps of little viewpoints on the roads above Akaroa. At NZ$20 per person, it’s definitely one of the more affordable things to do in Akaroa. One of the best things to do in Akaroa is also the easiest – exploring the old town on foot! 4. And last on our free things to do in Akaroa… Who doesn’t like a good waterfall? 1,241 reviews. There are several Banks Peninsula walks I would like to explore next time and add to my list of best day hikes in New Zealand. I listed some of the most popular ones below, but they aren’t the only ones. …. Better yet, a free thing to do in Akaroa?! 4. Location: Down the Aylmers Valley Road. Highly rated activities with free entry in Akaroa: The top things to do for free. Tours in Akaroa. Types of Things to Do in Akaroa Tours (29) Outdoor Activities (24) Boat Tours & Water Sports (16) Shopping (9) Sights & Landmarks (8) Nature & Parks (8) Food & Drink (5) Museums (3) Classes & Workshops (1) Fun & Games (1) Transportation (1) Traveller Resources (1) I haven’t been to all of them, but I hear the ones below are some of the best (as well as Hickory Bay and Flea Bay). 3 hour tour with historic narration, complementary fresh brewed coffee, tea, homemade hot chocolate and biscuits. Check out our two-week South Island itinerary! Things to Do in Akaroa, Canterbury Region: See Tripadvisor's 10 066 traveller reviews and photos of 23 Akaroa attractions. A trip out on the water is one of our favourite things to do in Akaroa and is a fantastic way to encounter the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin. (And some cheap stuff too). Escape to picturesque Akaroa and immerse yourself in French culture, entertainment and romance as we celebrate Banks Peninsula's unique history at the biennial Akaroa French Festival. Hike or Mountain bike to Misty Peaks. The Akaroa Head Scenic Reserve walk consists of a narrow road that can only be accessed by four-wheel-drive vehicles, but other than that, the 40-minute return loop is relatively simple. 1. Things to Do in Akaroa You’ll not be wanting for things to do in Akaroa. 10 Things to Do in Akaroa with Kids. There are great views from several points along the Onawe Pa Track and it’s an easy undertaking. Some are proper places (Akaroa Heritage Park) but some of the best views are when you pull over by the side of the road. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can. Explore the downtown area in search of museums and boutiques…or that next delicious meal. 5. Looking for things to do in Akaroa can be time-consuming but we can take the hassle out of planning your holiday. There’s a museum to check out (it doesn’t take too long to look around) and the old lighthouse down by the waterfront is nice too. Trip.com features the best things to do in Akaroa Christchurch, including travel-guide, attractions, restaurants, and cheap hotels. Find Rhinos and Other Surprises on the Children’s Bay Walkway. 3. Hiking the Kepler Track in 3 Days: Tips | What to Pack | What You’ll See, Iris Burn Hut to Rainbow Reach: Kepler Track Day 3, Luxmore Hut to Iris Burn Hut: Kepler Track Day 2, Te Anau to Luxmore Hut: Kepler Track Day 1, Hiking the Waipohatu Waterfall Track, The Catlins. For more Akaroa inspiration, see 10 Things We Love About Akaroa, as well as our complete guide to Akaroa. Board one of the wildlife cruises or sailing trips from Akaroa so the whole family can ... 2. For inspiration of what New Zealand food to look out for, see 11 Foods You Have to Try in New Zealand. They offer cheese tastings every day in their store and factory. Other Things to Do in Akaroa. Hinewai Reserve. Things to Do in Akaroa. By using this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and the terms of use within it. There’s a cave, a museum and a lovely stretch of beach at Okains Bay. The view from the car park is great, but it’s even better from the top of the track (it should take around an hour to walk there and back). 1. Of course, hiking is the free option for things to do in Akaroa, … Hiring a bike for this mountain bike trail can be hired for as little as NZ$35 for four hours from the adventure centre on the waterfront of Akaroa. The Giants House. Park in the Misty Peaks Reserve car park. There are several beaches and bays near Akaroa and it’s worth checking out one of two of them as you drive the scenic hilltop roads. Spend your time in port in Akaroa on a small-group shore excursion, sea kayaking around the harbor. Location: 5807 Christchurch Akaroa Road, Duvauchelle. Either walk, bike or drive through the forested road to Onuku where the settlement boats a large carved marae “meeting house” and small Maori church. Check out the coastline of the local harbour and you never know, you might even meet a dolphin or two! Location: Start from Children’s Bay or the boardwalk to Children’s Bay from the north side of Akaroa town waterfront. Find what to do today, this weekend, or in October. 5. All things to do in Akaroa. There are a few other things to do in Akaroa, including galleries, kayaking and penguin spotting tours and the two popular places listed below. Functional facts: Approximate population 700, information centre, restaurants, bank. Take the boardwalk at the north end of town to Children’s Bay where the Children’s Bay Walkway begins. Garden of Tane. See 2 Experiences. These are some of the most scenic coastal roads in New Zealand and there’s heaps to explore (stay tuned for my post about the drive from Christchurch to Akaroa for more info). Akaroa Museum. Top Things to Do in Akaroa, Canterbury Region: See Tripadvisor's 10,089 traveller reviews and photos of 32 things to do when in Akaroa. Be sure to visit the museum - it tells the story of Akaroa with displays and an audio visual presentation. Popular Akaroa Categories. Newton’s Waterfall is only a short walk or drive from town and is quite different to other walks in Akaroa. The Akaroa Lighthouse is a fantastic picture opportunity itself while being situated at a great viewpoint. On the subject of food, don’t miss Barry Bays Cheese. Sail with dophins, see wildlife. There are lots of walks in and around Akaroa and most of them are fairly short and easy. This hike takes about an hour round trip and takes you to see a waterfall. Bask in the scenery of remote bays and inlets, and catch a glimpse of local marine life, including penguins, orcas, and endangered Hector’s dolphins. 1,239 reviews. I visited this place in winter, so it wasn’t really at its best, but it’d be a good place to visit in the warmer months. Contact – Disclaimer, Welcome/Kia Ora! Akaroa harbour up close on New Zealand's oldest ketch Fox II. Depending on what you order, trying the tastes of Akaroa can be a pretty cheap experience. While the drive to Akaroa itself is great, there is heaps to see and do once you get there to make it more of a full day trip. Additionally, the fish and chips is also a must! Take a nature cruise. Book your tickets online for the top things to do in Akaroa, New Zealand on Tripadvisor: See 9,992 traveller reviews and photos of Akaroa tourist attractions. High on the hills above Akaroa, the Otepatotu Scenic Reserve is one of the best places to see this beautiful area in all its glory. Hinewai Reserve. Explore the remains of the sole French settlement in New Zealand on foot. The hills above town are home to heaps of walks and viewpoints and you’ll struggle to find a better dolphin watching experience anywhere in else in New Zealand. There are some great cafes and restaurants in Akaroa, as well as really good French deli. There are plenty of places to sit and there’s a path running a long much of it. With 2 wooden masts and 6 sails there is always a halyard to hoist or a sheet to be pulled. 4. The Giants House. Akaroa. The easiest and nicest thing to do in Akaroa is to take the Summit Road. You’ll find your typical French food options but there are plenty of cafes and restaurants that don’t lean into that side of things. Plan visits to Dolphin & Whale Watching, Kayaking & Canoeing + Boat Tours & Water Sports. Check out the details of this walk and others in Akaroa with our Akaroa – Guide for Backpackers. Duvauchelle is a tiny town on the way to Akaroa featuring an old hotel and some colourful boat sheds. Akaroa Lighthouse. Le Bons Bay is pretty similar to Okains Bay (not sure you need to visit both) but a little quieter. This small peninsula / pa (fortified settlement) is a short drive from Akaroa (it’s just before Akaroa on the main road from Christchurch) and there’s an easy walking track which takes you to the end. Welcome/Kia Ora! We can help you there with this list of free things to do in Akaroa! Walk alongside farmland and forest to a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the Akaroa Harbour. Summit Road – Banks Peninsula. We’ve listed the highlights in the list below. The waterfront area in Akaroa is a good place to be on a nice day. If your kids can handle a bit of uphill hiking, they’ll love the animals! These These are the only dolphins endemic to New Zealand and are a must for any New Zealand Bucket List! For a dose of Maori culture, visit the small settlement of Onuku, just 6km south of Akaroa. The city and its French … The Giants House is a creation of a local artist where the garden is decorated with mosaic art, water features and more. Look out for animal sculptures along the way! If you’re looking for a compact tourist town full of historic sights, awesome short walks and waters teeming with dolphins, you’ll want to add Akaroa to your New Zealand itinerary. 1. Dolphin watching trips depart almost every day and you have a great chance of seeing dolphins (we saw a dozen or so on our trip). Things to See at Akaroa. See Dolphins, Penguins, Seals and More on a Wildlife Cruise. French bakeries, creperies, cafes and more can be experienced in Akaroa. Just over an hours drive from Christchurch, Banks Peninsula is the South Island’s most interesting volcanic feature, formed following the violent eruptions of two volcanoes resulting in the picturesque harbours of Akaroa and Lyttleton.