The hilly Banks Peninsula is the result of two massive and violent volcanic eruptions, creating a sea-filled crater surrounded by green hills and a number of little bays that radiate out from the circular shape of land. The Maori name Akaroa means 'long harbour' and the little French-influenced town of the same name is situated on the picturesque shores of the harbour, a long finger of water extending into the interior of the land. It is Canterbury's oldest village and its French character, due to the first European settlers, is evident in the street names, quaint historical architecture and French inspired cuisine. The pretty town is surrounded by attractive scenery; a volcanic landscape of fertile green hills scattered with woolly sheep and vineyards, and crisscrossed by walking trails and winding narrow roads. The calm waters of the harbour are perfect for water sports and boat cruises, with an opportunity to swim with dolphins.
Telephone: +64 (0)3 304 8600
Transport: Akaroa French Connection and Akaroa Shuttle leave daily from Christchurch