Something magic happens when you cross the Hilltop to Akaroa.
The beauty that unfolds before you and the intimacy of the landscape creates a sense of time and tranquility. Your eyes are irresistibly drawn to the Onawe Peninsula that stretches out in the harbour waters below. Take a moment to reflect that although it appears peaceful now, in 1832 Onawe was the scene of terrible bloodshed when it became a deadly trap to the local tribe fortified upon it.
The highway ends at Akaroa - the oldest colonial town in the South Island, and famed as New Zealand's sole French Settlement. Here history oozes from every corner and parts of the town are registered as an Historic Area in recognition of its remarkable collection of Historic buildings.
Akaroa is a place to unwind, to wander and soak up times past. Stay in a beautiful restored heritage building - there is something to suit every budget - and explore the village streets on foot. A charming cottage, a picturesque church or an intriguing artefact will delight you at every turn.