History | Akaroa – New Zealand

Akaroa Chines


Akaroa is one of New Zealand’s first European settlements. With many fine examples of early architecture, including a part of the Akaroa Museum where displays and a short film help with understanding Akaroa’s past- Maori History, French Settement, British Sovereignty Akaroa is recognised as an exceptionally well preserved example of an early colonial village. Hugh Wilson the manager at Hinewai Reserve has documented much of the natural history of volcanic Banks Peninsula which is home to many rare and endangered species of flora and fauna. Murray Thacker at Okains Bay Museum has one of the finest collections of Maori artefacts anywhere in the world.


  • A tapestry of tales will unfold as you explore romantic Akaroa, the oldest and best preserved colonial town in the South Island, and its only French settlement. For groups we recommend a Historic walk with a guide in person - pre-booking is essential. Contact Suky to discuss a quote for group bookings. 



    Phone03 304 7733

  • The Akaroa Lighthouse Preservation Society moved the lighthouse from the Akaroa heads to its present location on 2 August 1980. Today a roster of volunteers 'man' the light house to enable the public to visit and view this iconic historic Akaroa landmark. All funds raised are reinvested into maintaining the lighthouse for all to enjoy. Opening hours are 11am – 2pm both Sundays and cruise ship days. 10 minutes walk along water. $2.50 Adults, 50c Children to go up. 




    Phone03 304 8008 or 03 304 7508

  • Visit the Museum at the heart of historic Okains Bay. Enjoy the relaxed environment as you learn about life on Banks Peninsula in former times. Significant taonga Maori and early European items are among the exciting range of treasures on display in the Museum’s diverse complex of heritage buildings. Gift shop, tea and coffee available. Just 2kms to beautiful Okains Beach. Hours 10am – 5pm daily. Open every day except Christmas Day.

    LocationMain Road, Okains Bay


    Phone03 304 8611