Activities

Bright with possibilities, Akaroa has an abundance of activities to fill your day.

Pohatu Penguin Tours & Sea Kayaking

Pohatu Penguins is a family-run business with a long-standing history of protecting the Korora (Little Penguin). The colony survival is accredited to Shireen and Francis Helps who have cared for the penguins for 30+ years.

When the Helps first began their conservation work the penguins faced massive challenges that threatened their very existence. These challenges included predation via introduced predators such as dogs, cats, ferrets and stoats, gill net fishing and other human disturbances. Colonies around Banks Peninsula declined at an alarming rate and most disappeared altogether. Through predator trapping, monitoring, rehabilitation and immense dedication the Helps have stabilized the Pohatu Colony - and it continues to grow! In addition to their penguin conservation work the Helps family have also, for many years, protected native forests and other endemic species. Their work helped found the award-winning Wildside Conservation Project.

To this day, the Helps family continue to be leaders in conservation.

Their efforts continue to be fully self-funded via Pohatu Penguins’ tours.

When purchasing a tour, clients have a positive input on our little Korora.

 

Small group tours run from Akaroa over one of the most scenic back country roads by 4WD van to Pohatu/ Flea Bay and Pohatu marine reserve, a beautiful sheltered bay out on the wild south eastern corner of Banks Peninsula and home to the largest Little Penguin Colony on mainland New Zealand with over 2000 penguins breeding there.

Many tour options to see and experience this thriving Little penguin colony include Evening penguin tour, Nature tours, Sea-kayaking safaris, Hiking or a 24 hour package with a night in the middle of the colony.

 

Evening penguin tour:

Observe penguins in the wild on this evening adventure. A wonderful option for people who wish to take part in our monitoring program and learn more, in depth, about our conservation efforts giving you great insight into the life of a penguin.

Departure time changes due to the sunset so please get in touch (guidelines: 3 pm in winter and 7pm in summer)

Sea-kayaking safari:

Observe penguins in the wild on this evening adventure. A wonderful option for people who wish to take part in our monitoring program and learn more, in depth, about our conservation efforts giving you great insight into the life of a penguin.

Depart at 8am and 12pm (from September to April and 11.15am from May to August)

4-hour scenic Nature safari:

Join a 4WD safari to the spectacular, award winning Wildside Conservation area. Learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program.

Depart at 12pm (from September to April and 11.15am from May to August)

2-hour nature tour:

Ideal for people on a day trip in Akaroa! This option gives you the chance to learn more about Pohatu Penguins while still having time to explore our historic town.

Depart at 1.30pm

24-hour Pohatu package:

Enjoy all of what Pohatu has to offer in this 24-hour package including accommodation.

Depart at 12pm (from September to April and 11.15am from May to August)

Hike and Kayak combo:

Looking for an active day? Join us for a full day of adventure combining a morning hike through endemic ancient forest down our private walking track to Pohatu bay and join our sea-kayaking safari in the afternoon to encounter Pohatu marine reserve wildlife.

Depart at 8am

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Associations we belong too 

DOC Approved label 180     Sustainability tourism   Logo3  SMART  Outdoors Mark

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Akaroa's Fox II

Sail with dophins, see wildlife. Akaroa harbour up close on New Zealand's oldest ketch Fox II. Learn about local history & help crew if you want. With 2 wooden masts and 6 sails there is always a halyard to hoist or a sheet to be pulled. 3 hour tour with historic narration, complementary fresh brewed coffee, tea, homemade hot chocolate and biscuits. The only boat in Akaroa with dolphin guarantee! You will see dolphins, penguins and seals (sometimes albatross), visit Cathedral Cave, see a waterfall and giant cliffs.

DOC Approved label 180               

Akaroa's best value at $90pp ($45 per child). Seniors get a $10 discount and under 5 are free.
Departing Dalys Wharf 10.30am and 1.30pm.

The only boat to offer real sailing in the Pacific Ocean, not just the inner harbour.

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Akaroa Dolphins | Harbour Nature Cruises

Akaroa Dolphins | Harbour Nature Cruises

Spring Deals 

$200 Family Pass.

NZ Spring 20% Discount.

 Our Family Pass is $200 for 2 adults and 2 children (aged 0-15 years), a saving of $84. Offer valid for cruises before 31st October 2020. To book this special deal, please call or email us today. *T&Cs apply. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

 Receive 20% off your booking today. To redeem this special deal, please call or email us today and quote SPRING. Offer valid for cruises before the 31st of October 2020. *T&Cs apply. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

Akaroa Dolphins is an award-winning tourist attraction in Akaroa, New Zealand. Join us on our luxury boat where you will enjoy a 2-hour cruise around Akaroa Harbour and meet the world's smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins, the Hector's dolphin, as well as New Zealand fur seals, White-flippered penguins and an array of seabirds, all while taking in the spectacular scenery. Over the past 12 months, we’ve had a 98% success rate with dolphin sightings. If you’re among the rare few who don’t see dolphins, you can cruise again with us for free. From our check-in team to our skippers and onboard guides, you’ll be greeted with smiles every step of the way. An integral part of the team is our expert dolphin spotting dogs. Equipped with dog life-vests and a keen ear, they’ll help make your dolphin encounter an unforgettable experience.

Akaroa Dolphins - A little bit about us

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Banks Track

The Banks Track pioneered hut to hut walking over private land in NZ and is still regarded as the finest private walking track in the country. Beginning in the village of Akaroa, the Banks Track includes spectacular volcanic coastline, waterfalls, native bush, open pasture, and delightful beaches. Renowned for its charming accommodation, the Banks Track is designed to provide a special and memorable experience for the intrepid explorer and holiday-maker alike. The same route can be covered in two or three days. Online booking is available.

Three day. 12 walkers per day. $330 per person inclusive of full pack cartage.
Two day.  4 hikers per day.  $195 per person
Check online availability for either package.
Season is October - April.

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Akaroa Winery

Akaroa Winery is a beautiful Mediterranean style venue, overlooking the stunning Akaroa inlet. Nestled in Takamatua Valley, the organic, family-owned vineyard is located on the north facing slopes of the lush hills of Banks Peninsula overlooking Takamatua Bay. We produce the highest quality grapes with every aspect of our growing and planting dedicated to the environment, using sustainable farming techniques. We believe that our fruit makes superior wines. We are focused on creating extraordinary age-worthy wines that express the unique characteristics of the fruit from Takamatua Valley. The rugged terrior of our vineyard produces wines with great intensity and finesse. Enjoy...

During Winter we are open by appointment - simply  phone 

Akaroa Winery, situated in Takamatua valley, overlooks the beautiful local harbour. Akaroa Winery is Akaroa's first and only certified Organic Vineyard and Winery Estate. Tour the vineyard and modern wine making facility. Taste some of the many wine vintages available while touring the amazing grounds and see the "dirt to bottle" experience first hand. Complimentary Shuttle Service available.

Open daily 11am to 4pm.
Private Tours and Tastings can be made by appointment.

Contact Allan for more information.

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Black Cat Swimming with Dolphins

Swimming with dolphins all year round! Akaroa Harbour is the only place on the entire planet where you can get up close and personal with NZ's playful and endemic Hector's dolphins. Depart on one of our safe and comfortable vessels with our knowledgeable and awesome crew! All year round an unforgettable adventure awaits you, where everything is provided for your ultimate swimming with dolphins experience. A separate price is available for dolphin spectating only. Everything is provided: wetsuits, hot showers and hot chocolate. Finalist in the Qualmark 100% Pure Experience Awards 2019.


Pre-booking is highly recommended. 


Join award-winning Black Cat Cruises, aboard our large comfortable catamaran. Discover and learn about the rare Hector's dolphins, seals, penguins and more. View stunning scenery, including the volcanic Cathedral Cave, relics of the area's past and a salmon farm. Complimentary tea & coffee on board and a postcard. Cruises depart daily from the main wharf. If you don’t see any dolphins, come again for FREE!

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ecoSeaker -Harbour Cruises

ecoSeaker -Harbour Cruises

Harbour Cruise 2:30pm

Do you have a sense for adventure?

Then join us on our Harbour Adventure Cruise - you will not be disappointed. The scenery and wildlife here are incredible. Steve the captain & owner is a 5th generation local who knows all the secrets and special places of Akaroa Harbour. We run one 2hr Harbour Cruise per day, exclusively limited to 12 guests. Our boat is a 12.5-meter Rayglass Protector (an ex America’s Cup Chase boat & Coastguard Marine Rescue Vessel) It’s an exciting, fun, safe sea-going boat. We are 100% locally owned & operated. Highly recommended on tripadvisor.

On our boat, you are part of the environment not removed from it.

While dolphins surf under the boat you can feel the spray from their blowhole!

DOLPHIN SWIMMING  10:30AM

Come and join us on one of our small, personal tours and experience the magic of swimming with the Hectors Dolphin in Akaroa New Zealand. They are the smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins in the world. Akaroa is the only place in the world you can experience them personally in their natural habitat. We are a small local family business, 100% locally owned & operated. We run one swim tour per day exclusively limited to 12 guests, offering a longer dolphin swimming tour to maximize your experience and your value for money with a 90.5% success rate. Wetsuits, masks & snorkels are provided, hot chocolate & biscuits. Akaroa’s #1 Dolphin Swim on tripadvisor. YOU FIND US WE FIND THEM. Department of Conservation Approved.

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Coast up Close Wildlife Adventures

Coast up Close Wildlife Adventures

SPECIALS for October

"to book", please call 021 228 8091 or email us"

* 6 or more adults 20% off regular price

     ----------------------------------------

* School Holiday Family Special* 

2 Adults and 2 Children only $170

Come see spectacular coastline and magnificent wildlife aboard our classic Kauri launch. 2.5 hour trips, personally guided by skipper/owner Tony Muir. "We will get you up close to Hectors dolphins, little blue penguins, NZ fur seals and amazing seabirds."

Boarding from far -end of Main Wharf, Akaroa at 10.15 and 1.45pm. Small groups on a spacious, dry and comfortable wooden launch. Private fishing & social charters are available. Summer cruises are $85 per adult. Children 3-15 years old $35.  under 3 year are free.

"Join us for the Best wildlife trip!"

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Black Cat Harbour Nature Cruises

Join award-winning Black Cat Cruises, aboard our large comfortable catamaran. Discover and learn about the rare Hector's dolphins, seals, penguins and more. View stunning scenery, including the volcanic Cathedral Cave, relics of the area's past and a salmon farm. Complimentary tea & coffee on board and a postcard. Cruises depart daily from the main wharf. If you don’t see any dolphins, come again for FREE!

Swimming with dolphins all year round! Akaroa Harbour is the only place on the entire planet where you can get up close and personal with NZ's playful and endemic Hector's dolphins. Depart on one of our safe and comfortable vessels with our knowledgeable and awesome crew! All year round an unforgettable adventure awaits you, where everything is provided for your ultimate swimming with dolphins experience. A separate price is available for dolphin spectating only. Everything is provided: wetsuits, hot showers and hot chocolate. Finalist in the Qualmark 100% Pure Experience Awards 2019.

Read more

ecoSeaker - Dolphin Swimming

ecoSeaker - Dolphin Swimming

On our boat, you are part of the environment not removed from it.

While dolphins surf under the boat you can feel the spray from their blowhole!

DOLPHIN SWIMMING  10:30AM

Come and join us on one of our small, personal tours and experience the magic of swimming with the Hectors Dolphin in Akaroa New Zealand. They are the smallest and rarest oceanic dolphins in the world. Akaroa is the only place in the world you can experience them personally in their natural habitat. We are a small local family business, 100% locally owned & operated. We run one swim tour per day exclusively limited to 12 guests, offering a longer dolphin swimming tour to maximize your experience and your value for money with a 90.5% success rate. Wetsuits, masks & snorkels are provided, hot chocolate & biscuits. Akaroa’s #1 Dolphin Swim on tripadvisor. YOU FIND US WE FIND THEM. Department of Conservation Approved.

 

Harbour Cruise 2:30pm

Do you have a sense for adventure?

Then join us on our Harbour Adventure Cruise - you will not be disappointed. The scenery and wildlife here are incredible. Steve the captain & owner is a 5th generation local who knows all the secrets and special places of Akaroa Harbour. We run one 2hr Harbour Cruise per day, exclusively limited to 12 guests. Our boat is a 12.5-meter Rayglass Protector (an ex America’s Cup Chase boat & Coastguard Marine Rescue Vessel) It’s an exciting, fun, safe sea-going boat. We are 100% locally owned & operated. Highly recommended on tripadvisor.

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Akaroa's Eastern Bays Scenic Mail Run

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER SCHOOL HOLIDAY DEAL:
*A child travels FREE per paying adult

Jeff & Suzi invite you to join their rugged and remote rural mail delivery that has delighted tourists and locals alike for over 30 years.

Discover the magnificent natural beauty and isolation of the Eastern bays, valleys and coastline on this unique mail run experience.

We travel 120km weaving in and out of 10 bays from sea level to the crater rim delivering mail to 140 letterboxes to farms and settlements in the comfort of our red Rural Post Van.

Your tour includes an interesting local Postie’s commentary, a delicious homemade snack/tea/coffee break, a visit to a historic church and a short walk on beautiful Le Bons Bay beach. Plenty of photo opportunities and comfort stops.

The tour operates from Monday to Saturday, leaving opposite the BNZ Bank at 9am, and arrives back at approximately 2 - 2:30pm. Tours operate all year round and are $85 per person.


Bookings are essential as we only have 8 seats.
Please note: Saturday bookings by prior arrangement (for minimum of 4, & up to 8 passengers
email Jeff & Suzi directly: easternbaysscenicmailrun@gmail.com

 

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Onuku Farm Hostel Dolphin Swimming

Join us for a fun morning out on the water.  Our small boat is ideal for an intimate Hector's dolphin swimming or dolphin watching encounter! With only one trip per day we are not in a rush and will take plenty of time to ensure you get the best experience possible.

We will also explore some of the volcanic coastline, including sea caves, and look out for seals, penguins and sea birds.  

Daily tours at 7.30am  (1st October to early April)

Why come with us?

  • For a start - our price! $150pp or, if staying at any of the Onuku Farm Hostel accommodation, $130pp. Dolphin watching $75.
  • Small groups - with a maximum of 10 passengers you will have a more intimate dolphin experience.
  • 'Orca', our boat, is the ideal vessel - even while on the boat you get closer to the dolphins than on any other boat on Akaroa Harbour.
  • No, we don't have a heated cabin but you will be out there where the action is.
  • Operated from the family farm by a 4th generation Kiwi –one of the original dolphin tours on Akaroa Harbour and we have plenty of experience.
  • We meet and get ready at Onuku Farm and board the boat at the picturesque Onuku Marae - away from the hustle and bustle of Akaroa.
  • Early trips before the crowds get out there.

 Do you have a group and prefer your own private tour? Get in touch with us!

 Bookings are essential and you can either email, ring us or send a text message.

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Akaroa Jet Adventures

To add to the many attractions that the beautiful Akaroa harbour provides, we specialize in giving the more adventurous an unforgettable jet boating experience, a must for those seeking that something extra! Climb aboard our 20 seat, twin v8 600HP 'Phat time' jet boat. This 7.5 metre cobra jet boat is the latest design combining power and speed with built-in comfort and exceptional safety features. A high speed 360 degree spin will show you just what this jet boat is capable of.

Summer Tour times:

Touring times are 1.30 pm 

Groups can be individually catered for with regards to times and pricing. Please contact us to discuss your requirements..

Prices: Only $79 per Adult and $49 for Children (13 years and under). 50 minute tours. 

Weather depending. Can take 18 persons.

Operates from Beach road shop. Book at Akaroa Jet on 61 Beach Rd.  

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Alpaca Farm Tour Akaroa

 Alpaca Farm Tour Akaroa

 Full of attitude, seriously cute and very, very photogenic – come and meet our friendly award winning alpacas.

Just one hour from Christchurch, you’ll find Shamarra Alpaca Farm on the beautiful Banks Peninsula across the harbour from Akaroa.

With over 170 grazing alpacas you are guaranteed to make some furry friends while enjoying spectacular sea views. Tour our farm and visit our shop, exclusively stocking our luxurious New Zealand-made Shamarra alpaca knitwear.

Your Alpaca Farm Tour
  • Your tour starts with a brief introduction to alpacas and their unique and quirky habits. You will be coming into close contact with your new found friends so we will also give a quick safety briefing with an alpaca in the barn.
  • An award winning alpaca fleece is on display and you get to feel the incredible cashmere like softness of superfine alpaca whilst learning about their amazing qualities.
  • We will then walk you through our alpaca herd where you can enjoy interacting with these gentle animals while they graze contentedly in their natural habitat.
  • Feed the mothers with their their young by their side. This provides some amazing close up alpaca contact and great photos.
  • Take advantage of the views across Akaroa harbour which are absolutely stunning and provide endless photo opportunities for lasting memories of your visit to our farm.

Tour duration: 1 hour

Tour times: 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm

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Spring Family Package $95 (2 adults/2 kids)
Family Alpaca Tour for 2 adults/2 children.  Our 1 hour tour is an interactive experience where we share our knowledge of these majestic animals, their unique fleece and their adorable personalities.  Visitors enjoy time in the paddocks with a group of friendly boys and also get to feed the mums with their cria (baby) nearby.  Endless photo opportunities and lots of alpaca cuddles.  At the end of the tour, a beverage and home baked biscuit are served in our Visitor Centre.  Included in our Spring Special is 25% discount in our farm shop on our exclusive range of Shamarra Alpaca knitwear.
Family Spring Special valid From 1st September 2020  to November 30th 2020 .
Please book through our website Click here  or Akaroa iSite.
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Meniscus Wines Cellar Door

The wine is grown on the hillside off Lighthouse Rd on the south side of Akaroa overlooking the township. The vineyard is readily visible from the town as well as the Main and French Bay wharves. The grape varieties grown are award winning Riesling, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. The cellar door is located at 43 Lighthouse Road where you can taste the wine over looking the vineyard. Tasty gourmet snacks, gifts and soft drinks are also available.

Terrace and Cellar Door is now closed for tasting over winter, wine sales will continue and we welcome all enquiries via email or phone

Reopening in Spring with exciting new wine tasting experiences.

We offer Gift Vouchers for those special occasions

You can taste the various vintages, enjoy a glass, share a bottle with friends at the cellar door at 43 Lighthouse Rd, Akaroa.

It's just under 1km steep walk up the hill and great views over Akaroa township. 

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The Giants House

The GIANTS HOUSE. Sculpture, mosaic garden and Gallery. "The happiest garden on earth". Garden of International significance by NZ Garden Trust. Trip Adviser - award of excellence, recommended by Lonely Planet. The Giants House - A historic Akaroa house with original artworks, terraced gardens with sculptures and mosaics. Romantic secluded and quiet, but only a few minutes walk from the centre of Akaroa. Very Unique! Playful, zany, exuberant, astounding, colorful, surprising, seriously playful, unique in the world....it will make you smile. B&B accommodation is also available.

Winter Hours
Open 11:00am - 2:00pm everyday 

Tour of the Garden. Rate:$20.00 per person, $10 per child (2-15 years). Family Concession:2 Adults + 1 Child $45, 2 Adults + 2 Children $50, 2 Adults + 3 Children $55, 2 Adults + 4 Children $60, Students (with ID) $17.50, Seniors (with NZ Gold Card ID) $17.50.

For larger groups ( pre booking for these is required)  Visit through the historic art house, introductory talk by the artist, visit of garden and gallery is $25.50 +gst pp

Cafe style lunch is available in Summer for groups up to 20 people

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French Peak Wines

In a bay on the Western Shores of Akaroa Harbour, lies the scenic village of French Farm, where the original French Settlers first planted their vines. It is here that you will find our beautiful boutique vineyard, owned by Fraser Henderson and Elise Cailleau, leased by Renan Cataliotti. The unique terroir of the Banks Peninsula is reflected in the distinctive flavour of our wines, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and a Provencal style Rosé.

French Peak Vineyard is a boutique, family-owned vineyard set in the idyllic French Farm Valley. Planted with approximately 3.5 Ha of vines, including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.

We are following organic and Bio dynamic principles because we believe in the true expression of our wines coming from a true terroir. 

The sunny sheltered aspect and the volcanic soils produce unique Banks Peninsula fruit, which is patiently nurtured, hand-picked and then crafted into unique wines.

Our Wines are available for purchase directly from our cellar door  or from a number of local shops and restaurants. Our wines can also be purchased online, with free shipping within New Zealand. 

Set amidst the vines and landscaped gardens, is our traditional timber-framed barn, containing both wine tasting and self-contained attic accommodation.

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Walking Tracks

Akaroa and Banks Peninsula has many great walking tracks that you can enjoy for free. These vary from short hikes to all day tramps over the picturesque hills. Most of the walks have spectacular views of the Akaroa harbour once you get up into the hills above the township. Click HERE to visit the website with maps and information about walking and tramping in Akaroa or Banks Peninsula. Then click a walk number or scroll down to find out more detail. The brochures are available to purchase at the Akaroa Adventure Centre 03 304 7784.

Private Track: 
Banks Track is a famous coastal private walking track. Sharing our backyard since 1989.
Choose between a 3 day classic walk and a 2 day hike. 

Public Walking Access:
Special thanks go to the landowners who allow the public on their land to enjoy these walks.
Please respect their private property and thank them if you meet them. 

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Akaroa Museum

Following a programme of earthquake strengthening and repair, Akaroa Museum has created three new long term exhibitions about the history of Bank Peninsula: Ngā Taenga mai Arrivals, Land & Sea, and Tales of Banks Peninsula. These have been produced in collaboration with Ōnuku rūnanga and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu.

Current exhibitions

Banks Peninsula Landscapes

This exhibition is a selection of artworks from Akaroa Museum’s collection including oils, watercolours, and one pencil sketch. Some of the works are on display for here for the first time, including a Margaret Stoddart painting, Cottages, Little River (c.1923) donated to the Museum by Jeanette Nolan in 2016.

Open:
The Museum is open 7 days a week. 10.30am until 4.30 pm. Entrance is FREE. 

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