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Attractions & culture

Delve a little deeper and the playful peninsula will reward you with an abundance of unexpected delights. Breathe in the ocean air from a seaside café and admire the town’s history and architecture as you explore the township’s vibrant gardens and boutiques.


Open hearts
and open minds.

Akaroa is one of New Zealand’s first
European settlements with a rich Māori
and French history.

Akaroa history Maori
Akaroa history regatta day v2A

A treasure
and an icon.

Well before Captain Cook set his sights on Akaroa Harbour in the 1770s, Ngāi Tahu Māori had already established a vibrant and thriving way of life amongst the beauty of two extinct volcanoes.

Akaroa history post office v2B

In 1840, Akaroa became New Zealand’s only township to be established by French settlers becoming the region’s first substantial European settlement. The area became well known as a safe haven for early whalers and sealers braving the southern oceans beyond its headlands.

Akaroa history taylor merchants v2C

Photo Credits: Akaroa Museum Collection.
A) Regatta Day, J.L. Buckland, 1931. B) Akaroa Post Office, J.L. Buckland, c.1930. C) T.E. Taylor Merchant Premises, T.E. Taylor Studio, c.1900.

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