Just over an hours drive from Christchurch, Banks Peninsula is the South Island’s most interesting volcanic feature, formed following the violent eruptions of two volcanoes resulting in the picturesque harbours of Akaroa and Lyttleton. Banks Peninsula that deserves plenty of time to explore all it offers and is a popular destination for keen walkers with options of short strolls to challenging walks visiting many beautiful bays and beaches which are part of the breathtaking scenery.
Located on the south east side of the deep, sheltered Akaroa Harbour, the charming township of Akaroa has a special point of difference being the site of the only attempt to establish a French settlement in New Zealand. Explore the village with its colonial architecture, galleries, craft stores, and cafés with much of the architecture, the street and shop names and restaurant cuisine with an obvious French feel.
Akaroa has an enormous range of activities to keep you busy for days. Take a 4WD trip to the largest little penguin colony on mainland New Zealand, enjoy a harbour cruise on the Akaroa waters home to the rarest and smallest marine dolphin the Hector’s dolphin, all around you will find fantastic sea kayaking in spectacular surroundings, there are cruises, sail boats, cycle tours, surfing, sailing, mail runs, and an excellent range of walking tracks too.