Recent blog posts

Posted by on in Akaroa New Zealand
Barrys Bay Shop Akaroa
Alright, before you read this article, I have to emphasise that I am a cheese lover and furthermore, I am French. I know what you are going to say, but I can assure you, cheese is magical!  Let’s now talk about cheese... During my first trip to Akaroa in early 2014, I heard about a little cheese factory on the way to the Peninsula. I thought: “What an amazing idea to stop by!” I was not disappointed! When you enter this little treasure, you are exposed to a lot of different kinds of cheese. From the Gouda to the Havarti...
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porthole lyttelton
Lyttelton is a great family destination – the rich and interesting history and nature of the place puts something on offer for everyone. But if you’re after somewhere to wet your whistle after a long day of exploring, or something exciting for the 18+ crowd to do in the quirky port town, then check out one of these fine local establishments for a bit of Lyttelton fayre and late night fun. Porthole Bar: Situated on the site where the popular Volcano Bar and Café once stood, Porthole is another example of Cantabrian ingenuity that’s come out of the other side of...
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net marks web
Yesterday, Monday, April 6th, a dead Hector’s dolphin was discovered in Akaroa harbour. The cause of death was drowning by set net. This happened just days after the legal set netting summer ban had been lifted. A local man found the dead dolphin and alerted Black Cat Cruises, who in turn alerted both DOC and local researchers, and sent out a boat to locate the dead mammal. Hector’s dolphins are the world’s smallest and rarest marine mammal and are endemic to New Zealand. As a company and a community we are extremely disappointed to see this happen.   The region has taken...
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Posted by on in Lyttelton New Zealand
Easter 2015
Happy Easter holiday eve everyone!  If you have little people at home and are wondering what to get up to over the long weekend then look no further. Black Cat Cruises will be hosting their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Quail Island. You'll have two and half hours on the island to hunt for coloured tokens which can be swapped for up to 3 chocolate Easter eggs each! If you've never been to Quail Island before, which is a DOC reserve set in the middle of Lyttelton harbour, you're in for even more of a treat. To see it for yourself...
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Posted by on in Akaroa New Zealand
Akaroa Harvest Festival When you think of Banks Peninsula do ever think of fresh smoked salmon, award winning olive oil, juicy chorizo and New Zealand wine? Well...you should, because our beautiful Banks Peninsula has even more to offer than just world class scenery and wildlife, we have an abundance of award winning food too! This weekend us folk in Akaroa will be celebrating our fourth Annual Akaroa Harvest Festival. It promises to showcase an array of excellent local produce......and you are all invited! The Details When: Saturday April 11th Where: The Akaroa Area School Time: 10 am to 4.00pm.  This year's festival boasts at...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
black cat cruises akaroa
Thank you for creating such an incredibly perfect video to showcase Akaroa!  I was captivated by the video and will be sharing it with everyone, especially my overseas friends and family. Wow!  Here are just a few lovely comments we received when we launched our brand new Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise video. Shot this summer it showcases our little slice of paradise from both land and air.....and of course we've uploaded the video below... It looks beautiful - we've lived in chch most of our lives and ive blogged about a lot of stuff but not that part of banks peninsula -...
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rare sighting bottle nose dolphin akaroa
Bottlenose dolphins and a ginger seal make rare ‘once in a lifetime’ Akaroa visit Akaroa was treated to a rare ‘once in a lifetime’ sight of a pod of Bottlenose dolphins close to the town’s main wharf yesterday, well within sight of the town’s locals and visitors sitting in cafes on the waterfront. “It’s a fantastic sighting,” Black Cat Cruises Sales & Marketing Manager Natasha Lombart said. “We’ve never had them (Bottlenose dolphins) visit the main wharf before, or seen so many around the harbour; it just doesn’t happen”  The rarity of the sightings made it onto TV One Breakfast news....
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
sonya
Sonya!  What is your name and what is your role at Black Cat Cruises.... Sonya Watts - Photography & Customer Service   Where is your role based.... Akaroa   What three words would your friend's use to sum you up? Very, very funny   Tell us a secret or something unique about you.... I'm a man. shhh   What did you dream you would do when you grew up and why.... Supermodel, because I'm hot   Why did you want to work for Black Cat Cruises.... Because I fancied the boss   What do you love most about your job.... My...
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Posted by on in Black Cat News
richard jacobs
At the age of 71 Richard Jacobs wasn't just worried about his age when he took the plunge and joined us on a dolphin swim. This inspiring story wraps both his fears and life-long dream all into one, and demonstrates the reward that awaits when you take on a challenge..... By Richard Jacobs  Is it possible to experience an adrenaline rush, a huge privilege and achieve an almost life-time longing all at the same time?  I really wasn’t sure.  The opportunity was right there, staring at me, teasing me, challenging me.  I just didn’t know if I had the confidence, the...
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tv1 screen shot 2
This morning we made TV1 Breakfast News with our rare sighting of dolphin calves in Akaroa Harbour. Each year we eagerly wait to spot the first calf of the season. To see a mother and it's calf is always great news for the endangered species. Early summer has seen Hector's dolphin calves spotted swimming with their mothers in the harbour, which is always exciting, Black Cat Cruises Sales & Marketing Manager Natasha Lombart said. "Hector's Dolphins are classified as endangered by the World Conservation Union (IUCN). Because of their coastal habitat and slow reproductive rate they are particularly vulnerable to entanglement...
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Posted by on in Uncategorized
banks peninusla walking festival
Established by the local residents of Banks Peninsula, the walking festival was created to share thier passion for this special place with those from the wider community.  What's it all about?  The Banks Peninsula Walking Festival offers guided walks all over the peninsula including lyttelton, Little River, Akaroa and the outer bays. The guides, who are all volunteers, bring a huge wealth of knowledge and experience, which makes each walk a truly unique experience. It's a one off opportunity to  gain guided access to tracks, reserves and private land. Because of the success in recent years, for 2014 the festival has...
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Posted by on in Black Cat News
Akaroa museum
This is a great Akaroa activity that won't take up too much of your time, and will send you away with some great facts on this historic French village. After having to close for repairs and restoration after the February 2011 earthquake, in July last year, the Akaroa Museum opened its doors to the public once again and as of July 1st it became FREE TO ENTER. Akaroa Museum Located at 71 Rue Lavaud, the museum provides a fascinating history of Akaroa and its surrounding areas, and is a great reason to get your inner historian out and about in the harbour....
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Lyttelton harbour festival of lights
Every year, in the middle of a cold  Christchurch winter, Lyttelton residents bring a bit of brightness back to Banks Peninsula with the harbour’s Festival of Lights. This years it's running from June 19th - 21st The Highlight.......?  The 'Matariki' Street Party!   When: Friday June 20th, 5.30pm - FIREWORKS 7.30pm   Where: London Street, Lyttelton   What: A fantastic winter street party. Usually held to coincide with both the Matariki Maori New Year celebrations and the winter solstice, Lyttelton’s London Street transforms into a buzzing and beautiful scene. Light displays, sculptures and installations, music, dance and spoken word bring the community...
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Posted by on in Black Cat News
things to do in christchurch or akaroa
What would you do if you had just 72 hours in Canterbury ? Come to Akaroa of course......... Imagine you were told you could write a wishlist of the best New Zealand activities Canterbury has to offer....and it would come true! Well Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism recently ran a'' Win your dream 72 hours in Canterbury” campaign  over in Australia asking entrants to describe how they would spend their 72 hours.  The prize; your dream 72 hours will come true! The competition came to a close and the lucky winner has just spent this past weekend having the time of his...
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akaroa harbour
This week the Huffington Post, an American online newspaper, featured an article on 'The Perfect English Countryside Escape.....in New Zealand'. Where about's in New Zealand you ask? Answer: Akaroa Harbour! After forgiving them for forgetting that this is 100% pure new zealand in their articles title we can firmly say that the feature is a testament to the international appeal of our stunning and perfectly preserved peninsula and village.  Perhaps it's why the worlds rarest and smallest dolphins, the Hector's, choose to call this place home??? We just wonder what they would make of Akaroa harbour if we were to take them...
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Posted by on in Black Cat News
Four simple words that could change some-ones day, week or even life.... We at Black Cat HQ wanted to share a blog post covering this topic, as unbeknown to us, a member of our staff in Akaroa had quietly bestowed a random act of kindness onto a complete stranger (that is until the office received the most heart warming thank you email...which we will get to in a moment). So what is a 'Random Act of Kindness'? Well according to that great source Wikipedia it is quite simply 'A selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist...
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cycle to akaroa
The ride to Akaroa from Christchurch is my ‘go to’ ride when I’m in need of a great day out on the bike and some good quality miles, and it’s been even more valuable in recent times giving the fact we have two young daughters at home, aged 17 and three months, so it’s provided the opportunity to combine a great ride with some quality family time too. The great thing about riding to Akaroa is that not only does it provide some great climbing, fantastic views, fast descents and some good flat riding, meaning you get a range of cycling...
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Posted by on in Black Cat News
William Trubridge World Free diving Champion
Akaroa has had a number of great features on TV this summer. From Campbell Live covering the cruise ships to 60 minutes covering the Maui and Hector's dolphins, it's been all go! The recent 60 minute feature on Maui's and Hector’s dolphins was a really interesting watch, so if you haven't yet seen it please do take the time to watch the video. We have shared it on our Black Cat Cruises You Tube channel and placed a direct link for you here....New Zealand's native dolphins in the press. The feature highlights the plight and dangers of our native dolphins. There...
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Ma Maison restaurant Akaroa
Wondering what to do for Valentine's Day? Looking for a romantic getaway? Well we are here to help! Whether you plan to come to Akaroa for Valentine's Day or simply for a weekend escape with your loved one, no stay in Akaroa would be complete without a sampling of the delicious local cuisine on offer.  So we have listed 5 of the best places to dine in Akaroa. With its French origins lending a taste of Europe to the seaside fare, Akaroa makes the perfect destination for a romantic evening of tantalising the taste buds. Try these great eateries for an...
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things to do in christchurch
Although it may lack the glitz and the glamour of a big city celebration, there’s nothing quite like bringing in the new year in Canterbury’s own little piece of paradise. Whether you’re spending the night with family, friends, or that special someone, Banks Peninsula has got you covered for the perfect way to welcome in 2014. Happy New Year 1.)    Sea Shanties – On the 31st the Hilltop Tavern welcomes in the New Year by bringing lovers of oceanic folk not only the Wellington Sea Shanty Society, but also the much-loved French sea shanty band, Croche Dedans. Bust out the peg...
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