Welcome to Banks Peninsula, home of The Hector’s dolphins and eco-tourism pioneers Black Cat Cruises

Monthly Archives: July 2009


A lone Orca called Corkscrew was sighted in Akaroa Harbour on 11 June. Customers on board an Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise were able to get a close up look. The Orca can be identified by his dorsal fin markings and is well know by Ingrid Visser of the Orca Research Organisation. The big male is thought to be over 15 years old. To hear Orca sounds and for more information click here http://www.orcaresearch.org.


Gary and I had a fab time out on the Canterbury Cat over the weekend. The weather was gorgeous and we saw a lot! It doesn’t matter how many times you see those Hectors, they still bring a smile to the face icon_smile It was Gary’s first time over in Akaroa and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. Samantha at reception was lovely! The other staff onboard were also very helpful. Thank you so very much for having us, we loved it and have no hesitations in sending people your way! RebeccaI swum with ‘Black Cat’ on 17th March 09 and am told I left my gold necklace in the changing rooms/box. On returning from the swim the necklace was produced by the staff on the desk. I was unaware at that time the necklace was missing. I truly appreciate your honesty and care you take of customers/visitors. I am very grateful and sincerely thank you for the return of my gold necklace. Joan Clubbs


We’ve been awarded the contract to run the Diamond Harbour ferry for the next 5 ½ years. Environment Canterbury, the regional council, announced the successful winners of the ferry and bus routes recently. The ferry services are very important to because it provides year round business and is not as susceptible to international tourism movements. The new contract starting on November 1st will require Black Cat to purchase a new vessel, though the main ferry will be the existing Black Diamond.


The white flippered penguin is the Canterbury cousin of the more abundant Little Blue Penguin. Over the last 20 years it’s estimated that around 70% of the local population has been lost. This is mainly due to predators including cats, rats, stoats and ferrets. Black Cat has been working on trapping these predators around the entrance to Akaroa Harbour for the last 6 months. Setting traps where the penguins nest is tricky business because they nest in some seriously out of the way places! These areas require staff to swim from a boat with the traps and bait as they are not accessible by land. Already we have succeeded in catching some rats and stoats and will continue this project to create a safer habitat for the penguins.

White flippered penguins are the smallest penguins in the world – only 30 cm tall. They are only found in Canterbury on Banks Peninsula, confined to inaccessible headlands, caves and rock jumbles. They breed from July to December, usually underground in burrows or natural holes but will also make use of any man-made cavity or nest under buildings. Nests can be more than 500 metres inland and 200 metres up hillsides.