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


The bi-annual Akaroa event and three day celebration is back with a bang!

Here’s a sneak peak that Black Cat Cruises filmed from the last French Fest held in October 2015 whilst we celebrated 30 years of cruising on Akaroa Harbour….and be sure to read on for all the information for the forthcoming Akaroa event.

The official Akaroa French Fest poster as shown below is available to buy from the Akaroa i-site for $10 each.
Akaroa French Fest information below courtesy of Akaroa.com

Event date:
Friday, October 6, 2017 to Sunday, October 8, 2017
Brief Description
To be held on the middle weekend of the school holidays. Escape to picturesque Akaroa and immerse yourself in French culture, entertainment and romance as you celebrate Akaroa’s unique history (French, German & Maori) at the Akaroa Frenchfest. Settle in on Friday evening and relax with sea side dining. Watch the street come alive with entertainment, music and roving entertainment. On Saturday enjoy the living history reenactment on the main beach, the parade and official flag raising and the market stalls and activities all day. Saturday evening we have a ticketed cabaret. On the Sunday there will be events at Onuku this year. Like on FACEBOOK.

Event date:
Friday, October 6, 2017 to Sunday, October 8, 2017
Details and Contact

Join in the festivities of the Frenchfest street party, festival market, family fun day, Saturday evening cabaret and Sunday Family day at Onuku. An exciting three days.

Frenchfest 2017

Friday Night Street Party
Friday 6 October 6-10pm.
Children friendly street party with band Rhythm Method (local covers band) playing in the truck on Beach Road from 6pm-10pm.
That is the area outside La Thai Restaurant.
Lizzie Cook roving entertainment in the cafes which open onto the street.
Fire performer.
Children friendly event with things to do for the kids.

The Landing
Saturday 7 October 8.45am-10.30am.
A theatrical living history drama will enfold on the main beach in Akaroa.
Not to be missed and never seen like this before.

The Landing Details:
Akaroa Community Arts Council is proud to present ‘The Landing’ in partnership with Akaroa Heritage Festival Society at French Fest 2017.
This year’s Landing will be a living history re-enactment – we plan to create an 1840’s trading post on our beach – such as would have been there at the time of the arrival of Comte de Paris – local iwi trading with weathered whalers and salty sailors. How might our beach have looked on 19 August 1840? Who was there to welcome our French and German newcomers?
We are thrilled to welcome three very special performers to our stage; Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Michael Hurst and Nathan Bonner will join our community players to enthral, inform, entertain and guide us through Akaroa’s unique journey with the very first European settlers to the South Island.
Tents, crafts, costumes! We want our audience to come early, interact with the set and our players prior to the landing – kids will love it, play some historic games, tie nautical knots with sailors, join in with a weaving group from Onuku or listen in with an iwi story teller.
Wear 1840’s costume, grow a beard, enter into our costume parade and be in to win our Best Costumed competition.
We want visitors to get a real sense of the everyday life that these people might have lived, as well as what challenges faced the French settlers when they first arrived.
An opening waiata will ring out over the bay as birds fly. Come and join us as French Fest comes back to the Akaroa community.

This event is supported by all involved groups – Onuku Runanga, the Comte de Paris Descendants Group, Akaroa Area School, AHFSI (Akaroa Historical French Society Inc), Akaroa businesses and community.

The Parade
The landing re-enactment will be followed by the parade from the beach to the Recreation Ground.
The Canterbury Brass Band will lead the parade from the beach to the Recreation Ground.
Please note there is a traffic management plan in place during this time.

Official Speeches & Flag Raising
Official speeches and flag raising on the Recreation Ground.

Market Day
Saturday 7 October 11am-5pm.
Le Jour du Marché (Market Day) on the Akaroa Recreation Ground
Enjoy French inspired markets, games, food and
entertainment from 10.30am-to 5pm.

Market Day Entertainment
• The Akaroa Silver Band
• The Drew Peacocks Band
• Lizzie Cook & Band
• The Great Depression Band
• Canterbury Brass Band
• Lucky Lost Band

Plus roving entertainment.

Market stalls from 10.30am-5pm.
Bar available and wineries selling excellent local wine.

Activities on the Green:
• 12-12.45pm. Geology Walk to Childrens Bay with Dr Sam Hampton
• 2pm. Waiter’s Races
• 3pm. Cock Crowing Competition
• French Games all day
• Petanque Competition.

Geology Walk to Childrens Bay with Dr Sam Hampton
12pm-12.45pm. As part of the Akaroa Geopark stand at Frenchfest, Dr Sam Hampton is offering a guided walk / exploration session to Childrens Bay. The low tide is at 11.38am on Saturday 7th October. Join Geology expert Sam talk about the geology of the area; the explosives, intrusives and lavas. This is a free event to promote the Banks Peninsula Walking Festival in November. Engage and learn about the geology right next door. Meet at the Geopark Stand at 11.50am for a 12pm departure. Return at 12.45pm.

Heritage Area
In the main marquee during the day will be a heritage area with lots of activities, stalls and information.
• 12-12.30pm. Akaroa Cooking School cooking demonstration.
• 2.30pm. Ca Bouge Fashion Parade.

Le Cabaret Renault
Saturday 7 October 7-10.30pm.
As part of Akaroa French Fest 2017 we announce Le Cabaret Renault.
Don’t miss this fabulous evening of music, dancing and fun.
Joie de vivre!

Doors open at 6.30pm. Fun starts at 7pm.
Adults ticketed event with various bands and entertainers.
$25 per ticket.
Tickets available from Eventfinda, Akaroa Information Centre and the INFO Tent on site during the day.

Chant et Danse, Linn Lorkin and French Toast, Lizzie Cook & band, Bonita, Corner Sounds band and more! Surprises!
Get ready to dance!

Bar available. No BYO please.

While we cannot stop you bringing your children to this evening event, please note there will be some burlesque!

Whanau Day at Onuku Marae
Sunday 8 October. 11am-3pm.
French Festival 2017 Sunday Whanau Day will be held at Onuku Marae.
There is no parking for private cars sorry at Onuku so you will need to take one of the 2 buses that are leaving from Akaroa Area School starting at 9am. This is free. You can park your car on the Akaroa Area school grounds or on the street near the school. The buses will be going backwards and forwards to the school all day.
The POWHIRI at Onuku is at 11am.
Guides will be waiting to show you the way and answer questions.
The day will begin with an explosive powhiri hosted by Onuku.
(A $10 koha per head for the powhiri, a traditional tikanga).
If you don’t make the powhiri there is plenty more to enjoy. Interactive spaces are created to experience the world of Te Ao Maori hosted by whanau. Other activities will include creation stories, local history, local Maori artwork, historical tours by our tamariki and food preparation at the whata (food preparation area). Hear about how the french learnt to play an old traditional Maori game called Ki-o-Rahi.
An opportunity to experience the world of Te Ao Maori, swing a poi and eat hangi while you embrace the tranquil environment of Onuku.
There will be a hangi for $12 a head served at approx 12.30pm.

Nau mau, Tauti mai koutou ma. Nau te rourou, naku te rourou ka ora ai te iwi.

Other events throughout the town:

Akaroa Orion Powerhouse Gallery
Friday 6 October- Sunday 8 October 2017.
French Festival Gallic Offerings Exhibition
Francophile paintings, bric-à- brac, brocante etc…

Friday Day:
On Friday day we will be judging the Best Dressed Competition. The businesses will compete in this to show us their best blue, red and white colours!

French Flavour Storytimes & Craft
Akaroa Library
Friday 6th October, 11:00-12.00
Stories & Rhyme (in French & English)
Followed by French craft activity
Suitable for ages 3-7
Presented by Rémy Barbier.
Link HERE.

Britomart Reserve
• The Canterbury Brass Band play from 12.15-1pm on the Britomart Reserve.

• Lucky Lost band play on the Britomart Reserve from 1.30-2.15pm.

Red Bus Ride to French Fest:
1. French Fest Shuttle
Departs Christchurch – 9.00am
Returns from Akaroa – 5.30pm
$40 Adult, $30 child, return
Departs from Rolleston Avenue outside Canterbury Museum

2. French Fest Shuttle – Early Bird Special
Departs Christchurch – 6.30am
Returns from Akaroa – 5.00pm
$30 per person, return
Departs from Rolleston Avenue outside Canterbury Museum

Why not plan ahead and book yourself onto an Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise or Swimming With Dolphins experience to make the most of your Akaroa weekend!

See you there!