Akaroa and Lyttelton News

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Kids Cruise Free in Akaroa with Black Cat Cruises during the October School Holidays

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Akaroa Activity For Kids With the October school holidays just around the corner we wanted to let you know that from Saturday September 30th - Sunday October 15th kids can cruise for free with us in Akaroa! We will offer a free space to a child aged between 0 - 15 with every full paying adult Akaroa Wildlife Our multi-award winning Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise will take you and your family out on the water for two magical hours. We'll go out in search of Hector's dolphins, one of the worlds rarest and smallest dolphins and only found in NZ....along...
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Akaroa French Fest 2017

Frenchfest Poster 2017
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...
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Akaroa Seafari Raises $1,000 For The New Zealand Whale & Dolphin Trust

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What's An Akaroa Seafari? Black Cat Cruises challenged awesome New Zealand based photographers to come out with us mid-winter to get the most epic Winter Seafari shot from both our Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise and Swimming With Dolphins experience. Both tours operate all year round and whilst the weather gets colder in the winter the wildlife and scenery remain just as beautiful and abundant! Fantastic wildlife and landscape images from in and around Akaroa harbour were produced from the day. These were then uploaded to the Black Cat Cruises website . These images are open for the public to vote...
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Akaroa - Voted Australasia's Best Cruise Destination

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"Testament to a great community" is how Akaroa District Promotions Executive Officer, Hollie Hollander, described Akaroa's win in the 2017 Cruise Critics’ Awards. Akaroa was named Best Cruise Destination in Australia and New Zealand. What an accolade for a small village to beat the big players on the cruise itinerary. Runners up were Sydney, Picton, Melbourne and Tauranga. "Akaroa was thrown in the deep end when it became the 'default destination' for cruise ships after the earthquakes ended arrivals into Lyttelton. This award is testament to the whole community, who despite the disruption have rallied together for the greater good...
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Diamond Harbour Ferry & Preserved Cafe July offer

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The best of Diamond Harbour Have you ever been to Diamond Harbour? Better yet, have you ever been to Diamond Harbour and enjoyed the delicious fresh food from the Preserved Eatery? Well today we have an unbeatable deal that is currently live on Treat Me. For just $13.90 you will get a return ticket on the Diamond Harbour Ferry PLUS a $10 voucher to put towards food at Diamond Harbours renowned Preserved Eatery. The Diamond Harbour Ferry usually costs $13 just on it's own so thanks to Metro  and the Preserved Eatery partnering together you're pretty much getting a tasty...
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Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights 2017 This Friday

Lyttelton FESTIVAL OF Light
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Clear your diaries folks! It's that time of year again when we gather in the streets of beautiful Lyttelton, wrapped up in our warmest of winter wear, to celebrate, be entertained, eat delicious street food, drink warm mulled wine or cider, listen to awesome live music and wait to then watch the winter night sky light up in splendour with an array of streaming colour! Yes this Friday the Lyttelton Harbour Festival of Lights kicks off at 6pm prompt and we can't wait to be there!  You may have already noticed some light installations popping up around Lyttelton. These will...
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Humpback Whales Are Migrating Past Akaroa

Akaroa sighting of Humpback Whales

As the first day of winter arrives today we look forward to the crisp cool season full of optimism and enthusiasm....

Now although our guests mostly join us for a varied wildlife experience on Akaroa Harbour with the highlight of course to encounter the endangered Hector's dolphins, every now and again we have a rare and surprise visit from a rather larger marine mammal. In the last few weeks we have had a couple of sightings of Humpback whales....yes big, beautiful Humpback whales, right here on our door step (well the door step to the harbour!)

The good news is that we are now cruising twice a day at 11am and 1.30pm, AND we are now swimming all year round so for the first time in five years we will be swimming right through winter again!

Here's a little update of what we've experienced....

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Mother's Day 2017

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This sunday, May 14th is Mother's Day in New Zealand!  We love our mums and to celebrate these wonderful women we are hosting two cruises on Mother's Day in Lyttelton. Tickets are set at a very special rate, are limited and can only be purchased exclusively on Treat Me . So far the weather for Sunday is looking bright and sunny so here's what you'll get..... Treat Mum to a 1.5 hour Lyttelton Harbour Nature Cruise on the Canterbury Cat, including a delicious She Universe hot chocolate! Special Mother's Day rates : $19 for a child pass (15 and under)....
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A Guide To Akaroa's Marine Birds

A Guide To Akaroa's Marine Birds
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New Zealand has over 86 types of breeding seabirds. This has given us the title of   'Seabird capital of the world' , and a number of these birds can be found in and around Banks Peninsula. We're celebrating by launching an exclusive special offer for the month of May. The Akaroa Department of Promotions recently launched their new brochure-‘A Guide to Marine Birds of Akaroa Harbour’ to co-incide with Seaweek. Whilst Seaweek gives us all an opportunity to celebrate and educate over a nationwide week long promotion this wonderful new Marine Bird brochure will be a fantastic tool for...
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Akaroa offers Free Cruising for Kids during KIDSFEST

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  Black Cat Cruises was started by a family, the Bingham family to be precise, who loved the harbour and it's inhabitants so much so that they wanted to share their little slice of Banks Peninsula paradise with those who came to visit Akaroa.  A mecca for native wildlife from the Hector's dolphins to the little blue penguins, the majestic extinct volcanic harbour lends itself not only a visually captivating experience out on the cool harbour water, but an educational one for all ages. Back then the Bingham family were pioneers of eco-tourism as they first set about organising and...
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Easter School Holiday Offer In Akaroa

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Looking for Easter School Holiday activities...look no further. We have a limited number of half price Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise tickets available today on Grab One . They will be available only until the last one sells out so don't delay. https://new.grabone.co.nz/activities/cruises/p/black-cat-cruises-58?utm_campaign=ET_Experience_Christchurch_Responsive_GrabOne_1264344_201749&uid=42e042fa3b45a8b29831a13bd1885a6bed8f6a2c&utm_term=Freemail&utm_content=Experience&utm_source=Experience_Christchurch&utm_medium=email Both adult and child tickets are half price and remember under 5's travel for free with us at Black Cat Cruises anytime of the year, so if you have little ones there's never been a better time to come over the hill and visit us in Akaroa.  Make time to explore both Akaroa and Banks Peninsula. There are...
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Akaroa Harvest Festival Tomorrow

Akaroa Harvest Festival Poster 2017 Portrait
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Something for the weekend...and your taste buds! Tomorrow (Saturday), Akaroa will play host to some of New Zealand's finest chefs, all with ties to Akaroa, who will be cooking and serving dishes inspired by local Banks Peninsula produce at the Akaroa Harvest Festival; -   Darren Wright from Chillingworth Road, -   Paul Howells from Twenty Seven Steps, -   Matt Dickie from Coopers & Co, -   Craig Martin from Annandale Luxury Lodge, and -   Akaroa's resident Spaniard Fran Sansano Anaya who will be cooking his famous Seafood Paella.   There will be two masterclasses over the course of the day; -   11am Darren...
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Whats The #1 Voted Bucket List Activity in New Zealand? Hint: It's in Akaroa

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AKAROA HARBOUR’S DOLPHIN SWIM IS TOP PICK FOR AUSSIES HOLIDAYING IN NZ A public poll has revealed that Australians consider swimming with Hector’s dolphins in Akaroa Harbour as number one on their New Zealand bucket list of experiences. More than 18,000 Australians voted in the online poll hosted by tour and attractions aggregator Experience OZ and NZ. Black Cat Cruise’s swimming with Hector’s dolphins in Banks Peninsula’s Akaroa Harbour came out on top of the 100 experiences listed. The Black Cat team are “over the moon” with the result, Chief Executive Paul Milligan said. “This special recognition follows on from...
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Biomimicry and Dolphins

  If you’ve never had an experience involving a dolphin, it should, in my humble opinion be right up there on your bucket list!  Dolphins are a unique group of mammals; in fact their ability in the water is so astounding that it gave rise to ‘Grays Paradox’; where-by in 1936, British zoologist Sir James Gray hypothesised that “the high speeds and accelerations dolphins produce with their [relatively] small muscle mass, is insufficient to overcome the drag forces of water”! Basically he thought they defied the laws of physics!   As a direct result, what followed has been nearly 80 years...
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Christchurch Easter Egg Hunt

Easter 2017
If you live in Christchurch and have always wanted to come on our Easter Egg Hunt...we have great news for you! Our annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted on beautiful Quail Island is back....hoorah!   Join us on Quail Island over the Easter weekend for a wonderful family fun Easter Egg Hunt. The Easter Bunny is getting prepared to leave thousands, yes thousands (!), of delicious chocolate eggs with us. Tickets are limted making it the hottest and tastiest easter activity in town.  How Can I Go?  Firstly you must book your tickets with us. This can be done by calling...
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Countdown to Seaweek

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Seaweek is New Zealand’s annual national week about the sea. Hosted by the  NZ Association for Environmental Education  (NZAEE), Seaweek focuses on learning from the sea. It’s about exciting and inspiring all New Zealanders to renew their connections with the sea! Not just for children or those involved with formal education – it’s a time for all of us to get to know our ocean, its habitats, characteristics and inhabitants better.       AKAROA EVENT 25 February to 5 March 2017, daily at 3.40pm  Every day during Seaweek take up the offer of a discounted wildlife cruise on our large,...
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Countdown to Seaweek

Copy of BLCT BCAK 2007 04 03 C1215 3359 1
Seaweek is New Zealand’s annual national week about the sea. Hosted by the  NZ Association for Environmental Education  (NZAEE), Seaweek focuses on learning from the sea. It’s about exciting and inspiring all New Zealanders to renew their connections with the sea! Not just for children or those involved with formal education – it’s a time for all of us to get to know our ocean, its habitats, characteristics and inhabitants better.       AKAROA EVENT 25 February to 5 March 2017, daily at 3.40pm  Every day during Seaweek take up the offer of a discounted wildlife cruise on our large,...
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Something For The Weekend

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Waitangi Day Commemorations in Okains Bay   If you are thinking of heading over to Akaroa or the peninsula over the weekend then be sure to make time for this. Thanks to akaroa.com for the below article. Head to the website to find out whats going on in and around Akaroa and the bays.    Event date:  Monday, February 6, 2017   Brief Description Nau mai, Haere mai. Join us at the Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum for a family day to commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.   Highlights include a powhiri (traditional welcome), hangi lunch,...
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Hector's Dolphin Research: Scientific Gizmos Galore

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By Tom Brough; Whilst this strange ‘summer’ weather still limits some of our boat work in the more remote areas of Banks Peninsula, our research teams have been making the most of good weather windows and getting some solid work done.    We’ve been retrieving and redeploying devices called TPODs that are permanently moored around the Peninsula (see picture). At present we have 11 TPOD's moored around the peninusla, from Birdlings Flat to Lyttelton and everywhere in between. We bought these around 10 years ago for the price of around $3,000 each.   These handy gadgets record the sounds of...
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Akaroa; Swimming With Dolphins With Carmen Huter

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International blogger Carmen Huter came to Akaroa as her last stop on her New Zealand adventure. Carmen is a wonderful blogger and photographer and kindly shared some her stunning Akaroa photographs with us...along with her thoughts on what makes Swimming With Dolphins in Akaroa so special.             "Being from a landlocked country myself, anything to do with open water is highly captivating to my Austrian mind.     When my best friend (of over 20 years, may I add!) finally made her way over to Aotearoa, water activities took top priority. Naturally, I kept the...
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