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

Category Archives: Akaroa New Zealand


Orca have been making regular visits to both Akaroa and Lyttelton Harbours recently. It’s thought pods range up and down the South Island. Orca are a natural predator of the Hector’s dolphins so though it’s an awesome sight its also good they move on! This shot was taken just outside the Akaroa Heads.


You may also be interested to know the travel site “Travel Associates” based in Australia has just named Akaroa as one of the top 5 places in the world to swim with dolphins.

The top 5 spots were:

Akaroa, New Zealand

Oahu and Kona, Hawaii

Azores Archipelago

Bimini, Bahamas

The Red Sea

Check out their detailed list here



Early in March 15 year old Aescleah Hawkins, supported by the WWF and Black Cat, walked from Christchurch to Akaroa with 10 others including Black Cat MD Paul Bingham to raise money and awareness of the Hector’s dolphins. The walk raised $16,000 and attracted lots of media attention with articles in The Press, Sunday Times and Breakfast TV amongst others. Pictured here is Mayor Bob Parker farewelling the group and the walkers arriving in Akaroa Harbour.


Our two largest vessels, Black Cat and Canterbury Cat now have defibrillators on board. These brief case sized medical emergency kits allow our team to better face any medical situation on board. As the only boats on the harbours with this equipment we are now an even safer option for your customers. The ‘defibs’ cost 8000 and were supplied by the Red Cross.


Hi, Just wanted to say thanks to all the staff who helped us get our car keys back from Quail Island last Wednesday – we are very grateful! Everyone was so friendly and helpful – and we will certainly be recommending the island to any of our friends who go to NZ! Thanks again,

I had the pleasure to be part of the Akaroa Area School Fundraiser held last week. This included a fantastic Akaroa harbour cruise, a wonderful seafood buffet with live entertainment. The weather gods presented a perfect evening and the wildlife rallied in support of our cause. What a truly magical night and an awesome experience for those who supported this fundraising event. This success was due to fantastic generosity accorded to the project by your company Akaroa Black Cat Cruises. Without your support we could not have undertaken such an activity.

The outcome was extremely positive with Gary Brittenden and his talented support team raising just under $4000 to support the Akaroa Area School Stars programme for 2010. The K2 Youth Development Trust wish to acknowledge your support in this formal letter of thanks and reiterate that together we are making a difference in your very special community.
Thank you so much.
Terrence Courtney,
K2 Youth Development Trust.


We recently had a special screening for our Akaroa customers of The Cove. If you get a chance to see this on DVD, it’s a worthwhile and moving account of how a team of freedivers, filmmakers and activists expose the needless and barbaric slaughter of dolphins in Japan. It seems all the environmental talk these days is on climate change. I’d challenge anyone to watch this movie without shedding a tear!


We have just launched a brand new web site design at www.blackcat.co.nz There is a new look and layout and we have simplified and rewritten most of the copy. The other main change is the new site has more images and slide shows so is more graphical in nature. There is also a trade section. We hope you like it!


We took part in two Canterbury events recently, the Canterbury Show, where we had a display manned by our team, and the Santa parade (pictured below) where our pirates and Hector the dolphin accompanied the Black Pearl on the annual event. Both attracted enthusiastic responses from the audiences of over 100,000 people each.


The first Hector’s dolphin calves of the year have appeared with two seen in Lyttelton last week and one in Akaroa Harbour. The dolphins are quite dark when first born and some have stripes which fade quickly. A baby Hectors is only marginally larger than a rugby ball, so they are quite vulnerable when first born. It’s vital these dolphins survive because they are literally the future of the species.


We would like to say a very big thank you to you and all the crew on the Black Cat cruise from Lyttelton to Akaroa on Sunday 6th September 2009.

Firstly I would like to thank you personally for all your help keeping us informed about when this particular cruise was going to take place as there were a few date changes since we originally booked for the first cruise that was to happen earlier in the year, which was first postponed and then cancelled due to the weather conditions.

We couldn’t have asked for much better conditions than we experienced on the cruise, the sea was so calm and the only waves that were being formed was from the boat itself. Cruising around the Peninsula was such a pleasure and what a great way to get a different view of Banks Peninsula and also the view back towards Christchurch with the snow covered mountains in the distance when we left Lyttelton Harbour was amazing. We had only just left Lyttelton Harbour when we came across a pod of Hector Dolphins that were more than happy to keep up with the boat giving us a great view of them.

We would also like to thank the crew as they were friendly, cheerful and very informative which made our trip on the cruise that much more enjoyable, the commentary was excellent especially all the information we received from the crew member who had a very well spoken Scottish accent.

We had a nice time in Akaroa as usual when we go there for the day. We had a nice lunch followed by a very tasty ice cream from the dairy, had a walk around the town and relaxed a little bit before getting the bus back to Lyttelton stopping at Barry’s Bay Cheese Factory on the way home where we bought some tasty cheese.

We would most definitely take part in another Black Cat cruise as the service was excellent and we have already recommended to friends to go on the cruise we have just been on when this particular cruise happens again. Craig and Samantha.