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

Tag Archives: akaroa activities

Akaroa Valentine – The perfect Valentines Day date….

akaroa vineyard

Wondering what to do for Valentines day? With Valentines Day being this Thursday we got to thinking what could be a truly romantic date in Akaroa that was sure to impress….

Read on below and check out all of the links to some of Akaroa’s best spots!

PRESENTS

Firstly let’s talk presents! 🙂 Why not surprise your other half with a dolphin swim or cruise? A sure fire way to do something unique and rather special. Take in the sights of as you cruise along an extinct volcanic crater and get up close to one of the world’s most endangered and rarest dolphin, the Hector’s dolphin. After all it’s about making amazing memories right?

akaroa swimming with dolphins
Image from Black Cat Cruises

FOOD AND VIEWS

For lunch how about a picnic hike to a spot with views over the harbour?
Take a picnic basket packed with some lovely wine from the Takamatua Valley Vineyard and some lovely fresh Akaroa salmon from the butchers. Work up an appetite hiking up one of the many Banks Peninsula hills and then sit back and soak it all up as you feast on your delights!

akaroa romantic escape
Image courtesy of Christchurchnz.com

A TIPPLE

After lunch what about enjoying a wine tasting experience at Meniscus?
We can recommend heading up to Meniscus Wines to taste some of their beautiful local wines that they have in store for you. Offering Riesling, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines including various vintages it’s the perfect place to share a bottle….again with some stunning views, just check out the pictures below!

akaroa vineyard and wine tasting
Photo credit meniscuswines.co.nz
akaroa vineyward and wine tasting

GOURMET EVENING

For dinner consider booking a table at the renowned and intimate Little Bistro – be warned that with limited seating bookings should be made in advance. It’s a very popular spot, and for a very good reason!

akaroa restaurant

Or….

Another wonderful restaurant to consider is the laid-back Rona’s. Since it’s opening just last year it’s been receiving rave reviews described as a real foodies paradise. Seasonal ingredients are locally sourced and dishes are paired with local wines.

akaroa restaurant

GET ACTIVE

If you’re still up for adventure before you both hit the hay a really cool experience now available in Akaroa is to night sup!

Yes paddle boarding on Akaroa Harbour at night….you can even share a board together.

Check out their website for more details.

akaroa paddle boarding

SLEEP

We have two accomodation suggestions, both a little quirky and different….

To end the day off, spend the night at Tree Crop Farm in one of their Lovers Retreats.

As self described on their website – which is worth checking out…”The Romantic Retreats at Tree Crop Farm in Akaroa on the Grehan Valley stream, have a 20 year reputation for their picturesque arcadian setting and the wood fires, candles, flowers, late sleep-ins, hot baths outside under the stars and the dawn chorus from who knows how many thousands of birds at day break ” It’s a shoe in for a romantic night away! Just check out the pics and we’re sure you’ll be hooked….

Akaroa accomdation at tree crop farm

Or….

One of the latest additions to the peninsula are the beautiful Te Wepu pods. Situated on the western side of Akaroa Harbour the extensive property affords panoramic views of Akaroa Harbour, Onawe Peninsula and French Farm Valley. Enjoy a hike on the farm of simply sit in the hot tub and relax with your loved one as the sun goes down. Sounds pretty perfect to us!

akaroa accomodation at te wepu

Akaroa – 10 Free Things To Do!

akaroa beach

That’s right, a whole list of free awesome things to do in Akaroa!

akaroa waterfall
Newton’s waterfall in Akaroa
This summer there’s a whole heap of fun to be had on the peninsula. From family fun, scenic escapes or a road trip with your mates, Akaroa can cater to you all. Of course when you visit we recommend an Akaroa Harbour Nature Cruise or a Swimming With Dolphins experience, but hey, Akaroa is full of fantastic gems and we want to share some of these with you.
So if you’re planning a trip to Akaroa soon and want some recommendations than read our pick of 10 free things to do in Akaroa while you’re there….

1. Newton’s Waterfall

Did you know that there is a waterfall in Akaroa? Enjoy walking, but short on time? Well this is the perfect de-tour for you. Try the Newton’s Waterfall walk, departing from Aylmer’s Valley Road. It’s a pretty easy 10-minute walk to the waterfall which flows all year round.
If you want to park the car near the waterfall what is at the end of Aylmers Valley Road, you have the option to (Please be aware that there is a limited of parking space).

akaroa lighthouse

2. The Akaroa Lighthouse

Did you know that the Lighthouse has been in Akaroa for over 40 years? It is now run by dedicated volunteers.  The best time to visit is on Sundays from 11am-2pm or on cruise ship days.
Have a look at this historic building, all it takes is a 10 – minute walk from Akaroa town along the water and through the beautiful nature. And make sure to take a picture in or around the lighthouse to remember the beautiful historic building.

3. The Ōnuku Marae. onuku marae

Picture perfect The Ōnuku Marae has been around for centuries and has been involved in some significant and historic events including the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Want to see the real culture of New Zealand ? Then take a visit to the Ōnuku Marae.
The Ōnuku Marae is located 5.2km away from the township and is a 9-10-minute walk along the coast and through the trees.
 For more information visit www.onuku.nz

4. The Rhino Walk, Akaroa

Yes we have Rhino and more in Akaroa….well it is wildlife albeit metal. This relaxing walk from the township to Childrens Bay will treat you to some fantastic wildlife sculptures along the way. Set against the backdrop of Akaroa harbour it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours. With a very short walk you can walk from the Akaroa town to the grass hill.
Go and explore the beautiful sculptures made from recycled metal that have been turned into something magical!

5. Jump into Summer! 

Want to go and have some water fun with your friends on a nice warm day? Come down to the beach and spend an afternoon jumping from the pontoon. You might even play a game of who can stay on the longest, or who can make the biggest splash! Remember to be safe when in and around the water…and slip, slop, slap that suncreen on!

6. Akaroa Skate Park

Good on wheels? Then take so time for the kids and adults to let off some energy down on the skate ramp.
Whether it’s with your BMX, your scooter, or skate board come down and enjoy the fun all year round.
Located at the very beginning on the right just before you hit the shops.
For a list of Skate parks in the region visit the councils web page here www.ccc.govt.nz/rec-and-sport/activities/skateparks/

7. Akaroa Beach

akaroa beachAfter all that exploring how about some time to lie down and relax. Kick back, work on that tan and just chill in the shade.
Whatever you fancy, simply grab your beach gear and come down.
If you’re feeling active you could play some beach or water games, bring down your kayak or paddle board and go explore the scenery or pack a good book and simply lay still and soak up some summer.
Listed as one of the best beaches in and around Christchurch! christchurchnz.com

8. Akaroa Museum

An absolute Akaroa treasure. If you want to find out more about the fascinating historical French township of Akaroa and the history of Banks Peninsula. Its varied collections include archives, art, photography, costume and textiles, taonga, and technology.You can also learn about what buildings are heritage buildings, and they provide a research service.
With it being open from 10:30am – 4:00pm during the winter and 10:30am – 4:30pm in the summer months you can come and visit 363 days a year for free.
Visit their website akaroamuseum.org.nz

9. Akaroa Playground

Akaroa is a great place to visit with children and the playground is a great spot for them to have a good run around.
Situated just behind the war memorial with views over the water front it’s a beautiful spot to have some fun. We suggest grabbing yourself a coffee and the kids some ice creams from the Sweet As Bakery on your way! Yum!

10. Delicious Akaroa

Speaking of ice cream did you know there’s a couple of cool spots to try some complimentary food tastings.

Interested in a little free fudge tasting or a delicious piece of cheese?
Come down to Pot Pourri to try some cream and butter fudge. Pot Pourri is located just as you come into Akaroa on the right-hand side after the playing field. They hand make a variety of fresh delicious fudge daily and offer a complimentary tasting before you buy.
Check out their Facebook page here .facebook.com
Or if you are more interested in the cheesy side of things then you must stop off at the Barrys Bay cheese factory to try some traditional handcrafted cheese.
Local New Zealand cheese, made by local people…they’ve been handcrafting cheese’s for over 120 years.
 Find out more here /www.barrysbaycheese.co.nz
We hope we’ve tempted you for a visit! Here’s to a great Kiwi summer of fun!