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Discover Akaroa: Where French Flair Meets Coastal Charm

A Unique and Fascinating History

Akaroa, nestled on New Zealand's Banks Peninsula, bears the geological imprint of ancient volcanic activity, shaping both its landscape and history.

Formed over eight million years ago by the eruption of two ancient volcanoes, the Banks Peninsula boasts rugged coastlines, scenic bays, and rolling hills, providing the backdrop for Akaroa's picturesque setting.

Initially inhabited by the Māori of the Ngāi Tahu iwi, Akaroa's name, meaning "long harbour," reflects its natural beauty and the abundance of resources provided by its volcanic origins.

In 1830, French whaler Captain Jean-François Langlois anchored his ship in Akaroa Harbour, establishing the first European presence in the area. However, it was the French Navy officer Captain Jean L'Anglois who officially claimed the land for France in 1838, naming it "Port Louis-Philippe" in honor of the French king. This led to the establishment of a French settlement, despite British claims to the region.

Today, Akaroa's cultural heritage blends French and Māori influences, evident in its architecture, cuisine, and festivals, making it a captivating destination for travelers seeking a glimpse into New Zealand's diverse past.

Our range of Private Tours to Akaroa.

Our full day Private Tours include a delicious restaurant lunch as well as afternoon tea. Your group will have the exclusive use of a luxury SUV plus the services of one of our experienced guides.

Not sure which tour to do?

There is something here for everyone.

  • Nature Enthusiasts: For those who appreciate the beauty of nature, our "Scenic Harbour Cruise" tour offers an immersive experience. Sail through the stunning scenery of Akaroa's coastline, encountering dolphins, seals, and other wildlife along the way. Learn about the area's geography and history from knowledgeable guides.

  • Adventure Seekers: If you crave excitement and thrills, our "Swim with Dolphins" tour is perfect for you. Dive into the crystal-clear waters of Akaroa Harbor and swim alongside playful dolphins, creating unforgettable memories.

  • Explorers: If you love to explore hidden gems, our "Guided Kayak Trip" is an ideal choice. Paddle through the serene waters of Akaroa Harbor, discovering secluded bays and picturesque coves. Spot local wildlife and soak in the breathtaking coastal views as you navigate through this pristine marine environment.

  • Animal Lovers: For those who adore furry friends, our "Alpaca Farm Visit" offers a delightful experience. Spend time with charming alpacas at a private farm in Akaroa, learning about their care and feeding from friendly hosts. Enjoy the tranquility of the farm surroundings and capture memorable moments with these adorable animals.

The Historic Charm of Akaroa

Discover the epitome of charm in historic Akaroa on your tour - one of the prettiest in the country.

The Historic Charm of Akaroa

Discover the epitome of charm in historic Akaroa on your tour - one of the prettiest in the country.

Just some of our happy customers...

  • Thank you for an amazing day!!
    My partner Scott and I had an absolutely perfect experience with Manuela to Akorea
    The drive was beautiful the scenery was incredible
    The small quaint village was unique and Manuela was so informative and fun
    We got to see the tiny Hector dolphins, penguins and many sea birds
    Lunch was delicious in a tiny cafe in Akaroa and the drive back included more beautiful scenery, a trip to a remarkable art collective and then more beautiful views of Christchurch while enjoying tea and brownies!
    What a memorable day we had!!

  • Exceeded expectations and one of my favorite activities on our trip!!!
    Spent the day with our awesome guide Hugo. Hugo arrived at our hotel in Christchurch for pick up on time and in a cheerful mood. A local to Akaroa, he knew so much about the area and many of the business owners and employees we ran into throughout our day. There was never a dull moment on our journey. He shared with us his knowledge of New Zealand’s history and the land we travelled thru. After our drive to Akaroa he dropped us off for our Dolphin swim. Even with the weather being a little chilly and slightly rainy, we still had a fabulous encounter with the hector dolphins. The crew on our boat took excellent care of us and made the entire trip entertaining. After arriving back to shore, Hugo met us again and took us down the road to a lovely cafe where all 3 of us shared a warm meal and pleasant conversation. We then went on our journey through parts of the country between Akaroa and Christchurch. Having Hugo as our guide was like traveling with an old friend. There was never a dull moment. Even after dropping us off at our hotel he gave us some recommended spots to stop at our the next leg of our journey(which we did stop at them and they too did not disappoint.) Out of everything we did on on vacation to NZ, this was definitely one of my favorites thanks to Hugo and the personal touches he provided along the way. Thanks again Hugo!!!!

  • A lot of fun to see and explore.

    it's an outstanding tour of Akaroa, and the countryside surrounding Christchurch. Fun to see the dolphins on the Akaroa cruise too. Special shout out to our guide and driver, Mandy. She’s outstanding and made the day a lot of fun!

  • Excellent Experience In Every Way
    This was a wonderful tour in every way. Mandy is very outgoing and knowledgeable. We learned history of the Christchurch/Akaroa area, visited an art gallery, had a marvelous harbor cruise, enjoyed a beautiful lunch at BullyHayes, and then a most scenic drive up mountain roads overlooking Akoroa and Christchurch. It was an amazing day. Our travel agent had originally booked us on the swim with the dolphins cruise. We decided last minute that we preferred the harbor cruise option instead. Mandy made a call to ask if we could change and it was accomplished. Thanks to all who made that possible. It was an excellent experience all around. Thank you Canterbury Trails for a delightful day.

delectable cuisine amidst breathtaking views

Your tour includes both lunch and afternoon tea - both in stunning scenery

afternoon tea on the road

Your view at lunchtime..