On the eastern shores of New Zealand's South Island, Akaroa is a popular tourist destination with a distinctly French flair, its history steeped in legend. It lies on the volcanic Banks Peninsula, which the Maori believe was formed when a hero named Maui piled mountains upon a giant who threatened to eat his children.
The same peninsula was purchased from the local Maori by a French whaler around 1838, and was later settled by both the French and the British, who had just signed the Treaty of Waitangi ensuring New Zealand's existence as a British colony.
With French-named streets leading to restaurants serving French cuisine and colonial architecture all around, Akaroa's heritage as the only French-founded community in New Zealand is unmistakable. Akaroa harbour is home to a diverse array of marine life, including rare Hector's dolphins, and visitors are lured by the area's secluded beaches and quaint boutiques.
One of the world's great scenic railways travels through 19 tunnels and across four bridges showcasing verdant open plains, lush beech forest, rugged river valleys and the towering Southern Alps.
Akaroa Harbour is part of Banks Peninsula in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand. It is one of two major inlets in Banks Peninsula, on the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand; the other is Lyttelton Harbour on the northern coast. It enters from the southern coast of the peninsula, heading in a predominantly northerly direction. The name Akaroa is Kāi Tahu Māori for "Long Harbour". It is to highlight that when the French founded the village of Akaroa in 1840, they referred to the bay as Paka Ariki.
Christchurch is the city of exploration, a refreshing urban centre full of new secrets to discover. If you haven't been here in a while, you're in for a surprise. The city has been through some massive changes in the past few years, and the time has come to explore it all.
Akaroa & Surrounds
This quaint French and British-influenced village is nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. It offers colonial architecture, galleries, cafés and dramatic seaside views.
Be chilled in our incredible Antarctic storm room. Be thrilled on an all-terrain vehicle tour. Make friends with penguins and huskies. Learn about the first expeditions, modern day life on Scott Base and the future of humanity on the ice. Be amazed through the big screen ice tour and astonished within the immersive 4D theatre.
New Zealand cuisine is largely driven by local ingredients and seasonal variations. An island nation with a primarily agricultural economy, New Zealand yields produce from land and sea.
Lord of the Rings
he Lord of the Rings is a film series of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel written by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003). Produced and distributed by New Line Cinema with the co-production of WingNut Films, it is an international venture between New Zealand and the United States.