Welcome to Akaroa! Kia ora!
Akaroa is a gem that is still relatively under the radar from the main tourist trail. It will have you entranced with its historic buildings, magnificent harbour, boutique shops and passion for fine food. Located on the south east side of the deep, sheltered Akaroa Harbour, the charming township of Akaroa has a special point of difference – it was the only French settlement in New Zealand.
Where mountains meet the ocean, you find us by taking an easy drive south-east of Christchurch, Banks Peninsula is the South Island’s most interesting volcanic feature. Originally an island formed by two volcanic cones, the peninsula has two dominant craters. In 1838 a French whaler, Captain Langlois, decided that Akaroa was an ideal location for a town that could service the whaling ships.. Akaroa is steeped in history but today is a quiet and beautiful getaway for kiwis and tourists alike.
Akaroa is an easy day trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There are also daily return bus services running from Christchurch and Lyttleton to Akaroa for cruise ship passengers! If you would like us to book transport for you just let us know.
If you are driving from Christchurch allow 80 minutes to reach us! There is plenty of parking near our launching area, look for the cricket pitch just as you arrive into Akaroa, you will see a large area that campervans, buses and boat trailers park. We are right next to this so grab a park there and walk to our trailer. Please leave any valuables or extra luggage in your car as you will not need to bring them with you in the kayaks.
For all guests arriving into Akaroa by sea we will send you detailed information of how to find us by walking from the main wharf. It’s really easy! Akaroa is a small town and there is one main street. We are about 9-10 mins walk ( no hills) to get to our meeting point.
We will meet you approx 5 mins before the start of your Experience on the grass opposite The Bowling Club which is located on 40 Rue Lavaud, Just off the main street of Akaroa by the ocean.
You will see our kayak trailer from this location, there are pubic toilets and picnic tables to relax at right next to our launching area. You will be met by your guides and will be given an opportunity to sort out your belongings, remember we travel lightly!
Bus Options From Central Christchurch & Lyttleton
Preparing For Your Kayaking Safari
At Akaroa Guided Kayak Safaris we fiercely promote conservation of all the planet’s beautiful waterways and oceans.
Our Akaroa Harbour nature cruises and safaris require respect in many ways. Respect for its natural environment; respect for its ability to give you blue skies and blue water, along with wind and rain; respect in the ocean’s ability to be calm and serene or stormy and turbulent. We ask you to join us and take only photos and leave only footprints. There are recycling bins in the township, please use them and keep our beautiful area clean.
Also, we would love it if you could bring a reusable water bottle that is not plastic! With an open mind and adventurous spirit, you will have a fantastic experience in our amazing location. Have a read through the following information, pack your bags and get ready for a wonderful safari with us.
When packing for your Akaroa cruise ship shore excursion, Sunrise Safari or Crater Cruiser remember that you are going into the outdoors. We travel lightly in the kayaks, please only bring with you what you need. We can provide safe storage for you while you are on the water for any excess luggage.
Clothing: Shorts, Hat, and Light Raincoat,Long Sleeved Shirt, Close toed Sandals/Shoes (no Jandals or Flip Flops), Your shoes will most likely not get wet as we bring them in the kayaks with us for safety.
Sun Protection: Sunscreen is essential, we recommend reef-safe sunscreen to protect our oceans such as Aloe-up or Oasis Nz brands. You want to use a product that does not contain oxybenzone! Sunscreens that are reef safe will usually have this written on the label. We have a very high UV rating in New Zealand -the highest in the world, please bring Sunglasses and Sun Hat to avoid nasty sunburn.
Other: Personal medication, Reusable Water bottle, Waterproof camera or waterproof case for your phone – Trip photographs will be taken throughout the day with our specialized equipment and sent to you free of charge after the trip.
For more information about the town – check out www.akaroa.com