Southeast of Christchurch
on the rolling hills of Banks Peninsula
, the quaint harbourside township of Akaroa is Canterbury
's oldest village and New Zealand's only French settlement. Akaroa was established in 1838 by French whaler, Captain Jean Langlois, and still enjoys a distinct French charm. The architecture, pavement cafes and French street names all bear testimony to its founding fathers. Akaroa's main street, Rue Lavaud, is the heart of the village.
Akaroa's beautiful harbour is home to some rare native wildlife including Hector's dolphins, little blue penguins and fur seals. Wildlife cruises are a great way to view the marine life, and you can even swim with the dolphins when conditions allow. Out on the peninsula are the remains of a whaling station, sawmill and historic Maori pa sites, or head into the surrounding countryside and enjoy the wineries, mountain biking, horse trekking, golf and scenic walking trails.
Akaroa is located on the eastern shoreline of Akaroa harbour on Banks Peninsula. Banks Peninsula is about half-way down the east coast of the South Island.
Akaroa has a sub-mediterranean climate. Its summer average temperature ranges from 16-22°C. The average daily winter temperature ranges from 2 to 13°C.