How to choose Akaroa shore excursions and sightseeing.
If you are on a cruise that is stopping at Akaroa this year you have a choice of staying on board (and missing the beautiful township of Akaroa and spectacular sights of Banks Peninsula) or taking the short tender trip to discover the delights of Akaroa shore excursions and sightseeing. There are a few things independent visitors need to know. When you arrive on the wharf you will find a visitor information and booking centre and independent operators offering shore excursions at Akaroa. You will also see roving ambassadors from the local community who can give you a free town map. These folk are all volunteers and available to help you out. Check out the Akaroa website for more information on the Akaroa shore excursions and sightseeing.
The town is a seaside resort just over 1km (just over 0.6mi) from one end to the other. It’s flat along the waterfront and an easy walk. If you want something more strenuous explore the hills by some lovely bush walks or up some of the steep streets. There are no wild animals or snakes. The permanent population is under 1000. Akaroa has many holiday homes.
There is a free shuttle bus running visitors from the wharf to the far end of town & back.
Akaroa shore excursions and sightseeing options, on and off the water, are many and varied. Some need to be pre-booked through the cruise ship or with the independent operators. Tour operators may live and work locally or come in from out of town. To guarantee the tour you want is available we advise pre booking with the independent operators or through the ship.
There are short local tours, tours that that go to Christchurch and further afield and take hours or all day. There are land tours in large buses, small vans, cars, motorbike and sidecar, limousine, rented (hired) car, vintage car, bicycle or on foot.
If you want to book your own activity or tour directly here are some ideas.
First decide whether you want a land tour (motorbike and side car, penguin colony, seal colony, scenic mail run,bus, van, sheep and alpacca farm tours) a water tour (harbour nature and scenic cruise, swimming with dolphins, kayaking)
Land tours -Akaroa shore excursions and sightseeing
A Classic Ride Honda Goldwing & Sidecar tours from 1/2 hr to full day. The only Goldwing & Sidecar tour in NZ. 1-2 (up to 3 if 2 smaller people) Protective gear supplied.
Akaroa Rental Cars self drive luxury vehicle for up to 5 icluding driver or hire with driver for 4 pax.
Shamarra Alpacca Farm Tours across the harbour.
Pohatu Penguin Tours at the Flea Bay Marine Reserve. There is a bus. Check at the visitor centre.
Paua Bay Farm Tours see sheep dogs working, shearing and enjoy home made scones.
Various bus & shuttle tours available at the end of the wharf.
Water tours – Akaroa shore excursions and sightseeing
Coast up Close…a refurbished historic launch with amazing viewing platforms & a friendly local skipper who specialises in small groups but can take up to 35
Akaroa Dolphins. a stylish modern boat Max. 40 people
A-Class-Sailing … a real sailing experience on the beautiful Akaroa Harbour on an historic A Class. max 20
FoxII another sailing/motor trip on a historic ketch. max 30
Black Cat swimming with dolphins and harbour cruises
or check in at the Akaroa Adventure Centre & hire a kayak, a bicycle, a frisbee or just go for a walk.
Transport to Christchurch is available. Taxis & buses leave from the end of the main wharf. The trip to ChCh takes over an hour each way & most of your day onshore will be taken up with this option.