Welcome to the small town of Akaroa. I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful sail-in to Akaroa, with green hills and mountains on both sides of the ship. Akaroa is the gateway to Christchurch, which is about a 90min drive away, and only has a population of 570 people!
As you arrive via tender boat on the pier, you can almost see the whole town stretching to your left. The main road runs along the beach and there you will find beautiful boutique stores, coffee shops, restaurants, good old fish ‘n chips, and their famous home-made fudge! You can walk from one end of town to the other in about 30min – depending on how many stops you make along the way;). On the one end is a lighthouse (to the right), and on the other end is the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (to the left). A very popular thing to do in Akaroa is to swim with the Hector’s dolphins – the smallest dolphins in the world!
There are also a few easy hiking trails that take you up the hills surrounding Akaroa. This will give you magnificent views of the bay, the harbour, the ship, and the town of Akaroa. It takes you through some neighbourhoods as well where you will come across The Giant’s House. This house was built in 1880, and has been renovated with mosaic and sculptures, and has terraced gardens and original artworks.