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Akaroa

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About Akaroa

A historic coastal town on the spectacular Banks Peninsula, Akaroa is a wonderful destination for culture buffs and active explorers eager to enjoy the many wonders of the South Island. Just ninety minutes’ drive from Christchurch, this charming town is ideal for long weekends of whale watching, sailing, kayaking, hiking and mountain biking as a couple or with family and friends. Chosen for their style, location and amenities, our recommendations for the best places to stay in Akaroa are intimate and historic — though we do have some slick, modern boltholes for fans of contemporary design, too!

Once an island formed by two volcanic cones, the Banks Peninsula is dominated by two craters, which have created a fascinating landscape of dramatic mountains and sheltered harbours — including Akaroa itself. Notable as New Zealand’s only French settlement, this small town is characterised by its wealth of heritage architecture, and plethora of independent cafés, bars and restaurants. Delve into the region’s history at the Akaora Museum, the Akaroa Lighthouse, the Banks Peninsula War Memorial or with a guided walking tour.

Outdoorsy types, on the other hand, can hike part of the three-day Banks Peninsula Trek, follow adventurous mountain biking and horse riding trails, or go kayaking and sailing on the bay. Spot whales, Hector's dolphins and the famed little blue penguins as you explore. The Hinewai Reserve, the Garden of Tane, the Fishermans Bay Garden and the Giants House are all magical. Don’t miss tour and tastings at local wineries before retreating to one of the best places to stay in Akaroa. One B&B even has its own vineyard!

The Best Places to Stay in Akaroa

For a Heritage B&B

  • Beaufort House is a charming Akaroa B&B housed in a 1878-built residence within an acre of manicured gardens, complete with its own petite vineyard. Expect plenty of heritage charm in five opulent guestrooms, a lovely terrace, big breakfasts and complimentary canapés with Beaufort House wine in the evenings. An adults-only delight.
  • French Bay House was built in the Gothic Carpenter style in 1874. Now a four-bedroom B&B with classic interiors, floral accents & expansive views, it's a wonderful choice for romantic couples. Feast on home-cooked breakfasts, cycle around town on borrowed bicycles or share a gourmet picnic basket in a scenic spot. Adults-only bliss.

For Families or Groups

  • Newton Heights B&B sits on an Akaroa hillside, offering striking views from a large shared terrace complete with a hot tub and cracking fireplace. Contemporary interiors feature natural materials, bathrooms are very indulgent, and there's even a bunk room for friends or families. Book all four rooms for a big group trip! Very stylish.

For Luxury

  • Annandale promises a spectacular series of secret private residences peppered around a 6,000 acre working estate. Hide away in a classic cottage for a romantic weekend or party the night away in a contemporary seascape retreat with friends. The ultimate luxury escape, between Akaroa and Christchurch. Exceptional.

FOR AN APARTMENT OR HOLIDAY COTTAGE

  • If you'd prefer a self-catering option, we suggest that you visit our online partner Booking.com.

TRAVEL INFORMATION

  • Fly to Christchurch International Airport, 1.5 hours' drive away. Travel to Akaroa and the wider Banks Peninsula by bus or car.
  • New Zealand is famously wonderful for a road trip! Contact our online partner Rentalcars if you would like to hire a car.
  • Travel during the spring or summer for the best weather, with temperatures peaking around 18-21°C between December and April. For a quieter trip and great deals, look at May or October-November.

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Best Hotels in Akaroa

  • French Bay House Akaroa 4 rooms from £105

    Romantic Break  -  Pretty floral touches, big cosy beds and lovely views make this 4-bedroom villa an intimate romantic hideaway
    Sights nearby  -  Delve into the region's Maori heritage by admiring the impressive Marae in Onuku, a short drive away. (entry upon invitation)
    Cooking classes  -  Take a class at the friendly Akaroa Cooking School, delving into NZ produce and favourite local dishes
    Great walks  -  Follow marked trails around Akaroa, or challenge yourself with the scenic 3-day Banks Peninsula Trek
    GardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A charming 4-bedroom B&B in historic Akaroa. Perfect for romantic couples, this owner-run Gothic gem was built in 1874 and boasts classic interiors with floral accents & expansive views. Savour cooked breakfasts, borrow bicycles, unwind in lush gardens and stroll to the nearby harbour. Bliss. See More

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  • Newton Heights B&B Akaroa 4 rooms from £140

    Families  -  Book the bunk-bed Pukeko room for kids or friends travelling together — or take the whole house for a big family trip!
    Owner managed  -  Owners Brendon & Gail have lived in Akaroa for 15 years, and will happily share their local knowledge
    City Style  -  A luxurious contemporary B&B with beautiful views & fantastic amenities
    Views  -  The hillside location promises mountain, town and harbour views
    ViewsParkingNo pets

    An ultra-modern hillside B&B with impressive Akaroa views. Pick this place for its chic contemporary interiors, indulgent bathrooms and large deck with fireplace & hot tub. With three double bedrooms and one bunk room, this is a top family or group choice. Home-cooked breakfasts are a real treat. See More

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  • Beaufort House Akaroa 7520 5 rooms from £205

    Great walks  -  Follow the 'Village Walks' series through the Akaroa reserves, visiting key sites inc. the French Cemetery & Britomart Monument
    Local exploring  -  Explore the scenery on land and water. Harbour cruises, fishing, diving, horse treks, hikes and mountain bikes are popular
    Historic  -  Built in 1878, the house was originally named 'The Wilderness', and has been a guest house for over 100 years
    Wine tasting  -  Sample Beaufort House Pinot Noir or Chardonnay during your stay
    Air conditioningGardenViewsParkingNo pets

    An historic and secluded lodge set in beautifully manicured gardens, surrounded by vineyards. Interiors are cosy and traditional with antiques, chintz fabrics and roaring log fires. A charming base from which to engage in the various outdoor activities this picturesque region has to offer. See More

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  • Annandale Akaroa (Pigeon Bay) 6 rooms from £825

    Romantic Break  -  With a tranquil location, first-class facilities and beautifully appointed villas, book this hotel for an idyllic romantic break
    Families  -  With spacious self-catering villas that can accommodate up to twelve people, book this hotel for a unique family getaway
    Country Escape  -  Set in the beautiful landscape of Annandale on a working farm, book this hotel for an authentic escape to the country
    Great walks  -  Beyond the farm, the greater Banks Peninsula is renowned for its hiking trails, with routes ranging from 10 minutes to 3 hours
    Air conditioningTennisSpaSwimming PoolGardenViewsParkingNo pets
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    Exclusive getaway set on a working coastal farm, midway between picture perfect Akoroa and Christchurch. A series of secret private residences are peppered around the estate, ranging from a classic cottage to a contemporary seascape retreat plus the original Homestead, updated for the 21st century. See More

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