French influence in the city of Akaroa is evident by its food, architecture, and people, many of which are descents of families from France. Akaroa is a small town located on the Banks Peninsula in New Zealand. This city is formed from two volcanoes that erupted. Akaroa is known as “France of New Zealand” because most people in Akaroa are French. Just like France, the town of Akaroa has many charming tourist attractions. You’ll not only travel to the sea and the mountains, but you can do many other fun activities such as cooking, shopping, and exercising in this city.
One of the most famous tourist attractions in Akaroa is swimming with the Hector’s dolphins. Hector’s dolphins are only found in New Zealand. Black Cat Cruises in Akaroa Harbor has cruises where they take you out into the ocean to swim with these amazing creatures. They do not do cruises in the winter, from June-August. In addition, there is the Akaroa Farm Tour of Paua Bay. On this tour, you can see the ancient French-styled homes and will be invited to herd sheep along with a superbly trained sheepdog. If interested in the Akaroa Farm Tour, contact Paua Bay Hillcountry Farm.
Another unique activity to do in Akaroa is learning to cook at Akaroa Cooking School. They have many different types of cooking classes, including typical food of Akaroa city, such as fish and chips. If you do not like to cook, but want to enjoy the food in Akaroa, then go to Akaroa Fish & Chips. This place is open every Sunday-Thursday at 11:00 am – 07:30 pm and Friday-Saturday 11:00 am – 08:30 pm.
The most interesting place in Akaroa is probably the Giant’s House. This is an historic house that presents the artwork of the Maori people, as well as a flower garden, statues and ornate mosaics. In addition, you can also visit the Akaroa Museum to learn about the history of the city, old houses like Langlois-Eteveneaux built in 1840, Customs House in 1850, and the Court House in 1878. The museum also sells souvenirs, such as typical Maori crafts. Another historic site worth visiting is the Okains Bay Museum. This museum is about the Maori way of life in ancient times. The museum is about 2 km from Okains Beach and is open every day from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Akaroa is 75 km from Christchurch. The drive is very pleasant because in this one hour journey you see the mountains and meadows.
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