Things to do in Akaroa

Swimming with Dolphins (Black Cat Cruises)

If you are like many people you will have dreamt of swimming with wild dolphins in their natural habitat. There is only one place on the planet where you can take part in the most unique adventure of a lifetime and swim with the worlds smallest and rarest dolphin – the Hector or New Zealand Dolphin – and that is the beautiful setting of Akaroa Harbour in New Zealand’s South Island.

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Pohatu Penguins - 4WD Scenic Sea-kayaking Safari

Explore the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve by kayak, marvel at its spectacular towering cliffs, rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves and encounter its unique wildlife.

Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch make an added exciting attraction in settled sea conditions. Observe the diverse wildlife and marine species such as penguins, seals (and their pups), various sea birds and possibly the world’s smallest and New Zealand endemic dolphin!

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scenic sea kayaking safari

Penguin Tours

Pohatu is the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand and the family has worked over the last three decades protecting White-flippered Penguins (Eudyptula minor albosignata), Canterbury's own variant of Australasian Little Penguin, from introduced predators.
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The Giant's House

The Giant’s House is a historic homestead that has been transformed into an arty escape. It is located just a few minutes’ walk from Akaroa’s town centre, and in its past life, it was the residence of the first bank manager in the area. These days, The Giant’s House features a B&B, a café, a contemporary art gallery and a terraced garden filled with beautiful adornments such as sculptures and mosaics.

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Akaroa Lighthouse

he historic Akaroa Lighthouse is one of the town’s most iconic landmarks. While it currently resides on Cemetery Point, just a short walk from town, the lighthouse was originally erected on Akaroa Head in 1880, where it operated for more than a century. The lighthouse was shifted to its present location in the 1980s — after an automated light replaced it — and is currently preserved by a roster of local volunteers. There’s a small entry fee for entering the lighthouse (the funds are invested back into its upkeep), but seeing the historic relics up close and getting to immerse yourself in the surrounding views is well worth it.

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