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Pigeon Bay, Lavericks Bay and Okains Bay are fine examples of the picturesque inlets and small villages that dot the peninsula.

Formed by the eruption of the Akaroa volcano, Banks Peninsula was once an island itself and reminders of this dramatic geological past are everywhere, with rocky volcanic outcrops, craggy headlands, deep valleys and precipitous bluffs.


Akaroa & Banks Peninsula, New ZealandAkaroa is the oldest town in Canterbury and lies in a scenic harbor on the peninsula in which the dolphins can often be seen.

The town has the feel of a French provincial village as it stands on the sight of the first French settlement in New Zealand and this Gallic charm is still evident, with descendants of these early settlers still living in the area.

One of the best ways of exploring the area is on one of the excellent organized excursions from Christchurch.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Rebecca

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Akaroa & Banks Peninsula by contacting one of our New Zealand specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Akaroa & Banks Peninsula, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

    Accommodation choices for Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Akaroa & Banks Peninsula. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • French Bay House

      French Bay House

      First Class

      French Bay house is a quaint 19th century house set on Rue Jolie, in the heart of Akaroa. Staying here will get a fantastic hosting experience along with superb local knowledge.

    • Beaufort House, Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

      Beaufort House

      First Class

      Beaufort House provides seclusion and privacy whilst being close to local attractions, making it an ideal place to stay and experience Akaroa.

    Ideas for experiencing Akaroa & Banks Peninsula

    Our specialists seek out authentic ways to get to know the places that could feature in your trip. These activities reflect some of the experiences they've most enjoyed while visiting Akaroa & Banks Peninsula, and which use the best local guides.

    • Swimming with Hector's Dolphins in Akaroa Harbour
      A pair of Hector's dolphins

      Swimming with Hector's Dolphins in Akaroa Harbour

      Swimming with Hector's Dolphins in Akaroa Harbour

      The sheltered harbor of Akaroa is an ideal place for a unique encounter with the world's smallest, rarest and friendliest dolphins, the Hector's dolphins.

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    • Harbor Wildlife Cruise
      Akaroa & Banks Peninsula, New Zealand

      Harbor Wildlife Cruise

      Harbor Wildlife Cruise

      This harbor cruise is one of the most picturesque in New Zealand and gives you the chance to experience the Banks Peninsula's most majestic scenery.

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