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 is the oldest town in Canterbury and lies in a scenic harbour 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 organised excursions from Christchurch.
Suggested Akaroa & Banks Peninsula itinerary
This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in Akaroa & Banks Peninsula, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this 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
- Christchurch 41 kilometers away
- Hanmer Springs 144 kilometers away
- Arthur's Pass National Park 149 kilometers away
- Kaikoura 167 kilometers away
- Lake Tekapo 201 kilometers away
- Hokitika 203 kilometers away
- Mount Cook National Park 231 kilometers away
- Punakaiki 231 kilometers away
- Twizel 235 kilometers away
- Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers 241 kilometers away
- Blenheim 268 kilometers away
- Nelson 284 kilometers away
- Picton 293 kilometers away
- The Otago Peninsula 293 kilometers away
- Dunedin 302 kilometers away
- Marlborough Sounds 310 kilometers away
- Haast & Lake Moeraki 315 kilometers away
- Wellington 318 kilometers away
- Kahurangi National Park 319 kilometers away
- Abel Tasman National Park 321 kilometers away
- Lake Wanaka 322 kilometers away
- Collingwood & Farewell Spit 349 kilometers away
- Arrowtown 353 kilometers away
- Martinborough 354 kilometers away
- Wairarapa & surrounds 363 kilometers away
- The Kapiti Coast 366 kilometers away
- Greytown 367 kilometers away
- Queenstown 369 kilometers away
- Glenorchy 383 kilometers away
- Milford Sound 414 kilometers away
- The Catlins 435 kilometers away
- Te Anau & Manapouri 453 kilometers away
- Whanganui National Park 465 kilometers away
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.
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.