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 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
- Christchurch 26 miles away
- Hanmer Springs 89 miles away
- Arthur's Pass National Park 93 miles away
- Kaikoura 104 miles away
- Lake Tekapo 125 miles away
- Hokitika 126 miles away
- Mount Cook National Park 144 miles away
- Punakaiki 144 miles away
- Twizel 146 miles away
- Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers 150 miles away
- Blenheim 166 miles away
- Nelson 177 miles away
- Picton 182 miles away
- The Otago Peninsula 182 miles away
- Dunedin 188 miles away
- Marlborough Sounds 193 miles away
- Haast & Lake Moeraki 196 miles away
- Wellington 198 miles away
- Kahurangi National Park 199 miles away
- Abel Tasman National Park 200 miles away
- Lake Wanaka 200 miles away
- Collingwood & Farewell Spit 217 miles away
- Arrowtown 219 miles away
- Martinborough 220 miles away
- Wairarapa & surrounds 226 miles away
- The Kapiti Coast 228 miles away
- Greytown 228 miles away
- Queenstown 229 miles away
- Glenorchy 238 miles away
- Milford Sound 258 miles away
- The Catlins 270 miles away
- Te Anau & Manapouri 282 miles away
- Whanganui National Park 289 miles 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.