Bonjour Canterbury. Great Experiences on Our Back Step

October 13th, 2011

From an ‘English City’ to a French Village in an hour.

As human beings, so often when we think going on holiday we think getting on a plane and heading to a far flung corner of the world. What we often forget is just how many wonderful adventures are on our back step.

As the longer, warmer days of Spring are now upon us, I loaded the family into the wagon and we took off over the hill to explore Akaroa. This is a great spot that we have often had the pleasure of introducing to overseas visitors, but my two little boys had never been before.

We stopped about half way at the Little River Gallery to refuel with good coffee. We also took the opportunity to stroll through the gallery admiring some of the great local artists exhibiting there, including Ben Reid whose prints are earning him a strong following.Enjoying a boat cruise on Akaroa Harbour

We then drove on up over the hill where you are first presented with the glorious views of Akaroa Harbour . Meaning ‘Long Harbour in Maori, the harbour has plenty of small bays to explore and is home predominantly to farms as well as a few small settlements like Duvauchelle, Takamatua and Akaroa itself.

Soon we were out on this beautiful body of water onboard with skipper Craig on Akaroa Dolphins superb vessel Into The Blue. On this fascinating and friendly cruise we were lucky enough to spot plenty of birdlife including penguins, as well as the true hero, the Hectors dophin which is one of the smallest and rarest in the world. This cruise is family friendly and you are made to feel welcome as a guest rather than just a number.

To finish our magical family day in Akaroa we tucked into the freshest fish and chips on the seafront. Eating them straight out of the newspaper wrapping with lashings of tomato sauce, as they are supposed to be best enjoyed.

To cap off a great day, the children slept the whole way home!

Five reasons to explore Akaroa

  1. Get out on the water and view the small and playful Hectors dolphins.
  2. You haven’t tasted the worlds freshest fish & chips until you have tried the great fare on the shorefront in Akaroa. Sublime!
  3. Akaroa is only an hour from Christchurch making it a very easy day trip.
  4. The French influence on this small village is so evident. From the French inspired street names, to the theme carried through on many of the boutiques and galleries, this is genuine and not just for show.
  5. Stop at the Little River Cafe & Gallery or one of the excellent Akaroa galleries and purchase a piece of Canterbury artwork as a reminder of your time in this beautiful part of the world.

Canterbury Guiding Co. offer private guided adventures to Akaroa and throughout Canterbury. For bookings call 0800 734 437 or email

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