Uncover the layers of history in this, Canterbury's oldest settlement. Claimed by the British at Green Point just days before the French colonists arrived in 1840, the town has always borne a twin cultural heritage. The narrow-gauge roads are lined with colonial cottages, and the historic buildings of the main street are still occupied by local businesses. Time is well spent simply walking around Akaroa's back streets. Guide yourself along the Historic walk.
Whaling station and sawmill sites from the early years of European colonisation dot the bays of the peninsula, as do Maori pa sites. Today the Ngai Tahu iwi (tribe) maintains a presence on the peninsula at Onuku, just south of Akaroa. Perhaps the most significant pa site, and certainly one of the most significant, is Onawe, in the heart of the harbour. Read about its dramatic history at the Akaroa Museum.
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Need insider tips on must-see attractions in Akaroa? Check out our Akaroa travel guide!
Hotels in Akaroa Harbour start at AU$113 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.