Guide12 hours Akaroa
Located just an hour and a half’s drive from Christchurch, Akaroa is the ideal spot for a day trip or an overnight stay. Sit back, relax and let our 12 hour guide help you find the best things to see, eat and do in this beautiful part of the country.
Little River Art Gallery
Christchurch Akaroa Road, Little River
The sophisticated rural architecture of this unique, roadside art gallery is only a hint at the riot of colours, shapes and textures awaiting inside. Built on the site of a 120-year-old store destroyed by fire, the countrified gallery opens onto a gift shop, sculpture garden and the popular Little River Cafe which is home to some of the best scones in the south. Stop in for a wander, a coffee and a spot of breakfast at this charming spot.
Barrys Bay Cheese
5807 Christchurch Akaroa Road, Duvauchelle
This piece of cheesy paradise is a must visit while in this neck of the woods. For over 120 years Barrys Bay Cheese has been creating delicious, memorable cheeses on the hills of the Banks Peninsula. The Barrys Bay collection of cheeses includes real English cheddars, havarti and the ever-popular Peninsula Blue. They also make a range of Dutch style cheeses – of particular note is their aged cumin gouda which was awarded Champion Dutch Style Cheese at the 2018 NZ Cheese Awards. Stop in and stock up.
67 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa
Not just the home of award-winning ham and sausages, the Akaroa Butchery and Delicatessen is also home to black pudding, condiments and sauces, spices, fresh bread and cheeses. Influenced by Italian and French styles, co-owner Fred sources the finest meat from a boutique abattoir in North Canterbury and makes his products in small batches, with no additives or nasties thrown in. Akaroa salmon is also sold here, along with famous house-made pies and pate.
Ça Bouge Boutique
31 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa
Ça Bouge is a bright, sophisticated fashion boutique which would be at home in any city in the world. Stocking brands like Scotch and Soda, Noa Noa, Standard Issue, Kowtow, Kate Sylvester, Le Specs, Trelise Cooper, Workshop, Shjark, Superdry and Diesel - the store caters for both women and men and is well worth having a good peruse through before lunch.
Peninsula General Store
40E Rue Lavaud, Akaroa
The Peninsula General Store is the perfect place to stop for a delicious quick and easy lunch. Here, organic, international and gourmet foods await. Cabinets are stocked with fresh made sandwiches and baking each day, always with gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan options available.
61 Beach Road
Get settled back onto land with a wander through Akaroa’s Lava Gallery. Specialising in local art, jewellery, gifts and unique homewares, Lava is s treasure trove of eye-catching goodies. As is the case with many of the other Akaroa spots in this guide, you may be hard pushed to depart Lava with nothing in hand.
HarBar Beach Cafe and Bar
83 Rue Jolie
Stop for a drink and soak in the beach front views from HarBar. This relaxed spot overlooks the Akaroa harbour and is a favourite with locals who flock here for an easy bite to eat (the fish tacos are a must) and a couple of drinks whilst watching the beautiful blue water. Friendly service and a relaxed vibe make HarBar the perfect spot to take five with a glass of something cold.
42 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa
A trip to Akaroa isn’t complete without a trip to the ever-delicious Rona’s. Here, old world meets new, where a former home has been repurposed into dining rooms, a bar and heavenly courtyard brimming with wild greens and Al Fresco dining dreams. The sharing plate menu changes with the availability of ingredients, but is heavily influenced by the chefs’ seven year stint cooking in Berlin is guaranteed to be delicious and inventive.
French Bay House
113 Rue Jolie, Akaroa
If you’re a bit weary after a decadent day of shopping, eating, drinking and sight-seeing, an Akaroa sleepover might be just the trick. And French Bay House is a rather dreamy sleepover spot indeed.
A flourishing garden flanks French Bay House, one of the settlement’s original homesteads, while a wisteria-covered, sun-soaked porch swing seat completes the halcyon picture. Inside, four king-sized bedrooms with ensuites are named after local landmarks and are comfortably furnished giving each room its own unique feel. Think cosy throws, intricate artworks and luxe linen, while bathrooms are resplendent in tiles and stocked with organic toiletries.