Posted in Travel

Akaroa

I had next to nothing planned this past Saturday when one of my flatmates asked if I’d be keen to go on a short road trip with her.  I obviously jumped at the chance.  She and her dad were taking a motorcycle trip to Akaroa, a historic French town on the Banks Peninsula (a hilly and beautiful spot Southeast of Christchurch), and a friend of hers was trailing in the car (I’d have rather been on the back of the bike, but she only has her learner’s license so isn’t allowed a passenger).

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When we were almost there, we took a break to go on a short hike to the top of the Onawe Pa Historic Reserve – the first little peninsula you come across on your way to Akaroa (within the greater peninsula).

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It was a beautiful walk out to the farthest and highest spot of the sacred Maori site, and was actually quite a bit farther than it initially seemed.

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Then, we finished the last leg to Akaroa, a sheltered harbor amongst picturesque volcanic hills.  This was the first French settlement in New Zealand, intended as a whaling port, and still has a definite French flavor.

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An amusing sign:

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And blubber pots…

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We got some amazing fish and chips at a famous little shop (and at $6.70 NZD for a freshly fried and decent sized piece of fish and a huge helping of delicious fries, this has been some of the most affordable take-out I’ve come across so far in New Zealand!).

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We ate outside, then walked to the end of the pier.

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Then, as we started on our way out of town, we stopped at another great restaurant/bar called the Hilltop, where we extended the trip a bit more (the Kiwi’s really DO like to take their time) and shared dessert.

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This trip was another great example of the Kiwi hospitality.  Not only was I thrilled to be invited to tag along, but they went above and beyond by making an intentional effort to create a fun local experience for the out-of-towner.

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5 thoughts on “Akaroa

  1. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Sammy!!! Enjoy your adventures in NZ….you’re so lucky to be able to be there!! Thanks for keeping a blog! Love from all the Eplings!!! Aunt Cindy

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