on Jan 18th, 2006
We had a nice time in Akaroa. The town is a tiny tourist spot that was originally settled by the French and now tries to stay French in appearance (i.e. the Bon-Email internet hut). Of course it’s main asset is the beautiful harbor that it’s set in, so most accommodations and dining are right on the water. Aside from the few cafÃ©s and shops, there isn’t all that much to do in the town. The big draws seem to be the various harbor tour companies which offer various permutations of sight seeing, dolphin seeing, penguin seeing, swimming with dolphins, etc. Just a plain vanilla harbor tour was highly recommended to us by a non-Akaroan and we signed up for that first thing on Saturday, but to our disappointment the tour was cancelled due to bad weather. The water was indeed choppy for the 30 minutes before the planned departure, but shortly after the cancellation everything calmed down and would have presumably made for a nice trip.
Akaroa is definitely a day trip, and fortunately there are shuttles to and from Christchurch which provide just that. I’m still keen to get on the harbor, but we’ll probably forego the hotel and will definitely pick favorable day for boating.