Hector's dolphins swimming in the ocean of New Zealand
Hector's dolphins are native to New Zealand — you'll see them nowhere else in the world. To see them, book a tour of Akaroa Harbour on a catamaran or a six-sailed ketch, or get out on the water in a kayak. You'll likely see penguins and seals on your trip too.
Alpaca's in Akaroa, New Zealand
Shamarra Alpacas Farm has a host of fluffy alpacas and a wide field that overlooks Akaroa Harbour. Get up close to take photos of their friendly faces, and later, handle their ultra-soft fleece. There's a shop if you want to buy something to keep you warm in New Zealand's ever-changing weather.
Sample organic wines at Akaroa Winery with views out to the Akaroa Inlet. Here, the winemakers practice sustainable growing and production techniques. Many of their wines resemble fruit-dominant California vintages and are very age-worthy. Top wines are a Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir; sample their Chardonnay, Reisling and Gewurtztraminer, too.
In keeping with its character, Akaroa offers a wealth of French-inspired eats. Fill up with a ham and gruyere croissant from a bakery in the town center before you start your day's adventure. For dinner, tuck into locally raised beef short ribs served with sweetbreads, baby carrots and truffle jus. Or head to Akaroa Fish and Chips for their namesake dish — they're well-known as one of the best fish-and-chip shops around.
Arts and crafts are the thing to shop for in Akaroa. Little River Gallery has great selections. Pick up jewelry made from New Zealand greenstone or paua shell is available at Fire & Ice, or take home an unset stone from Hettie's Rock and Crystal Shop. Jump onboard a Akaroa cruise and look for products made from local Alpaca wool or clothing made with traditional Maori designs.
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