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Akaroa Outdoor sports

Our most recommended Akaroa Outdoor sports

Akaroa: 4WD Safari and Guided Sea-Kayaking Experience

1. Akaroa: 4WD Safari and Guided Sea-Kayaking Experience

Enjoy a memorable sea-kayaking experience from Akaroa with two departure options. No experience is necessary because the trips are run in settled safe conditions by an experienced and knowledgeable guide.  Depart from Akaroa for a scenic drive in a 4WD minivan over the crater rim of the Akaroa volcano to Pohatu Flea Bay. Learn about the region from your local guide and, during the afternoon trip, stop for photo opportunities along the way. Then, it is time to gear up and climb into the double kayaks. Your safety is the top priority and the experience can be mind-blowing with the right sea conditions. Explore the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve and marvel at its spectacular towering cliffs, rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves. Flea Bay Island and the impressive island arch can be reached in settled sea conditions. Marvel at the diverse wildlife and marine species such as penguins, seals, various seabirds, and possibly the world’s smallest dolphin.

Akaroa: Pohatu Little Penguins 3-Hour Evening Experience

2. Akaroa: Pohatu Little Penguins 3-Hour Evening Experience

Join the tour from Akaroa for a scenic drive by a 4WD minivan over the crater rim of the Akaroa volcano to Pohatu/Flea Bay. Listen as your guide shares with you the history and unique wildlife of Akara. Stop for photo opportunities where you can gaze across Akaroa harbor and enjoy stunning views of the endless Pacific Ocean. On arrival, walk around the colony to monitor nesting sites, collect data, and make sure that the birds are doing well. Spot the penguins undisturbed, socializing on the water, and with darkness falling, a very high likelihood of some returning to shore. Binoculars and camouflage gear are provided to maximize viewing abilities. Darkness will signal the end of the activity, as artificial lighting disturbs the birds so is not used. At certain times of the year, you may even see some of the rehabilitation efforts, such as supplemental feeding.

Akaroa: Pohatu Penguins Scenic Nature 2-Hour or 4-Hour Tour

3. Akaroa: Pohatu Penguins Scenic Nature 2-Hour or 4-Hour Tour

Join a 4WD eco-tourism safari to the spectacular award-winning Wild Side Conservation area. Depart Akaroa for a scenic drive in a 4WD minivan over the crater rim of the Akaroa volcano to Pohatu Flea Bay. Along the way, learn the region's history from your local guide. Stop for photo opportunities with views of Akaroa harbor and the Pacific Ocean. Arrive at a local family's farm where you can meet friendly pet sheep and hand-feed them for a real kiwi experience. In season, monitor nesting sites with your guide and learn about the conservation work done for the largest colony of little penguins on mainland New Zealand. At certain times of the year, you may even see some of the rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feeding. The extended 4-hour tour includes visits to the spectacular cliff-tops of Akaroa Heads Lighthouse Reserve. You will have more time to enjoy the area with homemade muffins and cakes, and more time to see the native wildlife and to explore Flea Bay. This activity directly funds the conservation work that takes place at Pohatu Bay to protect the penguins.

Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

4. Akaroa: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

Experience the best of Akaroa's marine reserve on a 3-hour guided kayak safari in a small intimate group with your own local nature guide. Venture into an eco-paradise and have the chance for endangered wildlife encounters along the way. Stop at a remote beach for refreshments, a swim, or just to explore. No experience is necessary for this adventure. It’s easy and fun and suitable for anyone 12 years of age and older! The early morning trip can make for spectacular conditions and encounters. We are always the first operators on the water and usually have the whole harbour to ourselves with other tour boats only starting as we are finishing our tour. What you’ll actually see on the safari depends on a number of factors, but often guests report seeing cormorants diving, gannets feeding, and NZ fur seals and White flippered penguins playing. We get regular encounters with the protected and endangered Hector Dolphins which can only be found in NZ. Your tour will begin with a comprehensive safety briefing, your guide will then lead you through the turquoise waters and provide brief stops on the water to share information about interesting events, and facts about the wildlife, flora and fauna.

Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

5. Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

Enjoy a full day adventure taking in the breath-taking scenery of the rugged Banks Peninsula coastline and farmlands. Stopover at scenic lookouts and visit quaint Little River Gallery as well as the award-winning Barrys Bay Cheese factory at Duvauchelles.  The highlight of the day is encountering wild Penguins at Flea Bay, Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. Discover the penguin colony in their natural habitat at remote Pohatu (the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand). Your tour includes a catered lunch, refreshments, and expert guided tour of the penguin colony by a local family of conservationists. Learn about the area’s rich history, native flora and fauna, and Pohatu’s unique penguin conservation program. Be greeted by the farm's friendly pet sheep and see White-Flippered penguins as the people of Pohatu monitor nesting sites.  If visiting between mid-November and mid-February, you may even be lucky enough to see rehabilitation efforts such as supplemental feedings and swim therapy. Pohatu have been conserving the Little Penguins for over 30 years and have 4 conservation awards for their efforts in penguin conservation, protection, and monitoring. Spending time with Pohatu even helps the preservation of these beautiful birds for future generations. 

Akaroa: Guided Electric Mountain Bike Tour

6. Akaroa: Guided Electric Mountain Bike Tour

This is a must do for those who like to get active while exploring new places! If you have a spare 2.5 hours up your sleeve and are confident riding a ‘normal’ mountain bike then why not join us on a premium guided electric mountain bike tour, it may just be one of the highlights of your trip! Our popular Lava Loop is perfect for those who desire a bit of a challenge. If have conventional mountain bike experience and have a moderate level of fitness this trip is for you. You will be amazed as you cruise up terrain you wouldn’t dream of on a conventional bike, with our powerful pedal assist Scott Bosch systems Ebiking is making the impossible… now possible!. Great for couples, families and friends. This tour includes mixed terrain, some steep ascents and descents, sealed and gravel roads throughout. Warning- Electric Mountain biking is very addictive, we ride FURTHER, FASTER HIGHER without the sweat! Once is never enough! Free shuttle available for cruise ship passengers. If you jump on the first tender you will easily make this tour time!

Akaroa: 24-hour Overnight Pohatu Penguin Package

7. Akaroa: 24-hour Overnight Pohatu Penguin Package

Discover the award-winning Wildside of Banks Peninsula and its unique fauna and flora on this 24-hour tour.  Start your adventure in a four-weel drive mini-bus from Akaroa and travel over the crater rim of the ancient Akaroa volcano to the Akaroa Head Lighthouse. Marvel at the scenic reserve that stands on high cliffs and take in the views of the endless Pacific ocean.  Enjoy a self-guided bush walk through Tutakakahikura scenic reserve, an ancient forest with 400 years old native trees to finally arrive at Pohatu marine reserve where you will spend the night. Settle down and use the time to relax. Enjoy safe swimming beaches before your evening penguin tour in season.  The following day you can go on an additional adventure if you would like. Join the sea-kayaking safari and discover the wildlife of the Pohatu marine reserve. See New Zealand fur seals, many species of sea-birds, and the frequent visit of Hector's dolphins. The tour runs from midday to midday but specific departure times can be arranged.

From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

8. From Christchurch: Helicopter Flight to Akaroa

Embark on a helicopter flight from Christchurch that follows the spectacular rugged coastline until you head inland to Akaroa harbour. The locals will tell you that no trip to the Christchurch area can be complete without a visit to Akaroa, the jewel in Banks Peninsula’s crown. On the way, discover the lush forests and grasslands that run down the hillsides to the azure water of the endless bays, fed by the Pacific Ocean itself. Upon arrival at Akaroa explore its excellent shops, cafés, and restaurants. Early French settlers gave Akaroa its heritage and distinct French feel that is reflected in the names of the streets and local bays.

Akaroa Harbour 2.5 -Hour Eco Tour by Sea Kayak

9. Akaroa Harbour 2.5 -Hour Eco Tour by Sea Kayak

Experience the natural wonders of Akaroa Harbour by sea kayak on a 3-hour eco-friendly tour. You’ll take in one of New Zealand's most scenic and ecologically diverse natural environments. A highly experienced kayak guide leads each small group (maximum of 8 persons) to ensure a personal, informative, and safe experience. You’ll paddle to stunning remote beaches, where time stands still, and explore inlets and bays and the extinct, sea-flooded volcanic crater that protects the harbor from the open Pacific Ocean. Discover the stunning beauty of Akaroa with your local nature guide who will guide you through the marine reserve and share information about some of the rarest marine mammals in the world, that live right here in our beautiful blue backyard including white flippered penguins and hector dolphins which are native to NZ, fur seals, a large array of birdlife and many other sea creatures! The views are stunning, the guides are informative and friendly and our tours are suitable for all abilities and ages. These highly rated tours sell out quickly as we only travel in small groups to keep our impact as low as possible on the marine reserve and conservation areas we visit.

Other Sightseeing Options in Akaroa

Want to discover all there is to do in Akaroa? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Akaroa

We had to skip the kayaking and take the scenic penguin tour due to wind conditions. However this was communicated well in advance and the balance was refunded. Kevin was an excellent guide. We heard a lot of interesting facts about the region and highly enjoyed the scenery and the penguin experience.

It was an amazing tour! I’m so glad we got this 2 hours tour, my mom even she didn’t understand English (I was translating) she fully enjoyed it and was amazed by the conservation. Thank you a lot for everything you do, I will recommend this tour to all my friends❤️

Akaroa beautiful spot. Tour was excellent, very informative, great views along the way to see the penguins.

Ended up going on the 4WD and going to the penguin colony. So interesting and educational yet fun.

Absolutely brilliant tour. Beautiful scenario and very knowledgeable guide. Highly recommend