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Akaroa Small group activities

Our most recommended Akaroa Small group activities

Akaroa: Pohatu Little Penguins 3-Hour Evening Experience

1. 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: 3-Hour Guided Sunrise Sea Kayaking Safari

2. 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.

Akaroa: 24-hour Overnight Pohatu Penguin Package

3. 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.

Christchurch: Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Wild Penguin Eco-Tour

4. 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

5. 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!

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

This was a lovely 24 hours! We were met in downtown Akaroa and taken to a beautiful vista at the lighthouse site and then set off on our trek down to the Pohatu bay site - important to note that that hike is BEFORE you get to the sleeping areas, not after, so come dressed to tramp! All downhill so not difficult. The accommodations were great - we stayed in the treehouse and it was quite comfortable; no electricity but lantern and wall light provided, plenty of blankets and even hot water bottles if the night got too chilly. Kitchen was well-stocked with cutlery/crockery/plates/etc. and all facilities were clean and accommodating. We spent the afternoon on the beach before heading to the penguin boxes, viewing them come in, etc. and then had a great morning sea kayaking before being dropped off. Highly recommend this experience!

The tour was just indescribably beautiful! Our guide Mark was super nice. The two viewpoints were ideal. Akaroa was seen from above once. Beautiful! And the second one would have a great view over the sea! Before we went to the penguins, we could feed a small flock of sheep! Then the ponguintour started. From feeding baby penguins, checking two nesting boxes to observing penguins at sea and on stones on the coast. The guides explain everything very well and understandably and show a penguin in the wild without bothering them. Just a great experience. We can only recommend it to everyone!

We had a wonderful tour with Jake. He gave clear and thorough instructions at the beginning and made sure we all understood. He helped us all individually get situated properly in the kayak. On the tour Jake talked about birds, sea life and geology of the area as he pointed out examples. It was all quite interesting and easy to follow. We patiently followed some dolphin activity and was rewarded with one popping up between our kayaks. Jake kept a close eye on everyone to make sure we were safe and having a good time. We recommend this tour and also recommend Jake as a guide.

Gary and Nicole are the perfect hosts on this trip. We visited some amazing places which you wouldn't normally see. Thoroughly recommended.

The hosts were really friendly and knowledgeable. thye went out of their way to ensure that we enjoyed it. 10 out of 10!