A week before a shipload of French colonists landed in Akaroa to stake claim to the South Island, the HMS Britomart snuck into the bay and raised the Union Jack to confirm British sovereignty over the region. Undeterred the French settled stamping their mark on Akaroa leaving a remarkable collection of historic French colonial architecture, street names and general ambiance. Today the oldest colonial town in the South Island oozes history from every corner and charms everyone that visits.
Natural history is another topic to explore, swim with the world's rarest dolphin, the Hector’s, while cruising the beautiful harbor and headlands, visit the penguin colony or take one of the many picturesque walking trails up and around the peninsula, which was once the largest volcano on the island.
Add to the mix a well considered collection boutique local wineries, cheese makers and micro breweries with artisans exhibiting from many disciplines and Akaroa as a place to visit has a lot on offer for those that want to experience the finer things in life.