TOWN & CULTURE
Akaroa is located 84 km south-east of Christchurch and about 25 km east of Little River. The resident population is slowly declining and more than 60% of the dwellings are holiday homes. The town sits on the eastern side of the splendid harbour from which it takes its name. Canterbury’s oldest town, Akaroa was founded in August 1840 by French settlers. It has been suggested that French interest in New Zealand speeded up Britain’s decision to annex New Zealand. By the time French settlers arrived, the Treaty of Waitangi between the British Crown and Māori chiefs had been signed. Akaroa has a fine collection of 19th-century cottages and houses. Once a fishing and farm service town, it now serves mainly holidaymakers and tourists. The French associations are evident in street names. About 5 km south is a small Māori settlement, Ōnuku, with a historic church and modern meeting house.
The Ōnawe Peninsula is a volcanic plug inside Akaroa Harbour
It was the site of a Ngāi Tahu pā captured by Te Rauparaha, chief of the Ngāti Toa in 1831. Up to 1,200 people were killed here and the land is sacred to Ngāi Tahu so "is deemed to be vested in Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu" as part of the Ngāi Tahu Waitangi claims settlement in 1998
The original Akaroa Lighthouse started operation on the headland of Akaroa Heads in 1880. One hundred years later, it was moved down to Akaroa Township, after being replaced by an automated light
Pigeon Bay from the Summit Road
Bay 20 km north-west of Akaroa on Banks Peninsula. It was settled in the 1840s, before Christchurch was founded, by the Hay and Sinclair families.So named by whalers because the forest at the bay was alive with keruru or wood pigeons.