Akaroa is a village on Banks Peninsula in the Canterbury region of the South
Island of New Zealand, situated within a harbour of the same name. The name
Akaroa is Kāi Tahu Māori for 'Long Harbour'. Akaroa is 84 km by road from
Christchurch and is the terminus of State Highway 75.
Set on a beautiful,
sheltered harbour and overlooked by craggy volcanic hills, Akaroa is a popular
resort village which places stress on the summer water supply, and is entirely
dependent upon rainfall on the hills.
Many Hector's Dolphins may be found
within Akaroa harbour, and 'swim with the dolphins' boat tours are a major
In 1830 the Māori settlement at Takapuneke, just east
of the current village of Akaroa, became the scene of a notorious incident. The
Captain of the British brig Elizabeth, John Stewart, helped North Island Ngāti
Toa chief, Te Rauparaha, to capture the local Ngai Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui,
his wife Te Whe and his young daughter, Roi Mata.