About us

Haere mai….bienvenue….welcome!

La Rochelle Motel is a relaxed family operated motel located in the Akaroa Village on Banks Peninsula, just 90 minutes from Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island. Easily found on the main road at the start of the village, it is close to a choice of restaurants, bars and cafés, and is just a 15-minute walk along the waterfront from Akaroa’s main shopping area.

Click here to make your booking or check availability. Group and long-stay rates are available on request. Alex, Jane and their friendly staff can help you with planning your accommodation, local activities, conference venues and catering. Call them on 0800 452 762 to discuss your next Akaroa experience.

 Your Hosts

Alex & Jane took over operating La Rochelle Motel in August 2015. Alex has an extensive background in hospitality and banking while Jane is a registered Osteopath. Jane also operates a small local clinic in Duvauchelle called Akaroa Osteopathy.

Jane was born in the original Canterbury in merry old England and Alex spent his childhood in the Selwyn area just out of Christchurch. In 2012 they met in the Sunshine Coast in Australia and moved to New Zealand in 2015.

In their spare time they enjoy exploring the Peninsula and spending time with their two children. If beer or cider is your thing ask them about their latest batch of homebrew.

Akaroa History

Banks Peninsula, on which Akaroa is located, was created millions of years ago by a volcanic eruption. You can still see traces of the lava flows when you take one of the outer harbour dolphin cruises.

The area is rich in Maori history, with Akaroa being the original signing place of the Treaty of Waitangi in the South Island. The British negotiated settlement with the local tribes before the French settlers were able to claim Akaroa as French territory. The two sides have lived together in amicable peace since, with several pioneering families still having descendants in the area.

The teardrop-shaped spit of land that can be seen at the top of the harbour from the hilltop, called Onawe, (pronounced ‘on – ah- wear’), is the sight of  the worst defeat suffered by Kai Tairewa, local Maori tribe, when they were invaded by a Te Rauparaha, the chief of a Northern tribe.

Today you can view the local marae (no access to marae) and historic Maori church at Onuku, a short & beautiful 5km drive, where tangata whenua (local tribe) still reside.

French Fest, a celebration of Akaroa’s French beginnings, is held every other year in October and is attended usually by the French Ambassador as well as local and national dignitaries.