The French village of Akaroa on Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, is renowned for its fascinating mix of Maori, French and English history, as well as its marine wildlife and recreational walks. Located in the main street of Akaroa, close to the waterfront and to popular walks and attractions, La Rochelle Motel is the ideal base for experiencing Akaroa’s diverse activities.
Exploring Akaroa village, with its boutiques, galleries, cafés and cottage gardens is a popular pastime. La Rochelle Motel is 5 minutes from the beach at French Bay and is just a 10 minute walk along the waterfront to the main wharf.
La Rochelle Motel offers free petanque set, fishing rods and tackle, and tennis gear for guests.
Check out the activities in and around Akaroa or book you local tour here.
Swimming with dolphins
Akaroa Harbour is home to the rare and beautiful Hector’s Dolphin and you can either watch their antics from the comfort of a boat or get into the water and encounter them up close. Try Black Cat Cruises, or for smaller more intimate tours try Ecoseaker.
Boat cruises on Akaroa Harbour
Akaroa’s harbour is stunningly scenic and home to an array of wildlife including dolphins, penguins and seals. Coast Up Close offers the opportunity to see mother nature’s finest at a leisurely pace.
Penguin colony encounters
Visit Akaroa’s resident colony of Australasian Little Penguins – the largest on mainland New Zealand – on a 4WD tour with Pohatu Penguins.
Fishermans Bay gardens
Visit these stunning gardens, only a 25 minute picturesque drive from Akaroa. Fishermans Bay Garden is rated a 5 star garden by the New Zealand Gardens Trust and is open by appointment.
Feel like doing a bit of exercise but not too much. Let Kaz and Gail show you around some quieter parts of the Peninsula with their eBiking tours. Let the battery do the hard yards while you enjoy the views!!!
Sea kayaking and SUP
Explore the wonders of the Akaroa Harbour and with the expert and knowledgeable team from Akaroa Guided Kayak Safaris. Otherwise hire is available from the Akaroa adventure centre. If stand up paddle-boarding (SUP) is more your thing see Jamie at Akaroa SUP. Hire a board and set off on your own mini adventure or let Jamie show you our magical harbour at night with his dusk SUP tour.
Walking and hiking on Banks Peninsula
There are numerous popular walks in the area, from the world-famous multi-day Banks Peninsula Track to day walks such as Woodills Track or Childrens Bay walk. Otherwise go for a scenic drive and explore one of the Banks Peninsula’s outer bays.
A popular pastime in Akaroa, fishing is a relaxing way to enjoy the harbour. Borrow some gear from our reception or book a fishing charters with Tony from Coast Up Close
Other Akaroa attractions
In and around Akaroa you can visit the Akaroa Museum or the renowned Okains Bay Maori & Colonial Museum, take an historic lighthouse tour, explore the unique ‘Giant’s House’ at Linton of Akaroa, sample local cheeses at Barry’s Bay Cheese factory, have a round of golf at Akaroa’s scenic 18-hole golf course, or simply exploring the many art and craft galleries and boutiques of this lovely village.
Book your local tour here.