Akaroa is a small, quiet, charming town with colonial-architecture of both English and French stylings. Located about midway down the east coast of New Zealand’s South Island, Akaroa can be reached by car from Christchurch in about an hour. For many, the trip will definitely take longer with required stops in Birdings Flat, Little River, Hilltop, and Duvauchelle.
In the race to claim sovereignty over New Zealand (even though the Maori were present for much longer), Akaroa was claimed by both English and French in 1840. Upon their arrival on the ship Britomart, the English won the “claims race” by a couple of weeks (or a couple of years, depending upon the definition of “claim”).
However, the French influence remains strong on this side of the planet. Even if the antipode to Akaroa lies near France, you’ll see from the photos below that the signs do not lie and help keep alive the spirit of the little French town or “la petite ville française”.
It doesn’t stop with just European history. A daytrip to Akaroa isn’t complete with a trip out into the harbour.