Akaroa See & Do on the water
Akaroa (Long Harbour) was formed from the erosion of the softer rocks of one of the huge volcanic craters that formed Banks Peninsula. The sea flooded in to the crater which now stands about one third of the height of the original volcanic cone. The remaining steep sides create the dramatic scenery and the relatively sheltered harbour with a multitude of small scenic bays.
Early European settlers hunted whales in what is now home to the world’s smallest dolphin. It’s gratifying to see the return of several species including the regular visits of pods of orca which have been seen as far up the harbour as Takamatua and Robinsons Bay. The whale pots stand o the foreshore as a stark reminder of how Akaroa’s dependence on its wildlife has changed.
The many harbour cruises, kayaking and sailing opportunities create a number of ways to view and interact with the Hector’s dolphins in their natural habitat. While the dolphins, known by some as “Mickey Mouse” because of the shape of their dark fins, may be the stars of the show, the little blue penguins, sea birds and seals create a wonderful supporting cast within the set of majestic cliffs, caves and rock strata. Many species can be seen inside the harbour however cruises outside the harbour heads to some of the most spectacular geological formations also yield an abundance of wildlife.
At Pohatu, after years of conservation efforts to protect the white flippered little blue penguins, there the opportunity for visitors to view the colony and adjacent marine reserve. This is a sensible shoes kind of trip. Some walking is involved around the side of the hill on narrow tracks. In the late spring to early summer the penguins can be seen in the nest boxes and the birds can be seen exiting onto the land from the water in the late evening. There are usually some pet lambs to feed as well. Or go during the day on a kayaking trip in the marine reserve.
Over the summer months the adventure level steps up with hoverboard and flyboards operating near the town. Guided and self guided kayak trips are a serene way to take in the harbour and the wildlife.
Welcome to Matua Gardens Retreat
I would like to welcome Matua Gardens Retreat to Heritage Inns. This is their first Blog Post. I’m looking forward to learning much more about Akaroa. Iris and I spent a very lovely winter day these many years ago. And I have a memory of sitting in the sun on the waterfront eating fish & chips… Akaroa Cod of course, and just “Inhaling” the tranquility. We visited just once since. Something we’ll have to rectify.
Peter Tait……… Webmaster