The drive from Christchurch to Akaroa has been enjoyed by travellers for many years. These two destinations are linked by Summit Road, famous for its scenic backdrop of the Banks Peninsula.
On your journey, you can choose to stop at a number of popular tourist destinations including Governors Bay, Gebbies Pass, Lyttleton, Little River, and Lake Forsyth. Read on to find out more about what you can do on your scenic tiki-tour from Christchurch to Akaroa!
Your starting point: Christchurch
Either at the beginning or the end of your journey, ensure you take some time to explore the beautiful city of Christchurch.
Christchurch is a great place to enjoy adventure activities - try skiing and snow sports in winter, go white water rafting, sky diving, tramping and hiking, or jet boating. Or if you prefer something a little less active, you can go punting on the Avon River, visit the International Antarctic Centre, stop by Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, or enjoy the public gardens Christchurch is so well known for.
The Banks Peninsula
Famous for its beautiful harbours, hidden bays and inlets, the Banks Peninsula offers a number of breathtaking backdrops during your drive to Akaroa. Stop at one of the many cafes, the harbour promenades, the boutique art and craft shops, or pause to enjoy the sparkling waters and beautiful birdlife.
Lyttleton is a small, friendly port town on the north shore of Lyttleton Harbour, close to the Banks Peninsula. Make sure you stop here to explore on your way out of Christchurch! If you happen to be passing through the area on a Saturday, make sure you head down to the Lyttelton Farmers Market between 10am and 1pm, in the Lyttelton Main School grounds. Stallholders sell fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, cheeses, meats and plants and a variety of other small stalls.
Fed from the Takiritawai River, a short arm of the Okuti River, Lake Forsyth is just one more place to get your camera out on your tiki-tour to Akaroa! For the wine lovers, be sure to call into Lake Forsyth Vineyard and purchase a bottle of their award-winning Pinot Gris.
Just before you reach Akaroa, you'll discover Little River - a small but very popular tourist destination. This beautiful little spot is a great place to stop for scenic walks and mountain biking. For a slice of unique New Zealand art, call into the Little River Gallery where tourists can buy a wide variety of quality New Zealand made keepsakes. Before you leave Little River Gallery, take time out to enjoy a refreshment at the busy cafe next door.
Your destination: Akaroa
As one of New Zealand's most loved tourist destinations, Akaroa welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Located just 75 kilometres from the city of Christchurch, Akaroa is a historic French and British settlement nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano. The town is known for its unique, eclectic architecture, art galleries, craft shops, cafes, and friendly people.
The outer bays offer plenty of walking and cycling tracks to explore. For those who love to experience the great outdoors, you will enjoy the Banks Peninsula Track - offering hikers 35km of breathtaking New Zealand scenery, beaches and wildlife. Two and four day trekking options are available, but be sure to book well in advance as the track can only cater for limited numbers each day. If nature walks aren't your thing, there are also scenic driving routes if you wish to continue your tour by car.
Make sure you stop by Pohatu Marine Reserve, home to the largest little penguin colony in Mainland New Zealand, and some of the smallest and most rare marine dolphins. Book a boat tour while you're there, so you can take in the stunning ocean views!
Before you plan your road trip from Christchurch to Akaroa, don't forget to book an affordable, comfortable campervan from Sunrise Holidays Campervan Hire - that way, you can enjoy a leisurely trip along Summit Road in comfort!