Romantic Things To Do in Akaroa, NZ

Picture this! Historic French buildings, wildlife cruises, waterfront strolls, romantic dinners and sunsets. When it comes to romantic things to do in Akaroa, you are spoiled with choices for a romantic weekend getaway. We have been visiting Akaroa for over 20 years and find it one of the most romantic places on the South Island. In this article, we happily share our favourite romantic things to do in Akaroa. Keep reading to plan a romantic weekend in Akaroa on New Zealand’s South Island.

Light blue calm water and blue sky with mountain backdrop at Akaroa Harbour, New Zealand

Romantic things to do in Akaroa New Zealand

Akaroa promises breathtaking experiences; from its stunning landscapes to its cozy cafés and rich French heritage, there are many romantic things to do in Akaroa. We love the gorgeous small town so much we have visited it four times in the last two years!

Whether celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon or simply looking to rekindle the flame, we have you covered with Akaroa romantic getaways ideas.

Embrace the Serenity of the Akaroa Harbor

Akaroa’s breathtaking harbour is where your romantic journey begins. Take a stroll along the picturesque waterfront. The tranquil waters are absolutely stunning. While gazing at the azure sea, you’ll understand why Akaroa is often called “The Little Slice of French Paradise.”

Explore Akaroa Village’s French Flair

Akaroa, Canterbury’s oldest town, was founded by French settlers in 1840. Today, the village retains its charming French character and influence. We have travelled extensively across the South Island, but we couldn’t find a more picturesque small town.

Explore the charming streets adorned with French-inspired architecture. Visit the local shops and savour French delicacies in the cozy cafés.

New Zealand South Island Travel Insider tip: Walking is the best way to appreciate the architecture of this small town. Make sure to visit the gorgeous St Peter’s Anglican church. The historic church dates back to 1863.

Delight in a Dolphin Watching Cruise

One of the most romantic things to do in Akaroa is to venture out to sea on a dolphin cruise. The gentle Akaroa Hector dolphins are native to these waters, and seeing them in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. 

During our cruise, we had the pleasure of watching playful dolphins swimming right beside our boat. After that, we visited the Akaroa penguins. It was an unforgettable cruise that we would love to experience again!

Additionally, some boats take Akaroa dolphins swimming experiences or Akaroa whale-watching cruises. 

Dolpins seen from Akaroa Dolphin watching cruise.

Wander Through the Garden of Tane

Stroll through the Garden of Tane, a beautiful and peaceful native garden in Akaroa. The lush greenery and birds chirping provide a serene backdrop for a romantic walk. 

Discover Artisanal Delights at the Akaroa Cheese Factory

While in Akaroa, take the opportunity to explore the Akaroa Cheese Factory – Barrys Bay Cheese. This delightful establishment offers a unique experience for cheese enthusiasts and couples alike. 

You can see the cheese-making process up close, learn about the art of cheese production and sample a variety of delectable cheeses. Most importantly, you can pick your favourites to make up a cheese platter or buy a gift box of cheese, crackers, olives, chocolates and wine for a picnic in Akaroa.

Picnic at the Akaroa Lighthouse

Prepare a picnic basket with your favourite snacks and visit the historic Akaroa Lighthouse. This magnificent location perched on a hill provides a stunning panoramic view of the harbour. 

Akaroa Lighthouse is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic, where you can enjoy your meal while revelling in the 140 years of history that the lighthouse has stood as a historic landmark and take in the breathtaking scenery around you.

Romantic picnic spread with waterviews overlooking calm water at Akaroa Harbour, NZ

Wine Tasting Akaroa

New Zealand is renowned for its world-class wines, and Akaroa wine is no exception. Take an Akaroa scenic drive, visit local Akaroa wineries, and indulge in a wine-tasting experience. The romantic ambience, combined with the exquisite wines, is one of the most romantic things to do in Akaroa.

Options include the Akaroa Winery at Takamatua Valley Vineyards or French Farm Akaroa Winery.

Go on Scenic Walks in Akaroa

For couples who love the outdoors, Akaroa offers stunning hiking trails. The French Cemetery loop is a popular short walk, leading you to the oldest Christian cemetery in New Zealand’s South Island. 

Walks in Akaroa and the Banks Peninsula range from the 10-minute Boardwalk to Children’s Bay to the full-day Misty Peaks hike. It’s a fantastic opportunity for quality time with your loved one in nature.

Read Next – Romantic Getaways South Island New Zealand.

Akaroa Dining Out Experiences

Actually, one of our favourite things to do in Akaroa is to visit Akaroa restaurants and cafes. The small town boasts a wonderful selection of restaurants known for their romantic atmospheres; many offer water views. Multiple offer French-inspired cuisine, and New Zealand seafood is popular on menus in Akaroa restaurants.

Popular Akaroa food options include The Little Bistro and Ma Maison Restaurant and Bar. However, our absolute favourite is Tini Gin Bar & Eatery, directly on the waterfront, offering stunning views of Akaroa Harbour.

Book a table for two at any of these award-winning restaurants and treat yourself to views and delicious local cuisine. The intimate setting and delectable food make for a romantic evening in Akaroa.

READ NEXT – We’ve written a review on the best places to eat in Akaroa. Read it to help you make a decision where to dine.

Beer with a tranquil waterview at HarBar overlooking Akaroa, New Zealand

Capture the Sunset in Akaroa

Speaking of romance, don’t miss an Akaroa sunset. Most people will agree that watching the sunset is one of the most romantic things in Akaroa. 

Whether you dine at one of the waterfront restaurants in Akaroa during sunset or take a sunset stroll on the beach, witnessing a breathtaking sunset in Akaroa is a magical experience.

Akaroa Luxury Accommodation

To enhance your Akaroa getaway, the most romantic things to do in Akaroa include staying a night or two in Akaroa luxury accommodation. Regarding luxurious Akaroa accommodation, several options promise a blend of comfort and sophistication.

Beaufort House Akaroa: A luxurious and elegant choice, Beaufort House Akaroa offers boutique accommodation in a historic setting. With well-appointed rooms and personalized service, it’s perfect for those seeking a refined and upscale stay.

The Bruce Waterfront Apartments by AVI: Offering modern and well-furnished waterfront apartments, The Bruce Waterfront Apartments by AVI provides spectacular views and a comfortable setting for a luxurious stay if you’re after Akaroa romantic accommodation.

Akaroa Village Inn: Akaroa Village Inn offers self-contained apartments with balconies and sea views and a penthouse with a spa bath for those seeking a premium experience. With spacious and well-appointed accommodations, it’s a fantastic choice for a special and indulgent stay in Akaroa.

Annandale Coastal Farm Escape & Luxury Villa Collection: For the ultimate luxury accommodation in Akaroa, consider the Annandale Coastal Farm Escape & Luxury Villa Collection, located a bit outside Akaroa. This exclusive coastal farm offers secluded villas with private chefs, stunning views, and top-notch services. It’s the epitome of luxury and privacy and is especially recommended if you want romantic things to do in Akaroa NZ for a honeymoon or an Akaroa wedding.

In addition to these options, there are also many luxury homes available in Akaroa, some of which include stunning water views. These spacious homes offer a unique and private way to experience the beauty of Akaroa while enjoying the utmost comfort and style.

Akaroa Lighthouse, South Island New Zealand

Is Akaroa worth visiting?

Absolutely! We just adore Akaroa, and it’s a perfect place for romance. Akaroa in New Zealand’s South Island is a haven for couples seeking a romantic escape. 

With its stunning natural beauty, unique French influence, and many activities, you’ll find plenty of romantic things to do in Akaroa. From leisurely walks along the harbour to indulging at the Akaroa Cheese Factory to unforgettable Akaroa cruises, Akaroa romantic getaways offer an array of experiences to bring you and your loved one closer together. 

So, when planning your next romantic getaway, keep Akaroa in mind. 

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