A jewel in Canterbury's crown
Described by the mayor as the jewel in the crown of Canterbury, Akaroa is a quaint little village snuggled into one of the many beautiful bays of Akaroa Harbour.
The waters of the harbour are home to the rare Hector's dolphin, sometimes called the Mickey Mouse dolphin because of its fin shape. Tiny white-flippered little blue penguins can sometimes be spotted by the eagle-eyed out on the water and good numbers of sea birds can be found out past the heads and in and around the harbour.
With spectacular cliff faces, volcanic rock formations and the emerald green of the surrounding hillsides contrasting with the topaz and turquoise of the harbour and cobalt skies, this is a precious environment.
Akaroa Harbour itself is one of a pair of magnificent shield volcanoes that make up Banks Peninsula.
At up to three times the current height erosion and rising sea levels over several million years have resulted in the sea breaking through what is now the harbour heads. There are many excellent examples of volcanic rocks and climbable rock faces on the land and fascinating caves and other features visible from on or in the water.
It is an open air laboratory of extraordinary proportions for scientists from many fields of natural science.
For those who just want to appreciate the beautiful scenery by relaxing or playing it provides an abundance of opportunities.
It truly is a treasure worthy of protection.
View all contributions
Which would you prefer?Related story: Natural burials the way to go
The cost of losing nature