Akaroa and Banks Peninsula Highlights
This half-day adventure packs a full itinerary of area must-sees with visits to Hilltop for morning tea, Okains Bay Maori & Colonial Museum and the delightful Giants House. Throughout the excursion, your guide will provide informative commentary about the history and geological significance of the region.
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Board your air-conditioned motor coach and travel down into Okains Bay to visit the Okains Bay Maori & Colonial Museum. Originating as a private collection of Maori artifacts collected by a local resident, the museum began to take shape with the 1968 purchase of the disused Okains Bay Cheese Factory. After many years of renovation, the building opened as a public museum in 1977. Today, exhibits include a working blacksmith’s shop, print shop, saddler, restored school, Maori meeting house, Colonial Hall and the former Akaroa grandstand.
After exploring the museum’s interesting displays, make your way back into Akaroa, stopping at the Hilltop for amazing views of Akaroa Harbour before arriving at the Hilltop Café to enjoy coffee and scone. Then we visit the Giants House, a whimsical abode with original artworks, a contemporary art gallery and terraced gardens adorned with welded steel sculptures and mosaics. According to local folklore, the residence was named the Giants House when a small child, gazing up at the imposing home from the valley below, proclaimed that the home was so large that it must belong to a giant. Actually, the circa 1880 residence once belonged to a bank manager, but is indeed grand in proportion and style.
From the Giants House, you will return to your ship, located a short distance away.
As this excursion involves approximately 600 yards of walking, it is not recommended for guests with walking difficulties. This excursion is not suitable for guests with mobility issues, those with back or neck problems, or for women who are pregnant. It is recommended that guests wear casual clothing, sunglasses and flat, comfortable shoes. The order of sights visited may vary. This excursion will operate in all weather conditions.