Tuesday 14 December 2010
Akaroa means long harbor in Maori. It's the largest French settlement in New Zealand. What attracted the French in the 1800s was the lucrative whale trade as the oil from the mammal is used to light the street lamps of Paris. In 1840, 62 French nationals arrived aboard Comte de Paris to settle in two neighboring towns, the other presumably Duvauchelle which is a short 10-15 minute car ride away.

The view as you're driving on Motorway 75 into Akaroa

akaroa farm2
I've just noticed a sheep lying on its side. Somehow I don't think it's playing dead.

akaroa seagulls

akaroa dolphins
Off to see Hector's dolphins, one of the smallest and rarest in world. The population of Hector's dolphin has dwindled to a mere 8000. The cause of this? Humans.

akaroa lighthouse
The Akaroa lighthouse began its life at Akaroa Heads in 1880 but was moved to the township 100 years later where it is currently situated.

akaroa canon

akaroa trypots
These gigantic cast iron cauldrons are in fact called try pots. They were initially built into the deck of whaling ships where blubber (fat of the whale) is boiled to make whale oil. These two try pots are located on Beach Rd, right on the waterfront.

Pohutukawa tree or our Kiwi version of Christmas tree. It's native to NZ.

akaroa shipping
Due to the recent massive earthquake where the epicenter was in Darfield, Canterbury (located less than an hour from Christchurch), a lot of buildings were affected. I saw many that were cordoned off with a warning note stuck on a visible place. Here, the chimney has cracked and is supported by wooden planks.

akaroa jetty
The jetty at Akaroa where one can be relieved of a massive fortune to see Hector's dolphins.

Lunch was at Bully Hayes which came high recommended by Tripadvisor. It's an alternative from my first choice, Vangionis which only opens for dinner. It's not cheap but that's to be expected in a very touristy town. My fish and chips wasn't bad at all. The service was cheerful and professional despite incessant demands from my traveling companions.

bully hayes scones
Scone baked in a terracotta pot

bully hayes fish chips
Fish and chips

bully hayes kiwi burger
Kiwi burger. Beware it's MASSIVE!

bully hayes salmon
Smoked salmon with kumara mash

We stopped briefly at Barry's Bay cheese factory which is located on Motorway 75, a skip and a hop from Akaroa. I'm ashamed to say that I've seen their cheeses at the supermarket all these time but never really checked to find out where they were made.

barry's bay gouda
Making Gouda cheese.


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