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Akaroa Harbour
New Zealand - Canterbury Plains - Akaroa.jpg
A photo of Akaroa Harbour from the northwest with Ōnawe Peninsula clearly visible
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NZ 6324 Akaroa Harbour.jpg
Nautical chart "NZ 6324 Akaroa Harbour"
Location Banks Peninsula
Coordinates 43°50′40.56″S 172°55′30.719″E / 43.8446000°S 172.92519972°E / -43.8446000; 172.92519972
Type Harbour
Islands The Long Boat
Settlements Akaroa, Duvauchelle, Takapūneke, Takamatua

Akaroa Harbour, is part of Banks Peninsula in the Canterbury region of New Zealand. The harbour enters from the southern coast of the peninsula, heading in a predominantly northerly direction. It is one of two major inlets in Banks Peninsula, on the coast of Canterbury, New Zealand; the other is Lyttelton Harbour on the northern coast.

The name Akaroa is an alternative spelling of Whakaroa, Whangaroa or Wangaloa from the Kāi Tahu dialect of Māori. Whakaroa means "Long Harbour".

The harbour was used commercially for in the mid-19th century for ship-based and shore-based whaling. Cruise ships occasionally enter the harbour, with the passengers visiting Akaroa.

Ōnawe Peninsula is at the head of the harbour, the former site of a Māori .


Akaroa Harbour's waterfront has been continually inhabited since the 1840s.

Akaroa, Duvauchelle, Takapūneke, Takamatua, Barrys Bay, French Farm and Wainui lie on the shoreline of the harbour. They are connected to the rest of Canterbury via State Highway 75. French Bay, the site of the French settlement of Akaroa, was originally known as Paka Ariki.

Geography and Natural Features

The harbour is one of two eroded volcanic centres from the extinct Banks Peninsula Volcano.

The 475-hectare (1,170-acre) Akaroa Marine Reserve was given approval in 2013 after a 17-year campaign to get it established.

As of 2011, of the seven sites that are sampled in the harbour for water quality, six are graded as "good" and one as "fair" in terms of recreational use. Rainfall affects the grading.

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