Situated just an hour's scenic drive from Christchurch, Akaroa is one of New Zealand's most picturesque villages. Set in the beautiful Akaroa Harbour the town is comprised of two parts. The first part of town was originally settled by the French and houses the more commercial side including the historical council chambers, the old Post Office, the original bank and other businesses that serve today's local community. Around from the beach is the second part of town that was settled by the English. Today most of Akaroa's cafe's, restaurants and tourist businesses operate here.
Akaroa has a very relaxed and friendly feel to it due in some part to the retention of many of the historical buildings. Unlike some of New Zealand's other popular tourist towns which has seen some unsympathetic developments, Akaroa remains one of New Zealand's most historical and beautiful villages.
Today there is a permanent population of around 500 people. On a busy summer's day, however, it is not uncommon to see more than 7,000 people visiting Akaroa.