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Much of the information here has been provided by Bill McIndoe, a resident of Dunedin and a regular cruiser in the region.

Akaroa is one of our favourite places. It nearly became a French colony. The French influence and descended families are still present. It is charming and you do not need to speak French. Google it. Easy entry day or night, 0.8nm wide. Lighthouse at the Heads and entry leading lights Co 330°(T) Big tourist ships frequently anchor in the harbour in the summer season and take the passengers ashore in their own boats. They go to sea for the night heading for their next port. No shallow water areas accept further up. Can be heavy swell at the entrance especially when southerly swell meets ebbing tide.

Look for Hector Dolphins. Lovely creatures who will visit if you play Beethoven.

Also see the following nearby cruising grounds:


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Sources for Weather forecasts:


Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


List Islands


Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Best Anchorages for the Southerly

Robinsons Bay and Takamatua Bay, the next bays after Children's Bay


Akaroa is not a port of entry for New Zealand. The nearest port of entry is Christchurch / Lyttleton.


Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Akaroa Cruising Club

The Club House is a marvel for such a small but active membership. They are mainly keen racers and only a few cruising boats. Sight the large white lighthouse in position 43° 48.7S, 172° 57.4E. The clubhouse is immediately on its eastern side.The club mooring is the closest to the end of their long jetty. It is heavy and rather short. Be ready to put a rope through the mooring eye and back to your winch to get the eye up to your fairlead. I then tail it with rope or chain to make it longer and stop snubbing if there is a swell.

Water is available on the Club jetty but being shallow you may need a bit of tide. From the east side of the wharf you pick up a buoyed mooring aft and with your rope attached to it, run in to the wharf, secure forward and drop back a little and tension the stern line. The hose from the reel is passed over and you are in business. If you secure to the wharf without the stern line you will be either tide or wind rode.

The Stevenson Room is a special room for visiting cruising yachties with shower, washing machine, dryer, coffee arrangement, book exchange etc. Look out John Milligan (yacht Swift Cloud) the Barman or other member who will guide you through all this including access to the club front door etc. The Bar opens during race days and at other times - check it out.


Consider when anchoring:

  1. When it has a mind to the SW wind can blow your socks off. Watch the Bossa hill (half way up the south side of the harbour) for telltale wisp of streaming vapor. If you see that you have 10 minutes to take shelter.
  2. Because of the occasional strength of the southerly the moorings in French Bay and Childrens Bay have big concrete weights and heavy chain. Be careful that you don't hook something with your anchor as happened to me. It took six helpers and half a day to free it. Now I always rent the Akaroa Cruising Club mooring. Ring Brian Little, owner of Akaroa Garage?? who handles it for the Yacht Club.

Yacht Repairs and Services

Marine Stores

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Fuel, Water, & Electricity

The fuel pump on the main Town Wharf is also available to yachts. Inquire at the Tourist Booking Office on the wharf. Be careful to sort out where you can berth for fuel so as not to get the tourist boat operators nickers in a twist. There are landing pontoons but the Town Wharf is high - ship size.
Water is available but you may need your own hose here and a big tap fitting.
electricity notes

Things to do Ashore


Akaroa is really two towns separated by an esplanade. For the best food shopping walk around the esplanade to the northern part of town. Or more fun go in your dinghy the 625m further on from the big Town Wharf to the smaller northern wharf.

It is a fun tourist town. In the summer they have visits from about 70 big cruise ships a year. They anchor out in the main part of the Harbour.

  • Visit the Captain Frank Worsley Museum. He was Shackleton's captain in the Antarctic expeditions, starting in 1914 and was a local lad. Walk up to the old cemetery, high above the dinghy sailing yacht club and read a few stones. The place is full of history. In the north end of town and up the valley find the Herb Garden and pay a visit.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • In the main street do your food shipping at the Four Square food market and the butchers shop; visit the post office; find and talk to the silver artist painting a picture on his silver easel.


  • At the south end of town is the best fish and chip shop in New Zealand, a baker, general store (needle to an anchor), touristy clothing shops, lots of bar/restaurants and accommodation.




Motorbike & Car Rentals

Garbage Disposal



List transportation (local and/or international.)


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See New Zealand.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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