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Arapawa’s Precious Pearls

Family owned and operated Arapawa Blue Pearls showcases the majestic side of paua in New Zealand.



Local to the Marlborough Sounds, these pearls and jewellery are cultured in this special part of the South Island. These pearls are created by placing a seed in a paua shell and allowing them to grow for another four years. After the pearls have formed, the fish are harvested for meat while the shell is cut down to produce pearls. The remaining paua shell is used to aid in reseeding juvenile paua into the ocean or sold to craft local artwork.

The little island of Arapawa also offers three homesteads with its own personal beach and beautiful hills to adventure. You can head there to stay or book a tour through Beachcomber Cruises to see the process.

For more information, visit




Akaroa’s Top Eats

Need a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of city life? Head out to our favourite little slice of French paradise – Akaroa.



1. Rona’s
Head down to Rona’s at 74 Rue Lavaud; find a spot in the garden, sit back in the sun and enjoy a light breakfast or lunch, or pop in for a coffee and croissant to take away. A seasonal menu features a range of mouth-watering, healthy dishes that incorporate ingredients sourced from around Banks Peninsula region, such as free-range chicken, lamb and eggs. With a fantastic vibe, top-notch coffee and a view to Akaroa’s glistening blue waters, Rona’s is a must-try!

2. The Wharf
Seafood lovers – this one’s for you. The Wharf, situated in the heart of Akaroa’s waterfront at 75 Beach Road, prides themselves on sourcing the finest seafood the nation has to offer. Book a table for two and indulge in a delectable dinner on the waterfront with a loved one, or perch yourself at the beautifully appointed bar and peruse a fine selection of gins, cocktails, wines and tap/craft beers.

3. The Little Bistro
Exquisite seasonal fare awaits at 33 Rue Lavaud, home to The Little Bistro. Focusing on using organic, locally grown produce, Josh (new owner and chef) and his team whip up unique, beautifully presented starters, mains and desserts which are perfectly complemented by a glass or two of refreshing New Zealand wine. So what are you waiting for? Book yourself a table at this sweet little gem and prepare to have your tastebuds tantalised.

4. The Brasserie
Step into a tranquil garden and soak up Akaroa’s atmosphere with an al fresco breakfast, lunch or dinner at The Brasserie. This cute cottage-style restaurant offers a French/European-inspired menu that utilises local, seasonal ingredients – including Asian and European herbs from their very own garden! Head along to 41 Rue Lavaud for dishes-to-die-for, or why not be tempted by their delicious Allpress coffee and range of pastries, muffins and scones…

5. Ma Maison
There’s no better place to kick back in the summer sun than Ma Maison’s stunning outside dining area, complete with picturesque views of the wharf and the Akaroa Harbour. Peruse a selection of entrees, mains and desserts – take note: the Bitter Chocolate Torte is something seriously special! A true crowd favourite, Ma Maison is sure to please!

6. Harbar
Perched on the water’s edge with the ocean just mere metres away, Harbar is your go-to for gastro-style pub fare, sharing plates or an evening tipple as the sun goes down. Will it be fresh Akaroa salmon or classic fish and chips? For those who can’t decide, take a risk with the ‘Trust the Chef’ option, the most popular way to dine.



Q&A: Jason Kerrison’s Kiwi Tour

We caught up with multi-platinum, multi-award-winning singer-songwriter, producer, planetarian, carpenter and hemp farmer Jason Kerrison during his New Zealand tour about having croissants and champagne in Akaroa and writing his latest single.




How is the tour going?
It’s been really fun getting out in front of a public audience again. Nelson was the first show at The Boatshed – what a great venue and staff. The audience was lovely and really engaged; much like the Akaroa crowd they quite like jumping up on the stage and becoming part of the show. Some sang, played my guitar while I sang, danced, stage dived. It was very entertaining for me! We are booking more shows as demanded!

You were down our way for Frenchfest recently. How does it feel to get back to your hometown of Christchurch when you can?
I forgot just how much of a jewel Akaroa is as it’d been quite some time since I’d ventured into the depths of Banks Peninsula. The French-styled Airbnb was crazy cool and delightful, complete with complementary buttery croissants and champagne! The gig was off the hook and I met some good old friends for brekky the day after with dad, so it became a really special weekend. It was also really reassuring and heart-warming seeing the wairua make its way back into the central city of Christchurch. Beautiful buildings are one thing but they are nothing without the people.

What is the most fulfilling part of what you get to do?
The most fulfilling thing is seeing and hearing people enjoy themselves, whether that be clapping in or out of time, dancing to slow previously undanced-to tunes, or singing full out in the chorus or instrumental parts of a song. Seeing people entertained is the juice, especially if they’re feeling free enough to let loose and get involved in the abandonment for a little bit.

How did you get your first break?
Depends how you see it really; I jumped on stage for kapa haka at the Newfield Tavern in Invercargill when I was about nine. But played my first tunes on stage with the St Bedes rock band called VIVID at the Woolston Working Men’s Club for three songs, we were about 14. We felt like rockstars!

Your music has gone platinum nine times, you’ve won nine New Zealand Music Awards, an APRA Silver Scroll Award for Song of the Year and were made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for Services to Music in 2011. What do you consider to be some of your career-defining moments?
Those ones are pretty cool, but I think the most enduring difference I feel I got to make with music was when I helped lead a great team of people to create an earthquake relief concert called ‘Band Together for Canterbury’ on 23 October just six weeks after the first earthquake in 2010. We managed to convince 30+ iconic NZ acts to perform, TV3 to simulcast the event, and a reported 100,000 people attended. Cantabrians had been through massive disruptions and stress. Seeing people lose themselves in the music for the day was very rewarding and it was truly an honour to be of service in that way and I was overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who made the day work.

Since Opshop’s hiatus in 2013, you’ve been paving your own way. How does a day in the life of Jason Kerrison look these days?
Well, I would walk you through my day today but it’s been particularly uneventful. I broke the little toe on my left foot two evenings ago, finally had x-rays this morning (which confirmed a nasty break) and have subsequently been ordered to stay still all day on the couch. I’m getting better at practising stillness, like Eckhart Tolle stillness, but I’m not great at keeping still for long. The day prior to the break I spent the afternoon on the hemp farm liming the paddocks in preparation for planting and in the morning at my NorthTech carpentry course. I sat down to prepare some music for my upcoming shows and stubbed my toe on the stupid couch with the toe poking 90 degrees the wrong way.

That being, said I’ve got a single out at the moment called I Will If You Will. I wrote the song in my studio in the far north of New Zealand. It’s been quite some time since I wrote a deliberately electronic-sounding piece weaved with the foundation of a good old song. I Will If You Will is about daring the best of each other as people, especially in a relationship. I also wanted to write an uplifting fun track for big speakers. It’s intended to be fun, a little tongue-in-cheek too. It’s on all streaming platforms now and a lyric video is due early November.




Step up for Cup Week: Shoe Therapy

Kaiapoi’s newest boutique shoe store has arrived just in time for pre-Cup Week fashion preparation.


Miss Wilson Naomi Heel – Dolly Pink Calf $299


To complete your look, or to gain brand-new inspiration, Shoe Therapy is the place to look for high-quality race day heels and accessories.

All items have been hand-picked by owner and professional fashion stylist, Debbie Reeves. In the range, she features top New Zealand and international brands, including Django & Juliette, Saben, Top End, Mollini, Miss Wilson, Rollie, Sol Sana, Superga, Diesel, Boh Runga Jewellery and much more.

Alongside race day fashion, there’s also something available for everyone, with high-quality shoes on offer with comfort in mind, and flats for everyday wear.


Miss Wilson Helena Heel – Black Suede $299


Debbie says it has been the perfect time to set up a designer shoe store in Kaiapoi, and customers have been commenting on its Melbourne-inspired vibe.

“Kaiapoi’s going through a time of regeneration and rapid growth,” she says. “The new development where we’re located on Williams Street has a modern, fresh feel. It’s really beautiful.”

The store celebrated its grand opening on September 26, so pop in today and find that perfect piece to complete your winning race day outfit.

Shoe Therapy is also proud to support mental health awareness; $1 from the sale of every shoe goes to a new charity each quarter, the first being Stepping Stone Trust.


Django & Juliette Ross – Black Leather $269

For more, visit, email, or phone 03 327 0966.




Bonjour! Welcome to Akaroa FrenchFest 2019

Escape to picturesque Akaroa and immerse yourself in French culture, entertainment and romance as you celebrate Akaroa’s unique history (French, German and Maori) at Akaroa FrenchFest – a whole weekend of fun activities. All are free for the family to enjoy, except the ticketed Cabaret on Saturday night.



Settle in on Friday evening and relax with seaside dining. Watch the waterfront come alive on Beach Road, with entertainment and music featuring Mundy and Danger Baby. A traditional Maori pōwhiri will open the festival.

Early Saturday morning (8:30am), take part in the theatrical living history re-enactment with The Landing on the main beach. Telling the history and stories of the many and varied intrepid souls who travelled far and wide to make Banks Peninsula their home, The Landing is a lively, fun, historical re-enactment that leads up to the arrival in 1840 of The Comte de Paris, bringing 59 French and German settlers to Akaroa.

Stories are told of these first encounters; of local iwi, the whalers, trading sailors and the first farmers, who were just set up in Akaroa. The groups of characters – played by local community members, wherever possible playing their own ancestors – will all be a part of telling these stories in a lively, historically accurate, fun, immersive and audience-inclusive way.


The Landing is followed by the parade to the Recreation Ground. At 11am on the Rec, the official part of the programme commences with speeches and the official flag raising. From 11am until 4:30pm, Le Jour du Marché (Market Day) is held with French inspired markets, games, food, entertainment and live music all day. Iconic events like the Waiters Race and the Cock Crowing competition will delight!

On Saturday evening, there is a ticketed cabaret which is not to be missed. Enjoy an incredible array of music and entertainment with an enchanting French flavour all night. Delight in thrilling performances from Bonita Danger Doll, Jason Kerrison, Corner Sounds and more! Sunday will see a Circotica Circus workshop for the children plus a circus performance to close FrenchFest 2019.

For more information, visit and follow ‘FrenchFest Akaroa 11-13 October 2019’ on Facebook to keep up with all the news and details.



Beauty Awaits

We’re all familiar with the idea that we don’t check out our own backyards, romanticising instead the unfamiliar, the great global journeys, the far flung countries, but right next door to Christchurch, our geographical neighbour offers everything you could possibly hope for in a destination.



Whether investing in a day trip or something a little more substantial, a journey around the beautiful Akaroa and Banks Peninsula will reward you with picturesque vistas at every turn, a thriving artisan culture and a marine environment teaming with wildlife. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the alluring French character of the Akaroa township – a seaside retreat just 90 minutes from the city.

Packed with charm, the nods to its history as a French settlement are everywhere, with pretty French-named streets, lined with historic cottages cloaked in roses. While away the hours browsing boutique shops and craft galleries, and stop for a pick-me-up of fine local food and wine at a café or restaurant overlooking the shimmering waters of Akaroa Harbour. Relaxation doesn’t get much better than this!

This charming township has all the makings for the perfect romantic getaway. Take your pick from a swath of luxurious accommodation options, enjoy a long lunch or lingering dinner at a cosy café or restaurant and stroll hand in hand through the town’s enchanting streets and shops.

So make sure you get a local’s take on what to see and do here. And factor in a few days to enjoy this charming peninsula getaway – it’s much more than a day trip destination, so start planning your weekend getaway today.



Akaroa Adventure

Akaroa Adventure

High profile athletes throughout the country are preparing to descend on Akaroa from 10-17 March as preparations for the action-packed adventure race GODZone ramp up in the region.


Akaroa Adventure


It’s the first time the non-stop seven-day expedition-style race, the largest of its kind globally and widely regarded as the best – has been held in the region with the eighth chapter attracting a significant number of teams with high profile multisport backgrounds.

Pre and post-race activities focused around the beautiful coastal township which will also play host to the event finish line. In true GODZone style, the location of the start line will remain secret until just before the race kicks off. The only hint given at this stage is that the start location will be a long way from Akaroa!


Akaroa Adventure

With 70 teams across three racing categories including the full course 600km Pure event and shorter formatted 500km Pursuit and Prime events, the field is expected to take anywhere between five and seven days to complete the journey.
The teams will navigate their own way around the course using a variety of multisport disciplines including mountain biking, trekking, kayaking and pack rafting.

“Competitors don’t know where or when they will receive the race maps but suffice to say there’s plenty of conjecture as to where it might go,” GODZone Race Director Adam Fairmaid says.  “Canterbury is an incredibly diverse region with a lot of contrast from braided and meandering rivers to big, technical mountain ranges. It should be a spectacular race with some interesting twists and turns along the way.”



Explore Akaroa

Spying the land through their portholes last century, French colonisers set their hearts on Akaroa and it’s not hard to see why. To this day, beauty, adventure and hospitality are at the heart of this quaint coastal village.



Located on the south-east side of the deep, sheltered Akaroa Harbour, the charming township of Akaroa has a special point of difference – it was the only French settlement in New Zealand. That’s not where beauty ends. With historic buildings, magnificent harbour and passion for fine food, there is something for everyone in this seaside hotspot. Explore some of the best fish and chips in the South Island, take a cruise and see the marine wildlife or peruse the waterfront stores to your heart’s content. We’ve made a start on your exploratory itinerary here.





Pohatu penguins is a 100% family owned and operated business offering unique nature tours and sea-kayaking safaris to the largest colony of Little penguins on mainland NZ. See the penguins in their natural environment and learn about the self-funded conservation work that saved the birds from extinction from the area.

Ph: 021 2469556/03 3048542






Luxury Bed & Breakfast

Enjoy a romantic getaway in the ‘Riviera of the South.’
Beaufort House (1878) with its magnificent garden setting and petite vineyard offers a peace seldom found in the modern world.
Evening drinks and canapés, plus a full cooked breakfast included.

Ph: 021 190 4456







Jump on board and experience NZ’s oldest wooden ketch, the Fox II Sailing and Wildlife Cruise. Witness dolphins GUARANTEED, seals, penguins, albatross as you sail the coast and see the crater of an extinct volcano. History and wildlife narration. Snacks, drinks and FREE coffee/tea/HC.
10:30am & 1:30pm every day, 3hrs

Ph: 0800 369 7245







Glowing Sky Merino Clothing is made from South Island Wool and all their garments are manufactured by them right here in Canterbury. They sell exclusively through their website or stores, including their brand-new Akaroa shop!

Ph: 0800 456 946







If you want…
• Excellent organic, fair-trade, flame roasted coffee
• Delicious freshly made food
• Real fruit smoothies
• Organic grocery items
• Gourmet food products and Xmas gifts
• Ethique personal care items
• And very friendly service
…come and see us at
The Peninsula General Store and Cafe

Ph: 03 304 8800







Glide through the waters of Akaroa on a Black Cat Cruise. Scan the waters to see what native wildlife you can see. Seals, penguins, and the smallest dolphins in the world, the Hectors dolphin are all a possibility. Don’t forget to look up, as the skies are full of a variety of our flying friends as well.


Ph: 0800 436 754



Akaroa House & Garden Tour

Take a Tiki Tour: Akaroa House & Garden Tour

If you’re looking for something to do over Canterbury Show Weekend then head over to alluring Akaroa where you can tour some of the town’s historical cottages and stunning gardens.


Akaroa House & Garden Tour


The Inside Out Akaroa House & Garden Tour is a community fundraiser and held every two years. This year’s event will be held on November 17 and 18 and gives you the perfect excuse to spend the weekend in Akaroa, enjoying the scenery, food, wine and hospitality.
Akaroa and the surrounding bays are known for their fabulous gardens and historical cottages, and the Inside Out Akaroa House & Garden Tour is one not to be missed.


Akaroa House & Garden Tour

Not only does it allow you to view a diverse range of interesting gardens, it also allows you to take a peek into some rare and historical cottages.  Fourteen properties, including Fisherman’s Bay Garden, which is a haven in the rugged and dramatic landscape of the Banks Peninsula coastline: Nancy Tichborne’s new studio and garden in Akaroa, the newly completed ‘Kearney-Rhodes House’ in Akaroa, and many more are open to view.


Akaroa House & Garden Tour

This year there will be also be a cluster of three properties in Takamatua, a stone’s throw from the Akaroa township.
Gardens are open from 10am to 5pm all weekend. This is a self-drive tour and you can visit the properties at your leisure over the two days.


Tickets are $30 per person and on sale at the Akaroa Adventure Centre, Akaroa Museum, Ballantyne’s, The Little River Gallery and online.


Akaroa Health Centre

Promoting health & wellbeing: The new Akaroa Health Centre

With a blessing on the former Akaroa Hospital site earlier this year and work already underway on the new Akaroa Health Centre, the local community is looking forward to its envisaged opening in June 2019.

Akaroa Health Centre

Gordon Boxall, Chair of the Akaroa Community Health Trust, (ACHT) says the benefits of the new health facility will be substantial. “Alongside the eight aged residential care beds and four general practice managed inpatients flexi-beds, it will also house the general practice and other community services. We’re committed to health promotion and wellbeing, so having one integrated health centre comprehensively provides for our community needs.”

The new facility will be built and owned by the Canterbury District Health Board, but will be leased to, and operated by, the local community through Akaroa Health Ltd, a charitable subsidiary of ACHT. “Paul de Latour chairs our fundraising committee; currently we’ve received donations and pledges of $1.5 million. The Lions have been extraordinary, as have the Guardians of Akaroa Hospital. Some local businesses and community groups have pledged $50,000 and the biggest single donation from a family has been $100,000. People have been absolutely brilliant!”
Gordon says it’s vital they don’t take the foot off the accelerator. “We now want to focus on fundraising regionally and nationally. With that in mind, a community member has recently set up a Give A Little page ( When we reach our $3 million target…well, that will be everything.”