We left Christchurch on Saturday in our hire car. It was a beautiful drive out to the Banks Peninsular, up over some very steep hills and down to the harbour which Akaroa sits on. It's a lovely little town, which was settled by the French who liked it so much they stayed even though we beat them to claiming the country. The result is lots of French street names, and our hostel being the Chez la Mer.
After arriving about lunchtime we got straight on the boat to see the harbour and some of the world's smallest and rarest dolphins - Hector's dolphins. They were very cool, and we also saw some penguins and a seal. The weather was beautiful, very cold but sunny, so the scenery was spectacular. Akaroa is right on the water, surrounded by huge green hills and is a beautiful little town. All the buildings are low-rise and traditional-looking.
Sadly Akaroa's proximity to Christchurch has created some very poncy restaurants and prices were extortionate. We were driven to eating fish and chips outside in the cold, very sad! We made up for that by going to the pub afterwards though and the next day we managed to find a lovely bakery for breakfast which did lots of French pastries, yum!