Here’s what we did in Akaroa, NZ!
Travel Dates: 12 Nov 2014
Transportation: The boat can’t fit in the harbor, so you’ll need to take a tender to shore. It’s a bit of a lengthy process, but we managed to get on the 1st tender at 0710 so we got to shore by 0740. In town, you can walk around or book a private tour. There are plenty of tour guides waiting at the pier with options. We pre-booked since we knew we wanted to go sea kayaking.
We loved our excursion! We booked a sea kayaking trip with Pohatu Penguin Habitat ($75ea for the early bird option from 0800-1130). Our guide picked us up at the port (he was a few minutes late). Originally he didn’t think we’d get off the ship on time, so he assumed we’d take his 12 tour. We’re thankful we made it in time because the afternoon got cold. New Zealand was fairly warm for early November; however, as you get further south, it got colder. We wore North Face jackets with shorts, but forgot to bring work out pants. Thankfully the kayaks had splash-proof covers, so we were plenty warm. They also had special water jackets for us, so we didn’t need our jackets either.
The tour was great! We kayaked around a bay with dozens of fur seals and penguins! Of course we forgot our waterproof camera on the cruise ship, but we still got some pictures with our iPhone. The habitat also had baby penguins that they had built little huts around their farmland. The hut were like little boxes but had doorways in and out so the penguins could come and go as they please. We kayaked for 1.5-2 hours.
Another option is taking a tour to Christchurch. Since we kayaked, we didn’t do this, but it was a very popular option for other guests on the ship. There were Lord of the Rings tours and other scenic options.