Each walk has an established track, and we have small printed map guides for you choose and take along with you. Some of the walks are across hilly farmland, while others cut through unique virgin bush, alive with native birds and flora. Hinewai Reserve is extra special and is worth a special trip to see untouched forest, alive with birdsong, the sound of waterfalls and the smells of the forest floor. Click here to see the full map of local walks available along with downloadable walking guides.
If you are a devoted walker there are two extended walks - one, the Tuatara walk - a three day walk to Akaroa from Christhurch and the other The Bank's Peninsula Track a four day walk that incorporates overnight stops and visits four of the remote outer bays.
If your interests are in the more remote settlements, then there are two Mail Run tours via the mail van daily.
Akaroa shows its love of gardens during a stroll around the village where enthusiastic gardeners ply their craft for all to see. It is a real haven for rose growers, and most gardens have elaborate displays.
Among the village's gardens, however, the mosaic garden at "The Giant's House" www.linton.co.nz is a must see for all visitors as it is an extravagant display of horticulture and mosaic art on a grand, spectacular scale. Josie Martin, the owner/artist is first a horticulturalist who has embarked on building a mosaic sculpture garden that contains many fantastic scenes amongst the garden beds.
Famed New Zealand artist Nancy Tichborne has a fabulous garden of several acres at nearby French Farm - open by appointment, which we are happy to make on your behalf.
Other local and area gardens are open by appointment, which can be arranged during your stay at Maison de la Mer.
Akaroa's long, deep water harbour is home to significant wildlife, including the endangered Hectors Dolphin - the world's smallest dolphin, Seals, Penguins, and many sea birds. The harbour is also home to a salmon farm - Akaroa Salmon, renowned for its high quality around New Zealand. There are several options to take cruises on the harbour, which allow you to see and experience the scene up close.
The best overall experience, in our opinion, is with Akaroa Dolphins, www.akaroadolphins.co.nz who run three trips daily on their new catamaran powerboat - watching the dolphins up close, the seals, birds and the truly breathtaking scenery in and around the harbour.
Should you wish to swim with the dolphins, we can arrange this for you as well, and if sailing is your passion, the "Fox", an antique, restored ketch will take you on a tour of the harbour www.akaroafoxsail.co.nz If you are really an upcoming yachting enthusiast, then we can arrange a few hours sailing on Manatara, a local racing yacht that specialises in sailing experiences.
Maison de la Mer is delighted to be working with The Akaroa Cooking School, a very popular addition to the Akaroa scene. We encourage guests to consider taking one of their cooking classes while staying with us at Maison de la Mer. Ask us about cooking course and accommodation packages.
The Akaroa Cooking School provides a place for people to come and learn how to cook using the freshest of local, seasonal, produce.
The cooking school believes that cooking should be a fun part of everyday life and that each meal should be savoured and shared with friends and family wherever possible.
The Akaroa Cooking School is all about celebrating fresh, local ingredients and creating mouth watering recipes that you will want to recreate in your own home for friends and family.
They grow much of the produce for the school ourselves, and they collect the rest from local suppliers and artisan producers.
They are located right on the waterfront, just a 5 minute walk from Maison de la Mer with spectacular views of the harbour and surrounding hills.
Courses run through summer every Saturday, most Sundays and some Fridays. Contact us for a complete schedule, topics and costs.