On day 3 of our girly New Zealand getaway, we checked-out of The Hotel Montreal and took a road-trip to the seaside village of Akaroa, which is an easy 90-minutes’ drive from Christchurch. Known for its tall green mountains and spectacular ocean views, Akaroa is among the most idyllic scenery New Zealand has to offer and is the picture perfect location for photos of the landscape and friendly wildlife. Any guess which kind of wildlife? You got it! New Zealand’s favourite four-legged friend, the sheep!
We arrive in Akaroa and are left speechless. There’s a storm brewing, which means the clouds are dark and moody and the ocean reflects crystal blue. The perfect contrast for a harbour which looks like it’s straight out of a postcard. The town of Akaroa is small and sweet. The buildings are made from wooden panels and there’s plenty of quirky little shops which fill the town.
As we check into our hotel, The Akaroa Village Inn, we’re eager to get into our rooms for a little R&R before our next activity – swimming with the dolphins! But before we can slip into our wetsuits and cossies, we find yet another incredible surprise – the glistening harbour views!
Black Cat Cruises load us on-board their boat as we ponder the thought of not only seeing the world’s smallest and rarest dolphin, the Hector Dolphin, but also the opportunity to get up close and personal with a group of them.
The dolphins may not always come out to play, but there’s plenty of other wildlife such as seals, penguins and a range of birdlife to see. If you’d love to experience swimming with dolphins and cruising around Akaroa Harbour, we suggest you dress warm and leave your fancy hat at home as the winds can be quite strong. The Hector Dolphins splashed and dove around our boat and each time we saw a fin pop up, the boat cheered and squealed, which made them even more playful.
From dolphins to giants! The Giant’s House is a historic house perched in the mountains of Akaroa, built by the ever eclectic and eccentric Josie Martin. Josie had created giant sculptures adorned in mosaic and other textiles and planted these works of art amidst beds of roses and big beautiful flowers. Romantic, secluded and quiet, The Giant’s House is a creative feast and it was a personal favourite of the trip. We felt as though we had been transported into another world. Each sculpture was more detailed than the next and each corner gave birth to another theme with perfectly trimmed hedges.
After a day out and about, the last stop was Vangionis Trattoria and Bar. A Mediterranean restaurant specialising in exquisite food from paddock to plate. They proudly produce all their own cured meats including chorizo, bresaola and smoked salmon, they bake fresh bread daily, make their own pasta and grow many of their own herbs and vegetables.
Today could only be described as jam-packed, with everything from sun, surf and turf, the best way to spend the evening was cosied up in our rooms watching the beautiful sunset with a bird’s eye view of the wharf.
Although we had only been gone for three days, this girl’s weekend away brought us all closer and really highlighted Christchurch as an unexpected destination for all things food, fun and female!
Head to http://www.christchurchnz.com/australia/ to check out everything you need to know about booking your next ultimate girl’s weekend away.