Monday, July 4, 2011

Akaroa - Long Harbour

Akaroa - Long Harbour
On Saturday I was able to have a day away with Warren while the kids were busy with their friends for the day. It was so nice to drive past the many paddocks dotted with sheep, and to see the lovely green grass covered hills and mountains along the way. We stopped for hot tea and a muffin at the Hilltop Cafe, which is on the ancient volcanic crater rim overlooking the harbour. Once down in the quaint French settlement of Akaroa, we were able to catch a small boat cruise out the harbour to the Pacific Ocean. The two hour cruise started relatively calm, but the ocean surge from the southern ocean got quite large, making for a "washing machine" type turbulence around the rocky entrance. We were happy to see a couple of small Blue Penguins, and also a pair of very rare Hector Dolphins - although it was very difficult to get a photo with the boat bobbing around so much. The water is a beautiful blue and the sun was warm and sunny! Akaroa is a small town of just 500 with many unique shops - including a place you can purchase blue pearls! We were able to spend a little time walking around the community, and stopped by to see the Maison de la Mer, a top 10 worldwide B&B. Wish we had more time in this wee town with french settlers, and it's deffinately on my list of favorite places in New Zealand and I hope we can take the kids back for a boat ride.

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