"Feel the Wow Factor of the Hilltop" Top 5 Page for this destination Akaroa Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2

Akaroa Things to Do: 93 reviews and 230 photos

  View of Akaroa Harbour from road at the hilltop.
by Kakapo2

This is a very special spot on all trips to Akaroa, halfway between Christchurch and Akaroa on SH 75.

Having driven up the slopes of the former volcano, you can suddenly look over the crater rim, and the magical beauty of Akaroa Harbour unfolds in front of your eyes. A thinnish long peninsula named Onawe Peninsula reaches into the fiord-like harbour. On a sunny summer day the water is so intense turquoise blue, you cannot believe what you see. The colour looks like enhanced on your PC. And BTW ? on a beautiful day Lyttelton Harbour and all the bays around Banks Peninsula have the same magic feeling.

The inner slopes of the ancient crater spill like thick custard into the water, displaying all shades of green.

If travelling by car, you might not be aware of the abundant bird life on the peninsula. I know about it and always look out for birds but on a recent motorbike ride I got aware of the relentless singing of my feathered friends, the chirping of the fantails and the full chorus of the bellbirds. Somehow magically, nearly every time we drive back to Christchurch on the State Highway, and down the curves from the Hilltop, one or more of those giant NZ woodpigeons cross the road.

If you do not turn left onto the Scenic (Tourist) Drive, make sure you stop at the Hilltop Tavern just some metres after the highest point of the State Highway for a first magic view of Akaroa Harbour.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written May 29, 2008
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