Monday, November 2, 2015

Akaroa Harbor

Akaroa Harbor, NZ (May 28, 2008)

Mayli’s meeting had different options for the conference excursion. One of them was a visit to Akaroa harbor, which we choose compelled by the description of natural beauty, and the chance of seeing some interesting wildlife.

A boat in Akaroa Harbor
And beautiful it was. Akaroa (“long harbor” in Maori) is set between volcanic hills in the Banks peninsula, South of Christchurch. The main settlement was once called “Port Louise-Philippe”, betraying its french origins. The first settlers were in fact french, which had reached the South Island in 1840. The british, however, were already in New Zealand with their bigger gun-boats, so the french settlers were given the choice of leaving, or staying there and become british subjects. France was a long way away, so they remained, and all is left now of these origins are the french names of the streets. In Akaroa we got on a boat tour of the harbor, which was really worth it, as we saw some quite unique wildlife (more on this in the next few posts), and we didn’t even get wet (you’ll understand this when I will get to tell about Milford Sound many posts ahead). Once back we shared some fish and chips with the local cats, and then got some coffee in the nearby CafĂ©. There we met a lovely waitress that turned out to be american. We asked her what she was doing there, and she said that she was hiking through New Zealand but once she got in Akaroa she liked the place so much that she decided there was no point in keep traveling, and she just decided to stay there. And by looking at the calm waters and the peaceful air, that really seemed the reasonable thing to do. Who really would want to leave?

Akaroa Harbor, NZ (May 28, 2008)

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