Akaroa, Banks Peninsula with Giant's House
On departing Akaroa Wharf the tour will initially take in the township of Akaroa before travelling by road through the inner bays of the harbor. You will be provided a very informative, entertaining and scenically stunning tour of the township, the inner bays and a portion of Banks Peninsula.
Next up, a stop will be made at the Cheese Factory in Barry' Bay, the only commercially operating cheese factory in the region. You will be educated on how this local cheese is produced and then take time for some tastings.
Continue your journey by climbing the road to the Hill Top, an historic hotel and the original stagecoach stop and horse exchange. With sweepingly magnificent views of the harbor, the tour then continues along the scenically stunning Summit Road which will afford you spectacular photo opportunities of the Northern Bays of Banks Peninsula and on a clear day looking north you will see both the Southern Alps and the Kaikoura Mountains.
On returning to Akaroa the tour will stop at the Giant's House where a guided tour has been arranged for your enjoyment. The Giant's House with a beautifully landscaped garden is where the artist Josie Martin is in residence. A guided tour of the home and gardens awaits as you explore this created fantasy world of sculptured mosaics.
The tour then concludes back at the Akaroa Wharf area where you will have free time on your own.
Reviewer: Patricia Debnam
Our tour driver was Rodney. He did a good job explaining the history of the area. The views of the harbor from the Hill Top Hotel were SPECTACULAR. So were the scenes of sheep and cattle grazing along the hillsides. The stop at Barry's Cheese Factory was unnecessary. The "factory" is a very small convenience store and can't handle large groups. There is a TV onsite that loops a video of the cheesemaking process. The cheese samples available were similar to grocery store samples. Barry's had 1 unisex bathroom available and it was EXTREMELY RUSTIC. The highlight of the trip was the Giants House. The Artist Josie Martin was available and explained her vision and we then toured her home. The home and furnishings were so inviting and eclectic. Her house made me SMILE. Her garden made me THINK. Her mosaics had subtle but bold messages. There was so much to look at, but not near enough time. I suggest deleting the cheese factory and spending more time at the Giants House.