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Enjoy Europe without leaving New Zealand at the Akaroa French Festival

AKAROA FRENCH FESTIVAL 2021: All you need to know!

The Akaroa French Festival 29 April – 1 May 2022! Find out what is happening and other Akaroa activities right here! Postponed from Oct 2021, see below.

Authentic heritage tour from a seventh generation French descendant are still operating over the Akaroa French Festival weekend 15-17 October and are the real thing! Book now.

Learn about Maori history, first contact, European settlement, the Treaty of Waitangi, the ‘race for Akaroa’, the French settlement and my amazing ancestors stories. Connect to Akaroa in a way that you never will have before, explore the conservation projects and breathtaking scenery that will leave you with hope for the future and inspiration right now. *ALL reviews are 5 star! There is nothing else like it.

This tour will take you to four of the most important landmarks in New Zealand, telling the full incredible history of New Zealand from the very first Polynesian explorers and settlers, the first Maori interactions with European settlers and the bloody massacre by Te Rauparaha at Takapuneke that bought the first Brittish resident to New Zealand. The United Tribes Declaration of Independence and the signing of The Treaty of Waitangi on the shores of Akaroa Harbours and the Race for Akaroa. 

French descendants in Akaroa with the French flag
Seventh Generation French descendant Marie Haley in Akaroa with town mascot Steve LelievreW

Learn about the French settlement by a descendant who’s ancestor was here pre-Treaty and bought in the Napoleon Willow. Make a meaningful connection to the familiar place of Akaroa by enjoying homemade afternoon tea in one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Learn from a conservation ecologist the destruction and then protection of the native landscapes of Banks Peninsula, visiting Hinewai Reserve and the Wildside conservation project. 

Be inspired with a vision for the seventh generation into the future and leave feeling a deep sense of hope and connection to beautiful Akaroa. All in one incredible three hour tour! “Possibly the best tour, ever, anywhere”.

To find out more and BOOK NOW

Akaroa French Festival 2022, 29 April – 1 May. For all you need to know and important updates keep reading!

6pm to 9pm: Night Market, Official Opening and Welcome 

Enjoy a special Friday night out on the atmospheric streets of Akaroa, with the official opening followed by live music and lights, surrounded by food and wine vendors and stalls.

Saturday 16th, October 2021

8.30am to 11pm: Landing, Parade, Heritage Marquee, French Market, Le Cabaret

8:30am: Landing on the Akaroa Main Beach

Join in the action at the landing street theatre and the traditional Landing Celebration of French and German passengers from the Comte de Paris who arrived in 1840 to start new lives, followed by the descendants proudly marching in the Street Parade led by the Canterbury Brass Band with vintage cars, fire brigade and penny farthings.

Akaroa French Festival Landing
Akaroa French Fest Festival Landing street theatre and traditional descendants landing.

10:30am: Heritage Marquee, French Market at the Akaroa Recreation Ground

At the Akaroa Recreational Ground relax and enjoy the heritage and entertainment with The Heritage Marquee and stalls. There will be everything from a local fashion show to Victorian photography. Live music to entertain you while you sample local food and wine or throw your hat in the ring in competitions, feeling lucky in the cock crowing or the waiter’s race? With traditional French games for the children. 

6:30pm: Grand Marquee at the Akaroa Recreation Ground

La Can Can at Le Cabaret on Saturday night

On Saturday evening is the adults only Le Cabaret, doors open at 6:30pm with the show starting at 7pm. Featuring the comedian and street performer, the one and only ‘Mullet Man’ as Master of Ceremonies, the lively ‘La Can Can’ and Miss Bonita Danger Doll with a Risqué Burlesque, finishing off with great music to dance the night away. 

Danger Doll is an accomplished and award winning Internationally travelled showgirl, with classic and timeless glamour, elegant poise, grace, and a twist of raw feminine sensuality and danger! Burlesque is sassy yet sophisticated and epitomises the glamour of the 1940’s pin-ups, with the emphasis on the tease in strip-tease! 

Tickets can be purchased at event finder, $40 per person

Sunday 17th, October 2021 

10am to 3pm: Market and Circus on the Akaroa Recreation Ground

Unwind from an amazing weekend with the French inspired Le Broccante a antiques and collectables fair plus car boot sale and food stalls, again at the Akaroa Recreation Ground. 

From 11am, be entertained by the Circus Performance by the innovative Cirotica Circus Company, free to enjoy at the market. 

Akaroa on a perfect day
Akaroa Lighthouse on a perfect day.


Free parking is available around the streets of Akaroa village, but limited by the main beach and waterfront. Please don’t drink and drive.


Beaufort House Akaroa are offering a French Festival Special:

2 night’s accommodation Special Offer Normally $900.00 – ‘French Festival Special’ $750.00

A complimentary bottle of French Bubbles – to enjoy at your leisure!

Marie Haley

I am your guide, Marie Haley, I was born and raised on Banks Peninsula. The seventh generation direct decedent of Akaroa’s very first French settler. I grew up on the family farm following in the footsteps of my Grandfather, and his Grandfather before.