Did you know that Akaroa is the best place for a New Zealand History Tour? With 5 significant historic sites that tell the complete settlement story of New Zealand, all within a few minutes drive from each other? One of those sites is as important than the Treaty of Waitangi Grounds (argued by some historians to be more important!)
Thinking of doing a NZ History tour? Want to teach your children about local history or the New Zealand settlement story as part of the NZ History in New Zealand Schools? Then Akaroa is absolutely the best place in NZ for a New Zealand History Tour.
Akaroa has 5 of the MOST IMPORTANT historic sites and they are all within 5 minutes drive of each other. No where else in New Zealand will you find the opportunity for the complete New Zealand history to be told in one comprehensive story.
REALLY? The best place for a New Zealand History Tour?
Oh YES! Here are the 5 key sites:
- Tuhiraki – The very first demonstration of sovereignty, by the earliest Maori settlers.
- Takapūneke – was the first time that a European was directly involved with Maori inter-tribal conflict and directly resulted in the First British Resident to be sent to New Zealand. Leading to the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of New Zealand and ultimately the Tirirty o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi.
- Ōnuku – The first place the Tirity o Waitangi was signed in the South Island.
- Britomart Monument – Where the British first demonstrated sovereignty over the South Island, Driven by imperial rivalry and the race for the British to beat the French settlers to claiming Akaroa.
- Britomart Reserve – Where Ngāi Tahu were bullied into selling 8.1 million hectares of their ancestral lands for a puny 2000 pounds, that being a large part of the South Island.
WOW! For a small town Akaroa had a huge impact on New Zealand History!
Akaroa has an incredibly rich history (read more here) and while I’ve listed here the five most important sites, the whole region of Banks Peninsula has a long and important story.
Banks Peninsula was one of the earliest Maori settlements after arrival from Polynesia with continuous settlement and probably the highest density of important cultural sites including pā (fortifications) in the Ngāi Tahu’s rohe (territory). As seen here on the Kā Huru Manu Cultural Atlas.
Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū was the first name of Banks Peninsula, meaning the ‘food basket of Rākaihautū’ as the first settler found it to be the most abundant place, absolutely teaming with life and kai (food).
An Ancestral Home for European New Zealanders Too!
So many New Zealanders genealogy whakapapas (tracing genealogy) back to Akaroa. While today Akaroa is a small town of around 6-700 permanent residents, many families first settler was to Akaroa.
Akaroa was a bustling and important port from the 1830’s during the first trading and whaling years. Akaroa was settled and fully self-sufficient 10 years before Christchurch’s ‘first four ships’ and those first Canterbury settlers found Akaroa to be a charming and romantic European style village, while much of Christchurch was a swamp.
Akaroa was the first planned European settlement in the South Island and it retains many of it’s earliest buildings and character, as well as some of those earliest gardens and plants that lend Akaroa such charm.
As a seventh generation local it surprises me how many New Zealanders who have ancestral links to this small town have not yet visited, and more importantly have not had the chance to understand just how important this small and sleepy seaside village really is.
But Wait, There is Much More than Just a New Zealand History Tour!
Yes, history is interesting (to some people!). But Akaroa history is interesting for all people. What? Yes, this is YOUR story. This is the NZ History and it’s told in a way that will make you feel connected to this place, as well as leaving you wanting to seek your connection to where YOUR ancestors came from.
This is Tūrangawaewae, literally meaning to dig toes, or in English where your roots are. Knowing your tūrangawaewae is to know who you are, where you belong. And part of finding that is to understand the history that makes New Zealand unique and special in the world.
Because this NZ history and these events happened only here, they can only be told well from this place.
SO Book a Tour! Start your journey with an expert storyteller, who believes real manaakitanga (hospitality) is to tell stories well, to enable people to connect to this beautiful place and take the stories and images home with them, and to share with you the best kai (food) from the most beautiful place in an exchange of culture and custom.
Or give your loved ones the ultimate experience this Christmas, on a tour they will never forget. Gift Vouchers are available HERE.
You will be supporting a genuinely locally owned and operated family business.