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The tour was conducted by Marie Haley who has extensive knowledge of the culture, history and geography of the area. She is personable, friendly, and makes terrific scones. Her appreciation of the culture of the area is easily translated into her story telling (true stories of course) which made a fascinating 3.5 hour trip. If your ship docks here or if you find yourself in this corner of world you will a better person after spending time with Marie. Thank you for sharing your world, your history and your knowledge with us. Another plus is that you are a small group so you can easily ask questions and go places that a big bus cannot navigate.
Best Tour Ever, Mary Ellen - Trip Advisor
My husband, teenage son, and myself enjoyed this 3 hour tour with guide and driver, Marie. She enthusiastically shares the stories of the people and places around Akaroa based around her own early settler family history and conservation efforts. She made us feel very much at home with the booking process and throughout the tour. We highly recommend this unique opportunity. Enjoyable, authentic, educational small group tour  
Enjoyable, authentic, educational small group tour, Carrie - Trip Advisor
We spent a month touring Australia and New Zealand, hiring private tours periodically throughout our trip (as part of the trip was via cruise and we did not have transportation). Of all our tours, this was the best. It was a day with wind and rain, but we still wanted to spend the day hiking. So, Marie figured out a way to revise our original plans and arrange a great day of hiking in one of the more wind-sheltered spots in the area. Not only was the weather better than in town, but the hike was absolutely gorgeous. And Marie was a perfect guide. She was knowledgeable and shared great local information. Yet, she allowed us periods of quiet to just hike with her along the gorgeous outdoor space. Thank you Marie for taking one of the worst weather days of our trip and making it one of our best experiences.
Best Tour of Our Entire Trip, Jeannee - Trip Advisor

I contacted Marie via email and she was responsive and fun to communicate with.

We arrived Akaroa on cruise ship Azamara Quest on a wild weather day. Our tender barely made it in. We had invited 4 other guests, Marie was waiting on the Wharf for us. Since we couldn't visit the park she had arranged a surprise Lighthouse tour where we had tea and scones (Marie is a great baker also), this was a very welcome substitution. It seems her family has lived in Akaroa for Seven Generations and she knows a few people! We found Marie to be very professional, a true historian, a delightful storyteller, and a dedicated conservationist. She is also an awesome driver, is very sweet and has a great since of humor. This was one of the highlights of our trip. We feel we have a new friend, and everyone in our group felt that way. I recommend her highly, great value for money, a sure thing and for the discerning traveler. When we went back on the ship and told everyone what we had done, their mouth pretty much dropped open. Marie made several excellent recommendations for wildlife conservation excursions in other ports, which we followed and were equally delighted. I recommend Seventh Generation highly.
Historian, Storyteller, Conservationist, Sandie
Marie is a local historian and passionate ecologist who is proud to share her family links with visitors to the beautiful little town of Akoroa. She weaves stories and local Maori history into the three hour guided tour as well as taking you to see stunning landscapes and forest that is regenerating. I highly recommend this tour. It is fast becoming one of the highlights from our trip to NZ.
Historical tour with an ecological focus, Erika - Trip Advisor
We visited on Sunday, December 16 while on a cruise and wanted something other than to walk the crowded main street and the overpriced ship's shore excursions. Marie has actual seventh generation credentials and provided a cultural and historic overview of the community and its context in this part of New Zealand. She met us at the dock, showed us the important local sights and even set our a mobile tea and snack platter at the French cemetery. Well worth it.
Quiet Thoughtful Insight into Area History, Peter - Trip Advisor
Akaroa was our first stop in New Zealand during our 16-day Norwegian "Jewel" tour, It was by far our best stop and best tour. Marie did a great job molding the historical, cultural, geographic and environmental aspects of this remote hideaway. Her tour kept the attention of my four kids (ages 11-21). The photos posted do not do it justice. This is a see-to-believe experience and Marie will take you off the beaten path to take it all in.
Scones & Tea With An Incredible View, Mike - Trip Advisor
Tour started from the wharf(only wharf in the little city) and Marie guided us through important historical points telling us about the first settlement, the "agreement" between Maori and how the Europeans started their New Zealand life. The driving is scenic, very informative and interesting tour! Must go tour.
Historical tour with French settler descendant, Suzanne - Trip Advisor
Marie Haley collected us at the Akaroa dock and then took us on a History Safari. Marie is a descendant of the first French settlers. Marie told us of the first Polynesian settlers & their stories, then of the English & French explorers & settlers & how the gorse bushes are being reduced so the forest can return to its original state. Marie then took us around Akaroa & over the mountains to the Pacific Ocean to see the pest reduction fence on one of the cliffs.
Akaroa History Safari, Kath - Trip Advisor
We just wanted to say how much we enjoyed our 7th Generation Historical Tour with you. We found it be a deeply personal account of the rich history that the Peninsula has to offer. It was particularly powerful to be standing in the actual sites where so many of these major historical events have happened. It really made the history come alive for us. Your enthusiasm is infectious.
Deeply personal account of rich history, Monique + Stephanie
A terrific experience with Marie, a descendant of the first French settler, historian of local Maori and European conflict and ecologist. A beautiful small group tour with a person who has a passion and understanding of what visitors want to experience. Her inclusion of morning tea at a reflective remote mountain top location overlooking Akaroa Harbour is icing on the cake. A definite must.
Personalised insight into geological, cultural, ecological and historical side of southern New Zealand., Paradise Trip Advisor
We came to Akaroa on the Majestic Princess, who offered this tour. It was possibly the best tour we have ever had anywhere. Marie Haley, our guide and driver, is intelligent, an excellent communicator, extremely well informed and, as a seventh generation descendent of the first French settlers, part of the town’s history herself. She is also deeply involved in an amazing conservation movement and is able to explain it with an enthusiastic sense of commitment that is infectious. She took us to places of outstanding natural beauty and even introduced our group to Hugh Wilson, a famous botanist and conservationist. We highly recommend this tour.
'Possibly the best tour we have ever had anywhere', Garry Warne
Thank you so much for an incredible experience with my first time ever in New Zealand and in the southern hemisphere. I really appreciated how you helped create an emotional and spiritual connection on Friday October 19 as you guided us throught the breathtaking place of  Akaroa. You are an incredible story teller and you have an incredible knowledge of the environment and in nature and the history of your culture. It was great to meet you and learn of the significant contribution made by your family to the settlement of Akaroa years ago. There were so many highlights and amazing moments of your tour that it is hard to pick out just one to spotlight, and I really appreciated our little tea and scones. I will definitely be recommending your tour and I hope to do your tour again if I ever get the opportunity to return.
Created an emotional and spiritual connection, Nancy
We had a pleasure of a tour hosted by Marie, the way Marie told the story from the perspective of a someone with a real connection to the history of the Banks Peninsula made the morning fantastic. Having a morning tea overlooking Akaroa Harbour was beautiful. I can highly recommend booking a tour. Definitely seven stars.
Definitely seven stars, David
A wonderful personalized small group tour by Marie Haley a 7th generation local with an impressive knowledge of Maori, French and English history.  Her story of living a self-sustaining lifestyle while protecting endangered fauna and flora of land and sea was simply inspirational.  Our backroads access to Hinewai reserve with stunning views at scenic lookouts and delicious scones and tea at Heritage Park on a clear sunny day was perfect.  This is a must see tour to experience the life and soul of Akaroa with the guidance of a passionate local.
This is a must see tour to experience the life and soul of Akaroa, Mr & Mrs Hanzen
"What a fabulous two hours spent with the Seventh Generation Marie, who filled us in with the facts of the past and the dreams of the future. Loved it...want to do it soon again...I need to learn more."
Loved it...want to do it soon again, Heidi Herbert
"As a long time residents we thought we had a pretty good idea of the history but loved Marie’s stories. It had an added authenticity with stories of Marie’s family over 7 generations. The depth of knowledge about the plants and animals filled in lots of gaps in our understanding too. It is wonderful to hear such passion about the Banks Peninsula. I completely recommend this tour."
Wonderful to hear such passion about the Banks Peninsula, Kate and Grant Ryan, The Cacophony Project
"The tour was amazing. I learned lots of cool stories about Banks Peninsula and New Zealand. I didn’t think I’d like it but Mum and Dad made me go along. I’m glad they did - it was great."  
I didn’t think I’d like it but Mum and Dad made me go along. I’m glad they did - it was great., Scarlett Ryan, nine years old

I was lucky enough to go on a tour hosted by Marie and can't say enough about how great it was. Banks Peninsula is a beautiful location with fascinating flora, fauna and an intriguing history. Marie's story telling ability and imagery first took me back in time, then stepped me through to the present day and then propelled me into the future. She has a a genuine connection and passion to protect and conserve Banks Peninsula, she is full of information and really good fun too. I would recommend her tours to anyone visiting Akaroa.

Genuine connection and passion to protect, Rowena McNabb

"Marie, you are an extremely effective communicator who is able to eloquently transmit the spirit of the Wildside project. The approach those landowners are taking is great, and is leading to outcomes that everyone involved should take pride in. I’m sure it will continue to evolve as expectations grow, and further resources and capacity becomes available."

Extremely effective communicator, Alan

"Thanks again for your neat Wildside talk.  You are a fabulous speaker and you gave us a lucid and passionate account of the ecology and people of the place.  It is amazing to see how local people have each met the restoration challenges of a landscape in their own unique ways.  You all have much to be proud of."

A fabulous speaker, John
Hi Marie, Thanks for the great tour around historic Akaroa last week. It was really interesting and a privilege to hear you sharing about your family history. It was also very encouraging to know you continue to support your town and area in a number of ways.
A privilege to hear you sharing your family history, Trevor and Robyn Morgan
Folks, You have a real pearl in Marie Haley. We were fortunate to have her as our guide. She is so engaging and warm that I felt that she was my daughter or niece giving me a personal tour of your beautiful land. I fell in Love with New Zealand especially because of her knowledge, candor and passion for Akaroa. She is the best Ambassador for New Zealand that you can find, that I am planning to come back soon.
The best Ambassador for New Zealand that you can find, Doug Martin, California

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University and Conference Guided Groups

  Local expert tour guide, Marie Haley, is available to guide your conference and university groups to uncover an in depth history of New...
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Akaroa History and Nature Safari – Shore Excursion – Local Connections

3 hours
  • Our Most Popular Tour
  • Book directly through Princess Cruises or Holland America
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Experience a fascinating journey through New Zealand's natural and cultural history, on a one-of-a-kind tour, guided by a Seventh Generation local. Visit a unique grouping of spectacular sites that tell the complete story of New Zealand’s settlement. Listen to stories that foster a sense of meaning and connection to Akaroa's natural beauty and inspire hope for the future. Travel for good.
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History Tour

2 hours
  • Develop a sense of place
  • Explore the rich and unique history of beautiful Akaroa
  • Have a unique experience being guided by a seventh generation local
  • Be inspired by the deep cultural connections to this land
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$85 NZD pp$65

Private Tours by Expert Guide – Marie Haley – Akaroa and Hinewai Guided Tours

Flexible hours
  • Flexible private tours
  • Learn about New Zealand conservation
  • Discover your way at your own pace
  • Get behind the scenery
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