Set on a beautiful, sheltered harbor and nestled in the heart of an ancient volcano, Akaroa is a popular resort village. Located 50 miles southeast of Christchurch, this quaint seaside town is situated on the southern side of the Banks Peninsula and has a distinct French flavor to it. Many street names are of French origin because of its French Whaling and colonial history. One of the first settlements in the Canterbury region of the South New Zealand Island, the town has a rich Maori and British heritage, as well as its French history. Today, the town center is dotted with colonial architecture, and the harbor area is lined with boutiques and cafes.