Now that we had reached New Zealand, the port calls came every day.
Today it was Akaroa, a small township with a tranquil harbour which was evolved from an ancient volcano. It was the site of an early French attempt to colonise New Zealand, and it retains a charming French flavour.
The cruise ship could not dock there, so we were transported by tender boats, the scale of which was just right for the landing stage – no cruise ship to dwarf the town. We had booked on a harbour nature cruise with Black Cat Cruises. It was a superb cruise by catamaran, with excellent commentary. We sailed through sparkling blue/green water, and went close to majestic cliffs with dramatic caves, admiring the crashing waves over the rocks. There were plenty of nesting seabirds and cormorants, perched on rocks and wheeling around in the sky. Seals too, and we were lucky to have a pod of Hector’s Dolphins showing off there playful swimming skills round the boat.
Afterwards, there was enough time to amble round the town, admiring the buildings, looking round the shops and having coffee overlooking the tree lined harbour.