Akaroa was our favorite as we took a dolphin spotting cruise with akaroa dolphins. They have a little dog onboard called mr Murphy complete with his own life jacket who is a dolphin finder. This was just amazing as he went to where the dolphins were every time and drew our attention to them.
We also saw fur seals and a rare yellow eyed penguin the commentary on the area was most interesting.
We walked along the waterfront which was gorgeous and then took the cable car up to the botanic gardens. This cost is 7 dollars and a good walk down hill through lovely gardens. There is a great kids playground in the gardens and one on the waterfront as well.