The majority of Akaroa’s waterfront is French Bay. At the north end is Childrens Bay, formally called Otahuahua by the Māori. Admiring the anchored sailboats bobbing in the water is the essence of picturesque tranquility. Yet over eight million years ago, this was one of two explosive shield volcanoes that formed the 440 square mile Banks Peninsula. Akaroa Harbour is actually a crater or caldera formed when the magna chamber collapsed.