L'Aube Hill Reserve

This tranquil bush-clad reserve in Akaroa is home to the oldest cemetery in the South Island, which dates back to 1840.

French Cemetery

Start Rue Pompallier, Akaroa
Finish Same as start point
Distance 1.2 km
Time 45 minutes return
Dogs Must be on a leash. Out of respect for graves and loved ones, please clean up after your dog.
Accessibility Not suitable for wheelchairs

This walk visits the French Cemetery – Cimetière Catholiques – the oldest cemetery in the South Island, a tranquil, bush-clad spot, steeped in history. You can make it a circuit trip by returning via an old Akaroa Street where some original French families lived.

Start at the signpost on Rue Pompallier. The track is quite steep but is only a short climb through bush. Turn right at the track junction to reach the historic cemetery.

Return to this junction, then turn right again to continue following the bush track up to Libeau Lane. Climb the stile and go down the steep lane to Rue Grehan. This street has many charming old cottages, several built by French settlers; #8 was built in 1841 making it the oldest home in Canterbury.

Turn left onto Rue Lavaud, cut through St Patricks Catholic Church then go through a gate to reach Rue Pompallier. 

Get ready for this track using Plan My Walk(external link)(external link) (external link)by the NZ Mountain Safety Council. You can find track alerts, weather forecasts, trip reviews and a packing list, so you are set for your adventure.