Akaroa Hill & Forest Walks

Enjoy a variety of track grades encompassing both Akaroa and the surrounding bays. Track lengths vary from 20 minutes to half day walks. Pack a picnic and soak-up the scenery.

Hay Reserve, Pigeon Bay

Short Walk icon

Duration of walk: 20 minutes circular
Start location: Follow the Akaroa Highway to Hilltop, then along the Summit Road to the Pigeon Bay turnoff. The reserve is adjacent to the road, 5 km from the turnoff.

Key Highlights:

  • Scenic loop track through one of the best remaining stands of lowland podocarp forest on the peninsula.
  • Large Mataī, Kaikahikatea, Tōtara, and Miro mix with exotics in this small reserve.
  • The easy grade makes this walk suitable for small children and family groups.

More information - Red number 7


Woodills North

Tramping icon

Duration of walk: 1½ - 2½ hours circular (or 2 - 3 hours circular with return via Woodills South).
Start location: The walk begins at the top of Woodills Road. If you have a vehicle, park it on the flat part of Woodills road and walk up the hill to the trail head.

Key Highlights:

  • The Woodills North route offers a scenic, pastoral walk winding high up the Grehan Valley behind Akaroa, past small farms and patches of native bush, with wonderful views over the valley and harbour.

More information - Yellow number 1


Woodills South

Tramping icon

Duration of walk: 1½ - 2½ hours circular (or 2 - 3 hours circular combined with Woodills North)
Start location: Go up Rue Grehan. Turn right after Tree Crop Farm and go over the stile.

Key Highlights:

  • The Woodills South route combines two of Akaroa’s most historic streets, a country track with lovely views and a chance to visit places of interest just outside the village including Tree Crop Farm Park and Nettle Creek studio.

More information - Yellow number 2


Akaroa Heritage Park

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Duration of walk: 2-3 hours circular or 20 minute short walk
Start location: The full walk begins at the Grand Hotel. From here take the Woodills Road to the Woodills Track trail head.

Key Highlights:

  • The route to the Akaroa Heritage Park is a steady climb for which the walker is rewarded with wonderful views of Akaroa Harbour and the surrounding hills, a sheltered spot to sit and enjoy a picnic and an interesting site to visit.
  • Two options are offered for the return trip, either a walk down the road with wonderful views, or cross country to Tree Crop Farm.
  • The Heritage Park is managed by a local Trust and gives people the opportunity to plant a commemorative tree.
  • Alternatively drive to the Heritage Park car park on Long Bay Road and make a short scenic 20 minute loop around the park itself.

More information - Yellow number 3


Ōtepātotu Scenic Reserve

Tramping icon

Duration of walk: 15 mins to 1 hour return
Start location: Ōtepātotu is located along the Summit Road midway between Okains and Le Bons Bays. A there and back track starts and finishes at the car park off the Summit Road.

Key Highlights:

  • Panoramic views across the harbour and surrounding landscape.
  • The first stop is a stunning viewpoint over Akaroa harbour which takes 15 minutes to reach.
  • Carry on through remnant of mountain Tōtara forest to reach the summit of Lavericks Peak (755 m). 
  • Nearing the summit, trees are hung with weeping moss, creating a ‘goblin forest’ atmosphere, appropriate to the loose translation of the name Ōtepātotu, ‘place of the fairies’.
  • The return track travels down through a native Fuchsia/Kōtukutuku gully forest.

More information - Yellow number 5


Hinewai Reserve (Multiple Tracks)

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Duration of walk: 1 hour to half day walks
Start location: From the Reserve entrance off Long Bay road, 15 minutes' drive from Akaroa

Key Highlights:

  • This private reserve run by leading New Zealand botanist Hugh Wilson incorporates a massive natural bush regeneration project.
  • You will see wonderful old growth bush areas, vast swathes of regenerating native bush and sweeping views over the Otanerito valley.
  • The reserve includes 20 walking tracks open to the public. An excellent place for a longer walk, to hear the birds and to appreciate how given the right conditions, the native bush can be rapidly restored.

More information - Red number 1


Round the Mountain via Curry Track

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Duration of walk: 4-5 hours with shorter options
Start location: Akaroa or Heritage Park

Key Hightlights:

  • Heritage Park
  • Purple Peak Curry Reserve
  • Old growth and regenerating forest
  • Frank Worsley childhood home site
  • Amazing views of Akaroa, optional peak climb (allow extra time)

More information - Yellow number 4