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Akaroa & Banks Peninsula Walks

Ōtepatotu Scenic Reserve

Take a break on during the drive along the spectacular Summit Road above Akaroa harbour and climb to the top of Laverick’s Peak. Encounter the goblin forest en route where weeping moss hangs from the trees and appreciate the name Ōtepatotu loosely translates to ‘place of the fairies’. Stunning views in all directions from the top.

Climb to the top of Lavericks Peak and see the Goblin forest en route.

Walk level:
Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Duration of walk:
1 hour circular

Start location:
Ōtepatotu Scenic Reserve car park on Summit Road

Explore more (Orange circle number 5)

* DOC Conservation Walks brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres.

Montgomery Reserve

Stop at Hilltop Tavern on your way to Akaroa and explore Montgomery Reserve. Soon you reach a massive and ancient totara tree. Continue on a few more minutes to a lovely view point. Return to the Tavern from here for a ½ hour relatively easy walk. For those wanting more adventure, continue up steep track through regenerating and old growth forest to the top of Montgomery Peak.  2 hours return. 

Take a short walk to an ancient totara tree and viewpoint or continue to the summit for spectacular views. 

Walk level:
Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Duration of walk:
½ hour to 2 hours return 

Start location:
Hilltop Tavern car park

Explore more (Brown circle number 7)

*Te Ara Pataka brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres 

Hay Reserve

This flat circular walk through ancient forest and alongside a creek makes a perfect walk with young children and a nice stop on the way down to the coast. Look out for the rare giant Miro tree about half way around.

This ancient forest remnant on the valley floor of Pigeon Bay features a rare Miro tree and bubbling stream.

Walk level:
Easiest: Short walk

Duration of walk:
½ hour circular

Start location:
Pigeon Bay Road approx. 4.5kms from summit road

Explore more (Red circle number 7 ½ hour circular)

* DOC Conservation Walks brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres.

Woodills Track

Akaroa’s most popular loop hike is a perfect half day walk. Climb from Woodills Road in the village up a stock track with gentle views, then traverse farmland and bush with spectacular views to return via Purple Peak Road in time for lunch.

A good half day leg stretch with wonderful views over Akaroa.

Walk level:
Advanced: Tramping track

Duration of walk:
2½ hours circular 

Start location:
Akaroa Township.

Explore more (Orange circle number 1)

* Akaroa Country Walks brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres.

Round the Mountain via Curry Track

Climb from Akaroa village to the summit ridgeline for the ultimate day walk. Visit Heritage Park and Purple Peak Curry Reserve en route, and picnic on the top before looping back down on the Purple Peak Track.

Spectacular climb from Akaroa village to the summit ridgeline visiting Heritage Park and Purple Peak Curry Reserve.

Walk level:
Advanced: Tramping track

Duration of walk:
4 hours circular

Start location:
Akaroa township

Explore more (Orange circle number 4)

* Akaroa Country Walks brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres

Hinewai Reserve

From Akaroa, take the Long Bay Road to the crater ridgeline and down the outer side. The car park is approx. 1.5km down from the top. Hinewai Reserve occupies almost the entire Otanerito valley catchment and much more, and is criss-crossed by a network of tracks. Pick up a map at the entrance and make the Information Centre your first stop to appreciate the purpose and scale of this massive and innovative native forest regeneration project. For those on limited time – head to the giant totara and red beech forest and take a side trip to a waterfall en route.

Appreciate this massive and innovative native forest restoration project on a network of tracks through old growth and regenerating forest from summit to sea level.

Walk level:
Easy: Walking track

Duration of walk:
1 hour to whole day

Start location:
Hinewai Reserve car park,

Explore more (Red circle number 1)

* Hinewai Reserve map available from Akaroa Information Centre and at reserve entrances.

Ngaio Point

A lovely coastal walk visiting two little beaches and two bush reserves with wonderful views of Akaroa harbour. Start in Monarch Drive in the Ngaio Point subdivision and makes a loop around the coast. Check the tides before starting and avoid high tide.

Visit two lovely beaches and two little reserves on this coastal walk.

Walk level:
Easy: Walking track

Duration of walk:
1 hour circular

Start location:
Monarch Drive

Explore more (Red circle number 4) 

* Akaroa Wairewa Summits and Bays Walks brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres.

Onawe

Onawe Peninsula bisecting the head of Akaroa harbour is the plug of the ancient volcano and a sacred Maori site. Enjoy wonderful views and a lovely bush walk, but please refrain from eating on site in respect for its tapu status.

Small peninsula bisecting Akaroa harbour and sacred tapu site for local Maori.

Walk level:
Easiest: Short walk

Duration of walk:
1 hour circular

Start location:
Onawe Flat Road

Explore more (Red circle number 5) 

* Walk with me to Onawe booklet available at Duvauchelle store.

Garden of Tane

Visitors to this beautiful reserve at the southern end of Akaroa will find a place of peace and shade, birdsong and mystery, criss-crossed by a myriad of tracks. Expect to feel lost as you wander through a mix of exotic trees and native bush, come across surprise viewpoints, ceremonial plaques and historic graveyards but without worry as downhill will always lead back to Akaroa’s Beach Road. An old-fashioned playground near the main entrance on Rue Jolie is sure to be a hit with the kids.

A network of tracks criss-cross Akaroa’s most beautiful reserve – a place of peace and shade, birdsong and mystery.

Walk level:
Easiest: Short walk

Duration of walk:
Up to 1 hour circular

Start location:
Akaroa Township

Explore more (Red circle 5)

* Akaroa Village Walks brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres

Childrens Bay Farm Walkway

A gentle track and boardwalk connects the car park at the entrance to Akaroa with Childrens Bay. From here the Farm Walkway climbs steeply up the headland to the fantastic Rhino sculpture. Return from here for a 1 hour walk or continue on to Takamatua for a delightful circuit.

1 hour there and back to Rhino viewpoint on headland or 3 hour circuit via Takamatua.

Walk level:
Intermediate: Great Walk/Easier tramping track

Duration of walk:
1 hour return or 3 hours circular

Start location:
Akaroa recreation ground car park

Explore more (Orange circle 8)

* Akaroa Country Walks brochure available from DOC Information Centre and all Peninsula Information Centres

Explore more amazing walks in Banks Peninsula.