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The Bays of Banks Peninsula

Explore the Bays

Spend time exploring the bays of Banks Peninsula. En route to Akaroa lies Little River, a must stop for delicious food, coffee and spending a few dollars at the art gallery and gift store. From Little River it's a short drive up to the Summit Road, with amazing photo opportunities and panoramic vistas of the harbour. The road follows the crater rim of an ancient volcano and the views from the top will not disappoint.

Nestled in the hills above Akaroa is the Hinewai Reserve, where you can enjoy a walk within the regenerating native forest. Driving back to the summit there's an option to head down to the beautiful sandy beach of Okains Bay or maybe spend some time exploring the Okains Bay Museum.

Instead of driving back to Christchurch via state highway 75, there's a turn-off to Gebbies Pass that connects Gebbies Valley with Lyttelton Harbour. Governor’s Bay is on the way, a cute place to stop famous for the Ohinetahi gardens. Keep following the road heading to Lyttelton, the port of Christchurch. Lyttelton is the oldest settlement on Banks Peninsula and the town is rich in history, quirky cafes, bars and restaurants.

Photo Opportunities

  • The jetty in Rapaki Bay is a great photo stop, especially on a moody day.
  • The ship wreck on Quail Island makes for an interesting photo.
  • The big rock in Orton Bradley Park is not only great for climbing, it also offers a great view over the bays.
  • Enjoy the view from the highest point on Banks Peninsula, Mt Herbert.

Insider Tips

  • There are lots of good walks on Banks Peninsula like the Coastal Path from Church Bay to Purau (3 hours return).
  • Le Bons Bay is a nice safe spot for swimming. For those keen on sailing, Pigeon Bay is worth a visit.
  • A special Saturday morning treat: Glamour Cake at Lyttelton Bakery. The cakes and donuts are irresistible, be in quick though they sell out fast!
  • Visit the historic St Luke's Church in Little Akaloa.