Banks Peninsula Walking Festival

The Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust is pleased to sponsor and help co-ordinate the annual Banks Peninsula Walking Festival in conjunction with Project Lyttelton, Akaroa District Promotions and Little River/Wairewa Community Trust. It creates an opportunity for local guides to showcase the diversity of Banks Peninsula as well as new walks and reserves.

Since 2012 the Rod Donald Trust has been involved with the annual Banks Peninsula Walking Festival, which we coordinate with Project Lyttelton, Akaroa Districts Promotions and the Little River Wairewa Community Trust. The festival has evolved from having a Lyttelton Harbour focus to showcasing the diversity of the whole Banks Peninsula. Walks range from “urban” strolls around the historic port town of Lyttelton, to an exploration of areas of significance to tangata whenua, to whole day walks along the “wildside” of Banks Peninsula, to an overnight tramp to aimed at young families.

The Banks Peninsula Walking Festival offers guided walks all over the peninsula in November each year. The guides, all volunteers, bring a huge wealth of knowledge and experience which makes each walk a valuable experience beyond access to tracks, reserves and private land.

The festival is a fantastic opportunity for the Christchurch City Council, Department Of Conservation, the Trust and other organisations working in the environmental area of Banks Peninsula to highlight new walking tracks in reserves and projects. For example, in 2015 the official Rod Donald hut opening kicked off the festival and Hugh Wilson of Hinewai offered a sneak preview of the Purple Peak Curry Reserve. In 2016 the last weekend of the festival focused on the formal opening of the Te Ara Pātaka walkway combined with a centenary celebration for Harry Ell.

The 2017 festival  will have a Phoenix theme, acknowledging the fires earlier in the year, but focusing on the great work being done to recover the landscape.

Exploring the podocarp forest on "My First Overnight Tramp" to the Packhorse

Children on "My first overnight tramp" which saw four families with young children walk from Kaituna to the Packhorse Hut and then down to Orton Bradley the next day.


Children from Little River school enjoyed an overnight tramp to the Rod Donald Hut as part of the 2015 festival.


The sneak preview of the Purple Peak Curry Reserve led by Hugh Wilson was very popular, despite the inclement weather.