Banks Peninsula Walking Festival 2016

The Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust is proud to be co-leading this year’s Banks Peninsula Walking Festival with festival founder Project Lyttelton. The Festival runs for the four weekends over November and birds, botany, camping, dogs, families, penguins, period costume and sketching are just few of the themes in the 2016 Banks Peninsula Walking Festival which runs for the four weekends over November. “It’s a diverse lineup this year” says Festival Coordinator Sarah Pritchett “which is fantastic because it means there is a walk for everyone”.


Experienced volunteer guides are offering 36 walks that from an range from a 2 hour urban “sketch-a-walk” around the streets of Lyttelton to a full day walk exploring New Zealand’s southern-most naturally occurring grove of Nikau palms. “The guides are what makes the festival unique” Sarah Pritchett says “because they tailor their walks around their own interests, be it wetland birds, local plants, local history or dogs”.


This year’s Festival also target ‘screenagers’ – a term used to describe children and teenagers who have never known life without a screen and who spend a lot of their spare time staring at one. To encourage children and teenagers to get out into nature the Festival is offering some special walks:

  • “My first overnight tramp” is a gentle introduction to tramping for families with young children that includes an overnight stay at the cosy Rod Donald Hut;
  • “Quail Island Campout” is aimed at family groups who would like to make an adventure of getting over to Quail Island and enjoy a rare opportunity to camp there;
  • Youthtown is offering an overnight stay at the wonderful Hinewai Reserve for children in Years 7-10 (ie 11-14 year olds) which will explain the concept of environmental stewardship and is aimed at children who have never been tramping before.

In addition, the Festival is facilitating overnight and day tramps for groups who work with youth, and has helped organise walks for Project K and Refocus.


The final weekend in November focuses on the legacy of Christchurch MP and conservationist Harry Ell. 100 years ago Harry Ell built Sign of the Packhorse Hut as a rest house on his proposed Summit Road – a recreational route from Christchurch to Akaroa via the magnificent summit ridgelines of Banks Peninsula. Now Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and Department of Conservation have brought Ell’s dream to fruition completing the walking track Te Ara Pākaka / Summit Walkway linking Gebbies Pass to Hilltop. A variety of walks on offer during the Festival enable you to join the celebrations on the top of Mt Herbert, the highest point on Banks Peninsula.

The full programme is available at, on our Facebook page (Banks Peninsula Walking Festival) and bookings made through Eventfinda (search on Banks Peninsula Walking Festival) or by calling Sarah on 021 08254 606