Self-Guided Walk Inspiration!

Banks Peninsula Walking Festival

As we have moved the Banks Peninsula Walking Festival to February/March 2024 we thought it would be a good idea to stimulate and inspire everyone to get out in November (when we have traditionally hosted the Festival) on some of our favourite walks.
We asked members of the Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust (RDBPT) and the Banks Peninsula Walking Festival Committee for some self-guided inspiration.
You can always go on our Banks Peninsula walks website and search out a walk yourself.

RDBP Trust Co-chair Richard Suggate
Otamahua/Quail Island

Richard’s Pick: Ōtamahua/Quail Island gets my vote for its two and a half hour circumnavigation. The easy walking track is suitable for the whole family, offering spectacular views of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour. The island’s rich history includes farming, Quarantine barracks, a former leper colony, Antarctic exploration, and wrecked ships. The native forest restoration program over the last 20 years has removed almost all pests, and the bird life is returning. Easily accessible swimming beaches, no dogs, and no fires make it an ideal spot. Accommodation is available at Ōtamahua Hut, and transportation is via the Black Cat Ferry.
Features: Spectacular views of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour, rich history, native forest restoration, swimming beaches.
– Duration: Two and a half hours circumnavigation.
– Accommodation: Ōtamahua Hut available for booking
– Logistics: Black Cat ferry for transport.

RDBP Trust Co-chair Jennifer Chowaniec
Misty Peaks Route to Flag Peak and Stony Bay Road

Jennifer’s Pick: Jennifer walked the Misty Peaks route last October, going from Akaroa up to Flag Peak, then back to Akaroa via Stony Bay Road. Doing it this way ensures the grunty up is near the start and the downhill is kinder. The route offers 100% open views, including Akaroa harbour, Flea bay, and the ocean on the other side. It can be windy but is worth it for the views.
Features: Fabulous views, grunty uphill at the start, downhill finish, open and windy, Misty Peaks track.
– Duration: Approximately 15.5km with Akaroa as start/finish.
– Additional Info can be found here

RDBPT Trustee Bob Frame
Mt Bradley via the Faulkner Track and back via the Herbert Walkway 

Bob’s pick:
This is a grand day out on a fine day. The walk offers a great mix of farm tracks and walking tracks with varying terrain, from cruisey to steep. Constantly changing views include farmland, regenerating bush, open tops, and views across the harbour and out to sea. Don’t miss the side-track to the summit of Mt Bradley and on to the cliffs—a perfect place for lunch.
Features: Farm tracks, walking tracks, varying terrain, views of harbour and sea, Packhorse Hut, Mt Bradley summit, cliffs.
– Duration: Full day
– Highlights: Summit of Mt Bradley and lunch on the cliffs.

RDBPT Trustee Maureen McCloy
Port Levy Saddle to Te Ahu Pātiki Summit

Maureen’s pick:
Maureen eventually settled on the walk from Port Levy Saddle along the ridge to the summit of Te Ahu Pātiki. This walk offers dramatic views as you are up high for the duration. It’s a couple of hours each way, perfectly doable with only one steepish pinch up to Little Mt Herbert.
– Features: Dramatic views, ridge walk, up high for the duration, Little Mt Herbert.
– Duration: A couple of hours each way.
– Note: Steepish pinch up to Little Mt Herbert.

RDBP Trust Administrator and Walking Festival Committee member Sue Church
Children’s Bay Farm Walk in Akaroa

Sue’s Pick:
Sue’s favourite walk is the Children’s Bay Farm walk in Akaroa, featuring a ‘novelty factor’ with large sculptures, giraffes grazing, and even a long-extinct moa! The walk extends around the entire headland on private farmland, offering stunning views in all directions. The choice of a short one-hour stroll or a 3-4 hour easy tramp makes it versatile. The ever-changing scenery includes the harbour, vast sky, and surrounding hills.
Features: Novelty factor, sculptures, private farmland, stunning views, short stroll or 3-4 hour easy tramp.
– Note: Displays, sculptures, changing harbour views, and surrounding hills.

Banks Peninsula Walking Festival Committee member Donald Matheson
Hinewai Reserve Loop

Donald’s Pick:
Donald’s favorite walk is doing a loop at Hinewai Reserve, taking the Kererū walk from the main carpark on Long Bay Road down to the valley floor and then up again on the west walk. This walk covers the entire peninsula, starting on a tussocky ridgeline with views over the valley and then out to sea with the Seaward Kaikōuras on the horizon. The journey provides a wild and educational experience, showcasing regenerating bush, massive boulders from old earthquakes, beautiful mature bush along the river, and educational signage. It’s an inspirational and educational loop ensuring you won’t get lost.
– Features: Kererū walk, tussocky ridgeline, valley floor with regenerating bush, educational signage.

RDBPT Trustee and Christchurch City Council Councillor for Banks Peninsula Ward Tyrone Fields
Kaituna Valley to Te Ahu Patiki Summit
Tyrone’s Pick:
Tyrone’s favorite walk is any track from the Kaituna Valley up to the summit of Te Ahu Patiki. He enjoys it with a mate, providing a peaceful and exploratory experience with incredible views. It’s a few hours of good old natter and movement.
– Features: Peaceful, good for conversations, exploring, incredible views.
– Duration: Few hours.

The last of our walks that formed our “mini” festival is being held on November 25.  It is sold out but you can still put your name on a waitlist by going onto the ticketing site.

NOVEMBER 25: GREEN DOTS AND GRAND VIEWS -SOLD OUT  get tickets (wait list only)
Start time:10 am
Cost: $17
Duration: approx. 6 hours 10-12km.
Walk climbs 300 – 400m approx. 

Join Te Ara Kākāriki Greenway Canterbury Trust co-chair Peter Joyce for a ramble through the newly planted wetlands, a stunning private native restoration project of over 15,000 plants in the Otahuna Valley followed by a vigorous tramp onto magnificent hill tops with astounding views looking over the Canterbury Plains, the Otahuna Valley and Te Waihora (Ellesmere). The valley includes a number of ‘Greendots’ – managed native planting on either public or private land supported by Te Ara Kākāriki  in conjunction with landowners and other organisations.
From here the walk goes past one of Hugh Wilson’s original RAPs at the top of Geerkins Road, followed by a tour through the private Rocklands Reserve and Peter and Annabel’s incredible Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden and its stunning plantings.  This will also be an opportunity to see three major additions to the permanent sculpture collection added last year and a very special opportunity to walk and talk with Peter about the incredible work being done in the area and share in their deep knowledge and passion for the environment. A very special day!

The Festival is being generously supported by Further Faster. Bring your ticket along to the store to get up to 10% off. Please show your Banks Peninsula Walking Festival Ticket in-store to redeem. Exclusions apply, including but not limited to electronics, paddle gear, hut tickets, gift cards and sale stock. This generous offer is not available retrospectively, so we appreciate you not asking.