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"More than a nice Road Trip: Explore the Peninsula" Top 5 Page for this destination Akaroa Things to Do Tip by Kakapo2

Akaroa Things to Do: 93 reviews and 230 photos

  Port Levy and The Monument, a volcanic vent.
by Kakapo2

The only thing you might know about Banks Peninsula is that you should visit Akaroa, the only French settlement in NZ. As others have read this as well this charming place can be very crowded in the summer months. At other times of the year it is much more enjoyable - and in winter you might have it for yourself... ;-)

Banks Peninsula is one of the most spectacular areas in NZ with its tussock landscape, sea cliffs, turquoise blue bays, beaches, up to 920m high mountains, native forest and fantastic 360° views.

Take a detour to Akaroa via lonesome paths and the Summit Road. This leads up and down to turquoise blue bays and opens spectacular views from the top. Take the road from Christchurch via Governors Bay or Gebbies Pass to Diamond Harbour, Purau and Port Levy, then a narrow and winding gravel road to Pigeon Bay (only in good weather conditions!!!) and back up and down to the sealed Summit Road. If you take the main road back to Christchurch you can visit the cheese factory in Barrys Bay and have a coffee or meal at the French Farm or Hilltop Tavern.

Have a look at the map here.

Typical Tourist activities in the area are:
Swim with the Dolphins in Akaroa; Harbour Cruises in Akaroa and Lyttelton - you can see Hector dolphins, the smallest dolphins in the world, in both harbours, in Lyttelton also tours to Quail Island (nice for a walk); Penguin Watching at Flea Bay near Akaroa (guided tours only); Scenic Mail Run (Akaroa).

Banks Peninsula offers superb tramping opportunities, including the commercial Banks Peninsula Track (approx. NZ$200pp).

Mt. Herbert (920m) - either from the wharf in Diamond Harbour (ferry from Lyttelton), 5 to 6 hours return, or from Port Levy/Little River Saddle, 1 to 2 hours one way, or even from Orton Bradley Park. From there shorter walks are possible.

Packhorse Hut - start from Gebbies Pass, 2 hours one way. The Packhorse Hut offers bunk beds to spend the night.

More walks and infos in Mark Pickering's booklet (available at Tourist Info and shops).

Some links:

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 4, 2008
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