"Banks Track a bucket list experience and in our backyard!"
Banks Track is one of the great New Zealand walks located on the south-east side of Banks Peninsula, also known as 'The Wildside'. On this 31 km track you walk over private farmland, through regenerated native bush, and along striking coast line.
Stunning view of Akaroa Harbour.
Day 1: Onuku to Flea Bay. 11km, from 200 m to 699 m and back down to sea level. 5-7 hrs walking.
Banks Track Map - Day 1 (Map created by Hugh Wilson)
Onuku Trampers Huts surrounded by Nikau palms.
From Onuku Trampers Hut, you climb up and walk through farmland to Trig GG, the highest point on Banks Track. Which is 699m above sea level. From here you descend down through magnificent native bush, passing streams with high waterfalls, before reaching the beach at Flea Bay / Pohatu.
A great viewpoint looking out at Akaroa heads.
The view at Trig GG. The highest point on Banks Track.
Forks Gully filled with tree ferns.
The lower waterfall on the mainstream.
The largest waterfall on the track, which you can sneak in behind.
Flea Bay Cottage, built 160 years ago.
You have the opportunity to see White-flippered penguins on a Pohatu Penguins evening tour.
Day 2: Flea Bay to Stony Bay. 8km, up and down along the coast. 3-5 hrs walking.
Banks Track Map - Day 2 (Map created by Hugh Wilson)
Beyond Flea Bay the track trails along the coast of the Pohatu Marine Reserve, through a White-flippered penguin breeding colony and along breathtaking cliff edges. Both three-day walkers and two-day hikers stay overnight at Stony Bay (Opatuti)
Looking out to the Pohatu Marine Reserve.Island Nook. This island is one of several around Banks Peninsula. Redcliffe Point.This marine reserve sign is located on the top of Redcliffe point.Impressive cliffs views.
An amazing shelter built into the side of a rock.View looking down to a seal cave. A loo with a view.A loo with a view.Predator-fenced Titi colony. These birds are also known as the Muttonbird.Spectacular views of the cliffs around the headlands to Stony Bay.
The final night’s accommodation is at Stony Bay Cottages. This is a delightful spot with self-contained colonial style cottages, surrounded by old orchard trees and a variety of native and roses bushes which form a sheltered haven for birdlife.
The main cottage.You feel like you are in Lord of the Rings.
An outdoor pool table.
We spotted a White-flippered penguin chick which was living in a box at the door to one of our huts.
Day 3: Stony Bay to Akaroa. 12km, from sea level to crest of hills at 690 m, then descent to sea level. 5-7 hrs walking.
Banks Track Map - Day 3 (Map created by Hugh Wilson)
From Stony Bay you head up through Hinewai Reserve, then along the crater rim which has specular views of the harbour and surrounding hills. Paripai and Purple Peak tracks lead you down through grassy farmland, native bush, to your final destination of Akaroa township.
Heading towards Stoney Bay Cottages.
Beautiful native bush.
Baby ferns coming to life.
Walking through Hinewai Reserve.
View from the top of the Tara track
A view of Akaroa harbour from Purple Peak track.
Descending down to the township of Akaroa.
To book this bucket list experience visit https://www.bankstrack.co.nz/
Photos & words by Chalita Aommy Klumjui
Chalita expereinced the Banks Track in October 2020.