Click on the links below to read the NZ Herald Article published in NZ Herald Travel on 15 Dec 2020.
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We are pleased you enjoyed your Banks Track Experience, Maggie.
Know what to pack for your Banks Track experience. Many of us, even those with a simple lifestyle, use a multitude of items to get through each day, so when we go for an outdoor overnight adventure it can be difficult to know what we need to pack.
On your Banks Track experience, the old adage “Less is More” is a great way to start.
A Banks Track Walker’s Meal Ingredients
Banks Track provides all your cooking and eating utensils. We provide mattresses and pillows with pillowcases, hand towels and toilet paper (although some of the mid track supplies occasionally get a bit low). There is reading material and other entertainment at each accommodation such as pianos, games, and other walkers to talk with.
Begin with essentials:
- Hiking Boots (or at least study walking shoes)
- Wet weather gear and a warm jersey
- Sleeping Bag
- Walking clothes (and remember you do not need a new set of clothes each day)
- Socks or indoor footwear
- Toothbrush and paste (you only need enough paste for a few days)
- Soap and Towel
- Sunscreen and hat
- Water bottle
Remember to bring a torch,
Optional extras you might want to take:
- Walking pole (or poles)
- First aid kit
- Sunglasses and reading glasses
Try going back to basics and see how little you can take. Enjoy the scenery and views instead of electronic entertainment. Spend more time enjoying the environment than sorting out your pack of possessions. Less is certainly more on Banks Track.
The Personal Items Packed by One Banks Track Walker
When packing food, try to avoid extra packaging as everything taken into the Eastern Bays must be taken out of the Eastern Bays. There is no council rubbish collection in the areas you are going. Please wash and sort your recyclables and reduce your waste. There are bins for both at the accommodation, however, the less you bring in, the less we cart out.
On the last night at Stony Bay, there is a Trampers Shop where you can get all the food you need for your last evening on Banks Track.
To help you pack we have a Checklist of What to Pack for you.
Remember, the less you take the less chance of leaving anything behind, the less distractions from the experience, the less worry about damaging items, which all equals more enjoyment of the experience.
Keep your eyes open…
For the nature lovers among you, Banks Track is a great opportunity to get among the flora and fauna at your own pace.
Guided walks are great until you are interested in something the rest of the group don’t find enthralling. That’s when a self-paced walk is so much better. The great thing about the Banks Track is that each walker is given a Track Booklet which points out the features along the track including beech forest, waterfalls, seal colonies, sooty shearwater breeding grounds and penguins colonies to name a few.
Many of the plants of note are labelled along the Banks Track route including kahikatea, mamaku tree ferns and nikau palms. Also of interest are the smaller plants not usually labelled, such as the endemic Akaroa daisy, the tiny Banks Peninsula button daisy, the white sun orchid, and the mat daisy which is found on “rock outcrops on the Peninsula where it is next to invisible to all but the keenest observers” (From Plant Life on Banks Peninsula by Hugh D Wilson).
Flora found on Banks Track includes T_longifolia, a Sun Orchid
By taking your time, looking up, down and along the track edges you will find many plant toanga (treasures) to be amazed by.
The fauna found along the Banks Track is as abundant as the flora. The bird life always astounds with its song and activity. There are hawks, falcon and kereru (wood pigeon) flying overhead, pīpipi (brown creeper), grey warblers and silver eyes sifting through the bushes, redpolls, yellowhammer and gold finch in the fields, penguins, terns and albatross along the coast.
A little blue penguin strolls along the track.
Some people say they didn’t see or hear many birds. When questioned they admit they did not stop to listen. One easy way to notice the birds around you is to stop and stay quiet for five minutes. Listen and look but do not move about. At first you will hear little, but as you settle, your ears and eyes will notice more. Also, the longer you keep quiet and still the more the birds will relax, chatter and move about their business as normal. You can see and hear many different bird species in a short five minute “survey”.
Friendly Fantails along Banks Track
Abundant, but requiring interest and attention to find, are the numerous insects and spiders making up the bulk of the worlds biomass. Of particular interest are the orb and the water spiders, the cicadas that wait patiently underground for seven years before erupting in an cacophony of clicks on warm summer days, and the Akaroa Tree Weta, which is endemic to the “wildside” of Banks Peninsula.
Akaroa Tree Weta along Banks Track
So, take your time and keep your ears and eyes open as you walk the Banks Track – you never know what might cross your path.
Our new Blog Feature…
Over the next few months we will post blogs about Banks Track, the flora and fauna along the Banks Track, tips and hints on packing for hiking and even some general chitchat.
Let’s begin by going into the past.
Did you know that Banks Track started back in 1989?
First Banks Track Walkers 1989
Did you know that we still have most of the land crossings we started with? Admittedly, some landowners have merge with others, a few have sold to new folk, and one has retired during these years, but the core of the Banks Track folk who started the venture back in 1989 are still working seven days a week each spring, summer and autumn to ensure you can enjoy our backyard.
And that’s what it is – our backyard.
Building Track into Seal Cove, 1993
We know we are very lucky to wake each morning to the birds singing their hearts out here on the “wildside” of Banks Peninsula. We appreciate the rain on a dry summer’s day and the snow days that give us a chance to catch up on paperwork in the winter. We love the sun reflecting off the Pacific Ocean and the breezes that flow over “the tops” to cool us on hot days.
We appreciate the lack of “urban rush” most people tackle each day, the lack of mobile reception that means we are free from our phones on the eastern side of the caldera, and we love the “commute” into Akaroa over windy, gravel and steep roads.
Banks Peninsula (Photo by Anita Osborne)
We also love that our big backyard has been opened up for others to enjoy. For those that have walked Banks Track you will have experience the peace, the freedom and the slower pace of life we treasure here. For those that have not walked Banks Track yet, it is still here after all these years, still with the same philosophies, and the same passion to welcome you into our environment. When will we see you in our backyard?