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The Track

A Kiwi Favourite

We are open each Kiwi summer from October 1 to April 30

Banks Track is NZ’s original private walking track. It has become a Kiwi Favourite and one of the great NZ walks. We are a low impact eco-tourism venture that offers you a diversity of wildlife, scenery and experiences.

This unique experience follows farmland and forest, over an extinct volcano, along coasts and cliffs, through reserves and into your hosts backyards. It is 29 km of ever changing vistas, views and variety.

The accommodations reflect the personality of each nights hosts, offering rustic comfort, history, warmth and character.

Banks Track offers a self guided, self catered, self paced hike without the crowds. It provides the comforts of more expensive guided walks, such has hot showers and flush toilets, with the freedom to walk at your own pace.

Come and see why our Three Day Classic Walk rivals the DOC’s “Great Walks” as one of New Zealand’s best hikes.

You choose between our Three Day Classic Walk and our Two Day Hikers Option, with both following the same route but offering different experiences.

Getting to Banks Track

By private car

Akaroa is a scenic 85km drive from Christchurch. Travel along the Chch-Akaroa Highway, allowing 90 mins to get to the Banks Track pick up point.

Petrol and refreshments are available at Little River and Duvauchelle along the way. Also Little River Gallery and Barrys Bay Cheese factory are well worth a visit.

 By Public Transport from Christchurch to Akaroa and return

Regular bus services are provided by Akaroa Shuttle and French Connection bus companies. These services both depart Christchurch in the morning so please ensure you have checked their timetable prior to making your Banks Track or flight bookings.

If you require a ChCh / Airport pickup contact Philip Narbey directly at pmnarbey@hotmail.com. Philip has a tour van and can organise this for you.

All the bus/taxi services drop you off within 50m of the Banks Track pick up point at 80 Rue Lavaud, Akaroa.

 

Overview

Both our Three-day Classic Walk and our Two-day Hikers Option start and finish in Akaroa. They take you on the same 31 km circular route around the remote and beautiful south eastern bays of Banks Peninsula. They both utilise the same accommodation, staying overnight either at all three (the Three-day Classic Walk) or just at the first and last (the Two-day Hikers’s Option). They both allow you to choose the pace and style of your trek with total independence.

Landcrossings

Your Banks Track booking gives you access to areas that are not open to the public. You’ll traverse our “back yards”, through working farmland as well as small reserve areas, Hinewai Reserve, and a short section of back country road.

Walking Distances and Estimated Times

The Banks Track is 31 kms of hill country walking.

  • Section 1 Onuku – Flea Bay. 11 kms, 5-7 hrs
  • Section 2 Flea Bay – Stony Bay. 8 kms, 3-5 hrs
  • Section 3 Stony Bay – Akaroa. 12 kms, 5-7 hrs

The Three-day Classic Walk covers one section per day. Grade classification – moderate.

The Two-day Hikers Option covers section one and two the first day and section three the next day. Grade classification – demanding.

What to know before you go

Click here for a printable pdf covering frequently asked questions.

What to bring

Click here for a printable checklist of what to bring on your Banks Track Experience.

Choose the way you walk

The Banks Track starts and ends in picturesque Akaroa, a 90 min drive from Christchurch and Christchurch International Airport. You can choose the way you like to walk, the Three-day Classic Walk or the Two-day Hikers Option.

The Banks Track offers you options to enjoy tramping the way you like ~ either with your own supplies or purchasing supplies along the way, with others or in a Private Room. Walk on your own and meet other walkers or with friends and family.

Never Crowded

It is easy to arrange and never crowded on Banks Track, or at your accommodation, as our numbers are limited to 12 walkers per day on the Three-day Classic Walk and 4 hikers per day on our Two-day Hikers Option.

Take your Time

There are no fixed daily itineraries apart from the night’s destination, you make your own way, in your own time. If you have the fitness the three-day classic walk gives you the time to hike the side tracks listed in your guide, watch the birds and wildlife, swim, beach-comb, or take more photos. You have plenty of time to explore more and relax in the beauty that is Banks Peninsula.

The Three Day Classic walk is an option open to most walkers. It is an ideal challenge for the novice walker, resulting in a sense of achievement having completed it, and also a great walk for the more experienced.  

Side Tracks

For those who are curious and have the energy, there are over 20km of side tracks to explore along the route where you can enjoy even more spectacular views, waterfalls and wildlife.

These side tracks are detailed in the Banks Track guide booklet you are given at orientation and are well signposted along the way.

Absolutely the most wonderful experience at every level! Everything about this walk was truly fabulous- from our first contact with the bus driver from Christchurch through to the hospitality of the farmers themselves…the scenery, the pristine countryside….to accommodation and facilities. It way exceeded our expectations…