Three-Day Classic Walk
The Banks Track – Classic three-day walk.
Over three days and nights you complete a 29km journey that starts and finishes in picturesque Akaroa. You walk across private farmland and along the coast of the south east corner of Banks Peninsula passing numerous reserves including Hinewai Reserve and the Pōhatu Marine Reserve. The diversity of scenery, flora and fauna, accommodation and views combine to create a stunning experience, one that many people return to enjoy.
Banks Track – Three-Day Walk Itinerary
5.30 pm pick up (on your booking start date – you begin walking the next day) outside Akaroa’s old Post Office opposite the BNZ.
Prior to 5.30 those with their own transport will need to park their vehicle at Mount Vernon Lodge and walk down to the pick-up point.
Paul or Mafi (your bus driver) will brief you on the key points of the next few days and answer your immediate questions. At this point you will be given a printed guide to the route (this also acts as your ticket), which is full of useful information about the walk. Keep it and read it!
The bus will transport you to Onuku Trampers Hut (20 minutes drive and a 10 minute walk from bus drop-off point to hut.)
First night’s accommodation is at the Onuku Trampers Hut.
The following day: Onuku to Flea Bay – 4-6 hrs walking.
Pack cartage from Onuku to Flea Bay is an option. This second night’s accommodation is at the Flea Bay Cottage where drinks and chocolate bars are available for sale. A free penguin tour is available in the evening from October to January – information about this is in the cottage.
The following day: Flea Bay to Stony Bay – 2-4 hrs walking.
If you are keen you can start the day with a kayaking option within Pōhutu Marine Reserve (subject to sea conditions and to your booking it with Pōhutu Penguin Plunge).
This night’s accommodation is at the Stony Bay Cottages. Full trampers shop supplies are available. There is no electricity here so ensure you have charged batteries the night before.
The final day: Stony Bay to Akaroa – 4-6 hrs walking.
This includes walking through some stunning areas of Hinewai Reserve which have been opened up to walkers for the first time in 2017. Pack cartage from Stony Bay to Akaroa is an option. Most walkers arrive in Akaroa in the early afternoon. To get a sense of the new Day 3 watch the 90 second Youtube video by clicking here.
Optional extras – private room , sleeping bags, and pack cartage (standard or full pack cartage) are available.
The three-day Classic Walk costs $260 pp.
The season runs from 1st October to 30 April.
Food and Drink
Banks Track is self-catered. There are drinks and chocolate bars available for purchase at Flea Bay Cottage and at Stony Bay there is a Trampers Shop where you can purchase many items for your meals and snacks. Both are cash only.
For your first evening and following morning at Onuku, you need to bring your food.
On your second evening at Flea Bay Cottage there are Drinks and Chocolate bars available.
On your last evening at Stony Bay there is a well stocked Trampers shop. (see list below) open to walkers throughout their stay. It is restocked daily, and provides sufficient choice and quantity to cater for individuals or groups. Expect to pay prices roughly similar to a remote country dairy.
Shop Stocks List
As well as a
good supply of cold drinks,
Cereals, milk, bread, butter, bacon, eggs, coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate, biscuits, fresh vegetables, soup, tinned fish, cheese, fresh fruit, tinned fruit, tinned tomatoes, noodles, pasta, potatoes, sausages, steaks, mince, and ice cream.
There are two pack cartage options: standard pack cartage and full pack cartage. Standard pack cartage is available as an option from Onuku to Flea Bay and again from Stony Bay to Akaroa. These are the two longest sections that cross the rim of the extinct volcano. See details below. Full pack cartage is generally for groups of four or more and requires pre-booking. See details below. Packs are limited to 15kg each as our staff need to carry them all to and from the accommodation and their vehicle.
Standard Pack Cartage
Standard Pack cartage is available as an option on the first and last sections of the Banks Track i.e. Onuku to Flea Bay and Stony Bay to Akaroa. These are the two longest sections and also those with most ascent and descent, climbing to nearly 700m.
Payment is by cash, no pre-booking is required.
On both sections the $25 per pack charge is subject to a minimum of two packs or $50.
The Stony Bay to Akaroa fee includes free storage in Akaroa.
TIP. If you have a vehicle parked at Mt Vernon, keep your keys with you, as you will pass Mt Vernon 30 mins before reaching your packs at Akaroa.
Additional luggage can be stored during your walk for $10.00. Please bring these bags (limited to 15kg) to the bus pick-up.
Full Pack Cartage
Full pack cartage is primarily an option for larger groups as the distances and time involved make it impossible to provide for very small numbers at a reasonable rate.
The charge is $100 per pack with a minimum of 4 packs or $400 for the three-day classic walk and $60 per pack with a minimum of 4 packs or $240 for the two-day hikers option.
This option must be booked in advance.
Three-day classic walkers need to bring a day pack for the section from Flea Bay to Stony Bay.
Pack Cartage and Eco-Tourism, the conflicting desires!
No issue has taken up more time or caused more debate for Banks Track folk than the issue of pack cartage.
One of the distinctive attractions of the Banks Track is the remoteness of the bays, not just from Akaroa, but from each other. No farm tracks go the whole way from one bay to another, the only way for us to drive to our neighbour’s property in the next bay is via Akaroa township. The return trip is never less than 70kms, although the walking distance may only be 6 or 8 kms.
This topography is one of the reasons why the bays have such a unique feel, and why the walking track around the coast, linking up these remote farms, is so special. But it also has a big impact on our thoughts and policy regarding pack cartage around Banks Track, and especially as it affects our desire for the Track to be as eco friendly as we can make it. We hope the facilities provided on Banks Track will allow you to carry only a light pack, but understand that some walkers simply cannot carry more than a daypack, and we hope our full pack cartage option will enable them to be able to still walk and enjoy Banks Track.
Private Room Option
There is an option of a private double bedroom with bedding and towels.
The cost is $150 for the two-day hikers option and $225 for the three-day classic walk.
As this is limited to two rooms per night, it is essential that you contact the booking office to confirm availability before making your main booking.
Sleeping bag hire
You will need a sleeping bag. No bedding is provided unless you book the private room. Sleeping bags can be hired for $40 per trip. Sleeping Bags are washed at Akaroa Laundry between each hire.
Hire should be arranged in advance by online reservation through Bookit or by e-mail.
Collect your hired Sleeping Bag at the orienation and carry it with you from accommodation to accommodation.
Extra luggage can be stored in Akaroa while you are experiencing the Banks Track.
The cost is $10 per bag (maximum 15kg as our drivers need to carry them).
Email us prior to your departure to let us know you require extra luggage storage then bring your bags to the orientation