Three-Day Classic Walk
The Banks Track – Three-day Classic Walk.
Over three days and nights you complete a 29 km journey that starts and finishes in picturesque Akaroa. Your packs will be carted from accommodation to accommodation as you walk. You will walk across private farmland, along the coast of Banks Peninsula’s south east corner, passing the Pōhatu Marine Reserve, through land reserves including Tutakakahikura and Hinewai Reserves, past penguin, gull and shearwater breeding colonies and through our back yards. 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, 80 Rue Lavaud.
Prior to 5.30 those with their own transport will need to park their vehicle at Mount Vernon Lodge and allow 30 miuntes to walk back to the pick-up point.
Paul or Mafi (your bus drivers) 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 so please keep it with you), which is full of useful information about the walk.
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 – 5-7 hrs walking.
You will climb from Onuku Trampers Hut , through farmland to Trig GG at 699m, over the rim of the extinct volcano and down into Flea Bay through the Tutakakahikura Reserve. 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 during the penguin breeding season – information about this is in the cottage.
The following day: Flea Bay to Stony Bay -3-5 hrs walking.
From Flea Bay you walk along the coast of the Pohatu Marine Reserve, through a Little Blue Penguin breeding colony and around the headlands to Stony Bay. 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 – 5-7 hrs walking.
This includes walking through some of Hinewai Reserve, back over the rim of the extinct volcano and down into Akaroa. Most walkers arrive in Akaroa in the early afternoon. To get a sense of this section watch the 90 second Youtube video by clicking here.
Optional extras – private room, sleeping bag hire, and luggage storage.
The Three-day Classic Walk costs $330 pp including Pack Cartage.
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 at Onuku Trampers Huts and following days breakfast and lunch, you need to bring your food.
On your second evening at Flea Bay Cottage there are Drinks and Chocolate bars available. however, you will need to bring your meals - the evening meal. breakfast and lunch.
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.
Three-day Classic walkers will have their packs carted from accommodation to accommodation. Packs will be at the following accommodation by 2 pm.
Packs for cartage are limited to 15 kg each. Overweight packs will not be carted. Also, please ensure all your belongings are inside the pack. Do not tie items to the outside of the pack.
Three-day classic walkers need to bring a day pack for their lunch, camera, water and wet weather gear.
Tip: If you have a vehicle parked at Mt Vernon, keep your keys with you on the last day 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.
Eco-Tourism &Pack Cartage, 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 10 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 and we hope our pack cartage option will enable people to walk and enjoy our back yard.
Also, remember that everything taken into the bays must also be taken out. There is no rubbish collection in the bays. For this reason, please ensure you take in a little waste as possible and take out any waste you can. Also, please wash and separate recyclable items. There are waste and recycling options at each night's accommodation.
Private Room Option
Three-day Classic Walkers have an option of a private bedroom with one double bed, sheets, bedding and towels. There is no private room offered for the Two-day Hikers Option.
The cost of the private room option is $225. This one payment books your private room at each of the three night's accommodation.
You will still share the kitchen, living area and bathrooms with the other walkers.
There is a limit of two private rooms per night so it is essential that you contact the booking office to confirm availability before making your Three-day Classic Walk 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.
Hired 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 orientation 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