Two-day Hikers Option
The Banks Track – Two-day Hikers Option
The Banks Track is a spectacular two day hike. It is easy to organise. The track combines hill, forest, and coastal walking at their best, making this a great option for those who like to spend much of their day tramping.
This is our hiker’s option and a high level of fitness is required as the 29 kms includes a lot of hill walking. The Banks Track climbs from sea level to nearly 700m twice, and features rugged exposed headlands. It can be done with a very light pack by taking advantage of the trampers’ shop at Stony Bay on the last night.
All facilities are available to you, whether you are staying the night or just passing by.
The Two-day Hikers Option is limited to just 4 hikers per day, but single groups of up to 6 may be accommodated by contacting us direct.
There is no mobile coverage between Trigg GG (the top of the extinct volcano you cross on day one) until Paripai Track (the top of the extinct volcano you cross on day two).
Two-Day Hikers Option Itinerary
5.30 pm pickup (on the date of your booking – you begin walking the next day) outside Akaroa’s old Post Office, 80 Rue Lavard.
Prior to 5.30 those with their own transport will need to park their vehicle at Mount Vernon Lodge and allow 30 minutes to walk back 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 Banks Track bus will transport you to Onuku Trampers Hut (20 minutes drive and a 10 minutes walk from bus drop-off point to hut.)
Your first night’s accommodation is at the Onuku Trampers Hut.
The following day: Onuku to Stony Bay
Morning – Onuku to Flea Bay. 4-6 hrs hiking.
You depart Onuku Trampers Hut and walk through farmland to Trig GG at 699m above sea level. Then you cross the rim of the extinct volcano and head into Flea Bay through Tutakakahikura Reserve. Tea and coffee (but not milk) are available at the Flea Bay cottage.
Afternoon – Flea Bay to Stony Bay. 2-4 hrs hiking.
From Flea Bay cottage you follow the coast of the Pohatu Marine Reserve, through the Little Blue Colony and over the headlands to Stony Bay. The second night’s accommodation is in the Stony Bay Cottages. A specific cottage is set aside for the Two-day Hikers. On site is a trampers shop with full meal and snack supplies available.
The following day: Stony Bay to Akaroa. 4-6 hrs walking.
From the accommodation you will head up the Stony Bay Valley through Hinewai Reserve, along Tara Track as you cross back over the rim of the extinct volcano at approximately 700m above sea level, and down into Akaroa township.
Most hikers arrive in Akaroa in the early afternoon
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.
Two-day Hikers will carry their packs.
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