Trek deeper into nature and discover the breath-taking walks the area has to offer.
Banks Track pioneered hut to hut walking over private land in NZ and is still regarded as the finest private walking track in the country. Beginning in the village of Akaroa, the Banks Track includes spectacular volcanic coastline, waterfalls, native bush, open pasture, and delightful beaches. Renowned for its charming accommodation, the Banks Track is designed to provide a special and memorable experience for the intrepid explorer and holiday-maker alike. The same route can be covered in two or three days. Online booking is available.
You can choose between the Three Day Classic Walk at $370.00 or the Two Day Hikers Option at $195.00.
Check online for availability.
Banks Track is open from October to April.
Akaroa Short Walks
Akaroa Short Walks
Step off the cruise ship and onto land and explore! There are a number of great walks that you can do in Akaroa directly from the main wharf.
Best Short Walks for Cruise Passengers
For the map of the walks go to this page HERE.
Name of Track: Garden of Tane
Duration of walk: From ¼ to 2 hours
Start location: A number of walk tracks criss cross this reserve and a number of entrances and exits are possible. The main entrance on the corner of Rue Jolie and Aylmers Valley Road. Another entrance is on Beach Road
Key Highlights: Children's playground, a mix of grand exotic trees with a native understorey, historic cemeteries where many of the early Akaroa settlers are buried, lovely views over the harbour.
Name of Track: French Cemetery
Duration of walk: 45 minute circuit
Start location: Rue Pompallier
Key Highlights: This circular route visits the French cemetery, the oldest consecrated cemetery in the South Island of New Zealand. The walk returns via an old Akaroa street where some original French families lived and concludes with a visit to their church, St. Patrick’s.
Name of Track: Britomart Monument
Duration of walk: 1 hour circuit
Start location: Akaroa lighthouse
Key Highlights: Akaroa Lighthouse and historical monument. The Britomart monument commemorates a key moment in New Zealand history, when the British proclaimed sovereignty over the South Island. Wonderful views over Akaroa harbour.
Name of Track: Woodills North
Duration of walk: 1½ - 2½ hours circular (or 2 - 3 hours circular with return via Woodills South).
Start location: The walk begins at the top of Woodills Road. If you have a vehicle, park it on the flat part of Woodills road and walk up the hill to the trail head.
Key Highlights: The Woodills North route offers a scenic, pastoral walk winding high up the Grehan Valley behind Akaroa, past small farms and patches of native bush, with wonderful views over the valley and harbour.
Name of Track: Woodills South
Duration of walk: 1½ - 2½ hours circular (or 2 - 3 hours circular combined with Woodills North)
Start location: Go up Rue Grehan. Turn right after Tree Crop Farm and go over the stile.
Key Highlights: The Woodills South route combines two of Akaroa’s most historic streets, a country track with lovely views and a chance to visit places of interest just outside the village including Tree Crop Farm Park and Nettle Creek studio.
Name of Track: Akaroa Heritage Park
Duration of walk: 2-3 hours circular or 20 minute short walk
Start location: The full walk begins at the Grand Hotel. From here take the Woodills Road to the Woodills Track trail head.
Key Highlights: The route to the Akaroa Heritage Park is a steady climb for which the walker is rewarded with wonderful views of Akaroa Harbour and the surrounding hills, a sheltered spot to sit and enjoy a picnic and an interesting site to visit. Two options are offered for the return trip, either a walk down the road with wonderful views, or cross country to Tree Crop Farm. The Heritage Park is managed by a local Trust and gives people the opportunity to plant a commemorative tree. Alternatively drive to the Heritage Park car park on Long Bay Road and make a short scenic 20 minute loop around the Park itself.
Akaroa Guided Walks
A tapestry of tales will unfold as you explore romantic Akaroa, the oldest and best preserved colonial town in the South Island, and its only French settlement. For groups we recommend a Historic walk with a guide in person - pre-booking is essential. Contact Linda to discuss a quote for group bookings.
Akaroa Heritage Park
'Put your roots down in Akaroa, plant a tree!.' The Akaroa Heritage Park is accessible from Long Bay Road or on foot via Woodill's Track. Since it was established in 1992, over 1000 native trees have been planted by individual tree enthusiasts. For more information about Heritage Park contact Virginia Wigram on 03 304 8556 or Jeremy Buchanan on 03 304 8445.
These plantings are on-going by locals and visitors, the latest by students from the Akaroa Area School. There are also sections set aside for European and Australian trees.
For a fee you may plant a tree to commemorate a significant event or just your joy of being up in "The Park with a View". If you wish to plant a tree, do ring Jeremy Buchanan on 03 304 8445 or Virginia Wigram 03 304 8556.
Akaroa Heritage Park Trust
Long Bay Road, P O Box 8, Akaroa
Akaroa and Banks Peninsula has many great walking tracks that you can enjoy for free. These vary from short hikes to all day tramps over the picturesque hills. Most of the walks have spectacular views of the Akaroa harbour once you get up into the hills above the township. Click HERE to visit the website with maps and information about walking and tramping in Akaroa or Banks Peninsula. Then click a walk number or scroll down to find out more detail. The brochures are available to purchase at the Akaroa Adventure Centre 03 304 7784.
Visit Banks Peninsula Walks here to start planning!
Banks Track is a famous coastal private walking track. Sharing our backyard since 1989.
Choose between a 3 day classic walk and a 2 day hike.
Public Walking Access:
Special thanks go to the landowners who allow the public on their land to enjoy these walks.
Please respect their private property and thank them if you meet them.