Banks Peninsula Walking Festival 2016


Festival Update for weekend of 19-20th November. The weather looks good and all walks are proceeding apart form the Bridle Path Revisited walks which have been cancelled.

Bookings for all walks this weekend have now closed.


Get your boots on, because this year’s Banks Peninsula Walking Festival running over four weekends in November features a wide variety of walks – this year we have walks for sketchers, photographers, history buffs, birdwatchers, parents and babies, youth, dogs and their people, campers, botanists and many more.

The festival will conclude with the formal opening of Te Ara Pātaka and the Harry Ell centenary. 100 years ago Christchurch conservationist Harry Ell built Sign of the Packhorse Hut as a rest house on his proposed Summit Road – a recreational route from Christchurch to Akaroa via the magnificent summit ridgelines of Banks Peninsula. Now Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and Department of Conservation have brought Ell’s dream to fruition completing the walking track Te Ara Pākaka / Summit Walkway linking Gebbies Pass to Hilltop. A variety of walks on offer enable you to join the celebrations on the top of Mt Herbert, the highest point on Banks Peninsula.
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Walks are now open for booking on Eventfinda

Scroll down to see the full programme. Either click here for a printfriendly-banks-peninsula-walking-festival-programme 2016 or visit your local Information Centre or library for a colour printed copy.


Saturday 5th November

Quail Island Campout with the Diamond Harbour Scouts
Start time: Be at Quail Island by 2pm.  Easy walking, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip, tents and camping equipment.
Diamond Harbour Scout leaders will take this overnight adventure on Lyttelton Harbour’s taonga Quail Island/ Ōtamahua. Boat, kayak or catch the ferry over and camp overnight. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver. The Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust will lead a guided walk around the island on the Sunday. This camp is for self-sufficient family groups who are equipped for camping in tents and can make their own way to Quail Island.
All weekend. $10

Penguins of Godley Head with Thomas Stracke and Kristina Schuett
Start time: 10:00am.  Easy walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Combining a scenic walk with a visit to a penguin colony, this walk starts at Godley Head, passes the nearby historic military buildings then drops down to Boulder Bay and along the top of the bluffs in Harris Bay to Taylors Mistake. The track has recently been upgraded by DOC and has easy grades and an even surface. Researchers will meet you on the track above the white-flippered penguin colony in Harris Bay. They will guide you through the colony and show you some of the penguins. There will be adult birds present either with eggs or chicks.
4 hours (return including penguin talk). $10

Allandale to Living Springs with Anna Colombus
Start time: 10:00am.  Medium walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Beginning at Allandale this walk winds its way uphill through the Living Springs restoration plantings and existing bush, including an 800 year old Kahikatea tree, to Living Springs. Ranger Anna will talk about the conservation efforts of Living Springs and the walk will end with a sausage sizzle put on by Living Springs. Participants can either walk back to their cars or be transported back by van.
2 hours. $10

Photogenic Whakaraupō with Julie Riley
Start time: 11:00am. Medium walk, Timebank credits can be used.
Photographer Julie Riley leads this cliff top track walk from Sandy Bay to Māori Gardens with photography tips along the way. This walk includes a look inside one of the original family baches at Māori Gardens.
1.5 hours. $10


Sunday 6th November

The Botanical Taonga of Montgomery and Whatarangi-Tōtara Reserves with Alice Shanks
Start time: 9:00am. Medium walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
A Canterbury Botanical Society member Alice Shanks leads this walk through the Montgomery and Whatarangi-Tōtara Reserves exploring their botanical taonga (treasures), as well as the history of the Montgomery/Latham family who gifted the reserves to the public in 1940 and 1976 respectively. The route is a steady uphill climb up to Mt Sinclair before returning to the Hilltop carpark (and the option of buying a late lunch at the Hilltop Tavern).
5 hours return. $10

Lyttelton Crater Rim with Nick Groves
Start time: 10:00am. Medium walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip, danger of rockfall
Explore Lyttelton’s crater rim with this walk that takes the Stan Helms track up through Whakaraupō Reserve, over Mt Cavendish (with a refreshment stop at the Gondola) to Mount Pleasant and returning to Lyttelton via the World War I gun emplacements and Chalmers Track. A good hill climb with spectacular views on good tracks.
4 hours. $10

A Cliffside Walk with Sarah Pritchett and Pat Pritchett
Start time: 10:00am. Medium walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip, danger of rockfall, Timebank credits can be used.
This walk begins at the Diamond Harbour wharf and follows the cliff track past Church Bay, around Black Point and then returns to the wharf via rural Bayview Road and the School Track. Nuggets of interesting local history will be shared and there will be a break for lunch along the way.
4 hours. $10

Backyards of Lyttelton with Sue-Ellen Sandilands
Start time: 10:00am. Easy walk, Timebank credits can be used
Have you ever wondered what’s behind that hedge? Sue-Ellen will lead you on a tour of some of Lyttelton’s most interesting back yards, ending with a cup of tea.
2.5 hours. $10

Parent and Baby Port Hills Walk with Rowena McGill and Nicole Wiedemann
Start time: 10:00am. Medium walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip, danger of rockfall
This walk begins with a walk through Lyttelton before heading up the historic Bridle Path. There will be a stop for lunch at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial before continuing along the summit to Major Hornbrook track, and then back down to Lyttelton. Babies must be in back or front packs, no buggies.
3 hours with lunch breaks. $10, babies free

From Naval to Pony with Maria and John Lyftogt
Start time: 10am. Easy walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Discover hidden beaches and reserves with native plantings on this pleasant walk along the foreshore from Naval Point Yacht Club to the scenic Pony Point Reserve, via the small seaside communities of Corsair and Cass Bay. Well-socialised dogs on leads, and children welcome. There is the option of walking back on the same route or catching the bus back from Cass Bay.
1.5 hours one way. $10

Grunts and Dykes with Robin Burleigh
Start time: 10.30am. Hard walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Walk new tracks in the Panama Reserve at Le Bons Bay with reserve manager Robin Burleigh. See the fantastic lava dyke which fed the rock dome and then hike up the “grunt” to the dome itself for magnificent views.
3 hours. $10

Takamatua Waterfall to Farm Hut with Kathrine Fraser
Start time: 1pm. Medium walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Starting from the Fraser’s farm this walk meanders past the creek and past an ancient tōtara tree and native bush to the Takamatua waterfall, before continuing through farm pastureland and uphill to the Farm Hut. After a break for lunch the walk heads back down the valley to the starting point.
3 hours. $10


Saturday 12th November

Pā Bay and Greater Okains Bay: Geology, Biology and Archaeology, Foundations for the Paihere GeoPark? With Dr Sam Hampton, Frontiers Abroad and Department of Geological Sciences, University of Canterbury
Start time: 9am. Medium walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
This walk begins in Okains Bay, through Kawatea (Little Okains Bay) and out along the eastern headland to the isolated Pā Bay. Pā Bay is rich in biodiversity and resources with unique geological formations resulting in natural fortifications that were utilised by Māori for cultivation, occupation (villages), and defence (pā). This walk will guide you through the geology of Banks Peninsula, the details of exposures on the shore platform of Pā Bay, highlight features of pā sites and villages still recognisable in the landscape today, and introduce how geology, ecology, archaeology and cultural history can be interwoven in the context of a GeoPark.
Full Day. $10

Wairewa wetlands with Niall Mugan
Start time: 10am. Easy walk.
Join ecologist Niall Mugan in exploring the wetlands and its inhabitants at the head of Lake Forsyth/Wairewa. This is the best place in Canterbury to see Great Crested Grebes. Other species that may be spotted include Caspian Terns and possibly even rarer birds such as the Little Egret or even Bitterns. Bring your binoculars – Niall will have a telescope for up close viewing too.
2 hours. $10

Okuti Track with Donald Matheson and CCC Ranger Nick Singleton
Start time: 10am. Hard walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Come along and enjoy the latest track to open on Banks Peninsula. With fabulous views over Okuti Valley and further west towards Mt Herbert this track is spectacular on a clear day. Hear the story about how the track came to be, and be part of a discussion about the natural and human history of this area. Optional beer/lunch stop at the Hilltop before returning back down to Okuti Valley.
4-5 hours. $10

Cavendish Bluffs with Joke de Rijke
Start time: 10am. Hard walk, Bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Explore the rugged hills and spectacular views above Lyttelton with this walk that begins with an uphill climb up Chalmers Track to the remnants of the World War I gun emplacements on Mt Pleasant. The walk then carries on along through regenerating bush on the Cavendish Bluff Track before descending back into Lyttelton township via the Major Hornbrook track.
4 hours. $10

Ōhinetahi Titoki Loop with Mike White
Start time: 10am. Hard walk, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
A walk through mature and planted native forest with some fine views of the Lyttelton Harbour. The terrain is fairly steep on rough tracks. Learn about the work being carried out on this Reserve by volunteers on plantings, pest control, weed control and track maintenance.
1.5 hours. $10

Okains Bay Settlement and Museum with John Thacker
Start time: 1pm. Easy walk, Timebank credits can be used
The past is so well preserved in Okains Bay that just arriving sends you back in time. Walk with a descendant of the early European settler Thacker family and put the flesh onto the old bones of this historic settlement. Appreciate how the exceptional collection of local artefacts displayed in its Māori and Colonial Museum contributes to its extraordinarily strong sense of place.
3 hours. $15 (includes entry to museum)

Kaituna Valley Settlers’ Walk with Rosemary Baird and Melissa Reimer
Start time: 10am. Easy walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Kaituna Valley Road is the gateway to native bush reserves and wonderful walking tracks. It was used by Māori as a travel and trading route, and was settled by Europeans after it was purchased by the Rhodes brothers in the 1850s. This guided walk led by Heritage New Zealand focuses on the homes, schools and sites of these early settler families. Starting at Glenrowan homestead the walk heads along Kaituna road and continues up the farm track from Tophouse. The destination and lunch stop is a historic stand of tōtara trees. The return walk includes afternoon tea at Kowhai Hills Homestead which is a fundraiser for the Kaituna Valley Red Cross Society (cost included in ticket price).
5 hours. $15

My first overnight tramp: A trip to the Rod Donald Hut for children and their parents with Micki, Craig, Adam and Nina
Start time: 2pm.  Easy walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip, timebank credits can be used
The Rod Donald Hut is an ideal first overnight tramp for young children with a gentle walk in from Port Levy Saddle. Children aged 7 and over are invited to come on this overnight tramp with a parent. The walk is about an hour on the first day and there is the option of doing a longer walk out on the Sunday. A full equipment and food list will be supplied upon registration.
All Weekend. $10


Sunday 13th November

Te Oka Reserve with CCC park ranger Matt Rose
Start time: 10am. Medium walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Enjoy a fantastic scenic walk down through the City Council-owned Te Oka Reserve to Tumbledown Bay. Learn about the natural and human history of the area and how the council plans to manage the reserve now that public access is permitted. This walk suits any level of fitness (very kid friendly) as it is mostly downhill from the reserve entrance at the top of Kinloch Road. If the tide is low there is the opportunity for some coastal exploration in the bay.
4 hours, $10

Historical Okains Bay Beach and Wharves with John Thacker
Start time: 2pm. Medium walk, Timebank credits can be used
Prepare to be astounded at how drastically Okains Bay beach has changed, using its historic wharves as the measure. Continue to the hidden beach of Little Okains, to discover one of Banks Peninsula’s most beautiful taonga (treasure).
2 hours. $10

Dogs’ Day Out with Boomy and Lucette Hindin
Start time: 1.30pm. Medium walk, Timebank credits can be used
Walk enthusiast Boomy and her person Lucette will lead this pleasant amble from Sandy Bay to Māori Gardens, where well-behaved dogs can mingle, run free with the wind in their fur and for those keen swimmers, take a dip in the sea.
1.5-2 hours return, depending on how much free time on the beaches the dogs request. $10


Saturday 19th November

Discover Urumau Reserve with Wendy Everingham
Start time: 9.50am.  Medium walk, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip, Timebank credits can be used
Learn all about this community initiative. See how a forest is created and learn about the special plants and where they come from. Discover the geology of the area and head off track into the newly formed wilderness. Tea and coffee provided at the end of the journey.
2.5 hours. $10

Purau Loop with Sandy Steentjes
Start time: 10am.  Hard walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
This walk starts at the Diamond Harbour wharf and follows the Cliff Track to the historic settlement of Purau and then back to the wharf via an old stock route and regenerating Rawhiti Reserve. There’s the option of finishing the walk with a cup of coffee or lunch at one of Diamond Harbour’s cafes so bring your wallet. The Cliff Track is fairly rough in places so good hips and knees are a necessity.
2 hours. $10

Sketch-a-Walk with Liliana Sequeira and Mário Luz
Start time: 10am.  Easy walk, Timebank credits can be used
Urban sketchers Liliana and Mário lead this gentle stroll around the historic port town of Lyttelton with plenty of opportunities for sketching. Sketchbook and pencils mandatory!
2.5 hours. $10

Skyline Beech Loop with Hugh Wilson
Start time: 10.30am.  Medium walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Discover this newest walk in Hinewai and neighbouring Purple Peak Curry Reserve. The walk follows an undulating track through old growth beech and tōtara forest before emerging onto a magnificent viewpoint that sits at 660m on the crater rim.
2.5 hours. $1

Ōnawe Pā with with Te One Tainui
Start time: 10.30am. Medium walk
Ōnawe, the distinctive, whale-shaped peninsula that bisects the upper reaches of Akaroa Harbour, is an historical site of immense significance. Te One Tainui of the Ōnuku rūnanga will guide you along a beautiful walking track as he tells the story of the fortified pā that once stood here, the terrible events that led to its destruction, and the efforts being made to care for the site and remember the tūpuna (ancestors) who perished there. Participants are asked to walk with the greatest of respect and to refrain from eating and drinking (other than water) on the site.
2 hours $10


Sunday 20th November

Bridle Path Revisited with Rowena McGill and Beverly Obst
Start time: 9.30am or 10am.  Medium walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Revisit the historic Bridle Path in the period costumes the first Pākehā settlers wore. There are two options:
Group A: leaves from Ferrymead Heritage Park (9.30am), where costumes are provided. Vans will transport walkers to the beginning of the Bridle Path.
Group B: Walks through Lyttelton (leaving at 10.00am) in own costumes (optional) to the beginning of the Bridle Path. Both groups walk up the Bridle Path and meet for lunch at the Pioneer Women’s Memorial. Both walks will include historical and botanical information. Vans will transport walkers back to the starting points in Lyttelton and Ferrymead Heritage Park.
$15 per person for Group A (this includes costume hire and half-price entrance to the park) and $10 per person for Group B.
Group A’s walk is 4.5hrs and Group B’s walk is 4hrs.

Nikau Palm Gully/Marine Reserve with Derek Cox
Start time: 10am. Medium walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
A beautiful coastal walk with the opportunity to learn more about Akaroa Harbour’s marine reserve, visit a large new area of DOC reserve, and also the extensive grove of Nikau Palms in their southernmost habitat on the eastern coast with local DOC officer in his off-duty time. Waterproof and layered clothing essential.
7 hours. $10

Sandy Bay to Church Lane with Sally Tripp
Start time: 10am. Easy walk.
Hear about the local history and flora in this amble along the Governors Bay Foreshore from Sandy Bay to Church Lane. Attention will be drawn to: the Governors Bay Jetty, local streams and native fish, some Māori place names, the Margaret Mahy memorial, geological features and ferns and plants natural to the foreshore. At the end participants will be returned to the starting point by van with an optional stop at She Café for an ice cream or coffee.
2-3 hours. $10

Kinloch foreshore walk with Marc Farge
Start time: 10am. Medium walk, bring lunch.
A rare opportunity to walk along the eastern shore of Lake Forsyth/Wairewa led by Kinloch worker, Marc Farge.The first part of the walk will be spent rock hopping and bird watching along the lake edge before climbing uphill through bush and farmland to Kinloch road near “question mark corner” then descending again on farm tracks down past the old cemetery back to the starting point.
4-6 hours. $10


Saturday 26th November

Celebrate Te Ara Pātaka / Harry Ell Centenary

Walk to the highest point on Banks Peninsula and celebrate the formal opening of Te Ara Pātaka / Summit Walkway with keynote speaker Paula Jameson, Harry Ell’s great granddaughter. 100 years ago Christchurch conservationist Harry Ell built Sign of the Packhorse Hut as a rest house on his proposed Summit Road – a recreational route from Christchurch to Akaroa via the magnificent summit ridgelines of Banks Peninsula. Now Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust and Department of Conservation have brought Ell’s dream to fruition completing the walking track Te Ara Pātaka / Summit Walkway linking Gebbies Pass to Hilltop as a 2.5 day track with two huts and linkages to valleys below.

All walks offered on Saturday 26th November climb Mt Herbert / Te Ahu Pātiki arriving at the top for the Te Ara Pātaka / Harry Ell Centenary celebration at approximately 1:00pm and return down the same way afterwards.

All walks involve prolonged up and down and require good fitness level. Choose a walk suitable to your abilities and interests, bring a packed lunch and layered waterproof clothing. Allow all day to participate.

Diamond Harbour to Te Ahu Pātiki
Start time: 9.30am. Hard walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Start and end at the Diamond Harbour Wharf and climb the popular Mt Herbert Walkway through regenerating bush and farmland to reach the Mt Herbert / Te Ahu Pātiki summit in time for the celebrations. A stiff climb but well worth it for the views.
7hr walk, 17km, 900m climb, full day. $10

Orton Bradley Park to Te Ahu Pātiki
Start time: 9.30am. Hard walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Start and end in beautiful Orton Bradley Park with wonderful views to Mt Bradley as you climb to the celebrations via Mt Herbert shelter.
6.5hr walk, 16km, 900m climb, full day. $10

Monument Track from Purau Saddle with Mark Watson
Start time: 10.30am. Hard walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
The easiest route to the celebrations with the least climbing! Local tramper Mark Watson, will lead a walk from Purau Saddle up the Monument Track to the top of Mt Herbert/Te Ahu Pātiki.
5hr walk, 11km, 600m climb, full day. $10

Monument South from Kaituna Valley Road with Vicky Parr and Alice Shanks
Start time: 10am. Hard walk, bring lunch, Wear boots or walking shoes with good grip
Vicky Parr will lead a walk through her covenanted property at the head of Kaituna Valley with fellow botanical enthusiast Alice Shanks to join the celebrations at Mt Herbert/Te Ahu Pātiki.
6hr walk, 13km 700m climb, full day. $10

All walks are now open for booking on Eventfinda


Target Screenagers

The Banks Peninsula Walking Festival is delighted to be facilitating walking weekends for organisations who work with youth and children. Huts and lodges on Banks Peninsula have been made available so groups can experience an overnight tramp or day walks and learn about the environment.
There are still opportunities available for youth groups to take up this offer so contact sarah@roddonaldtrust.co.nz if interested.

Saturday Nov 5-6th: Refocus trip from the Hilltop to the Rod Donald Hut
Refocus will take a group of youth on an overnight tramp along the Hillltop to Waipuna Saddle section of Te Ara Pātaka. For many of these children their stay at the Rod Donald Hut will be their first overnight tramping experience. The next day they will walk out to Port Levy Saddle. Not open to the public.

Friday Nov 11-12th: Youthtown to Hinewai
Year 7-10 students will learn all about the amazing restoration story of the Hinewai Reserve when they stay at the Hinewai Lodge near Akaroa for a night. Hinewai’s founder and manager Hugh Wilson will explain the history and biodiversity of the reserve. The group will do two day walks and gain an understanding of kaitiakitanga (environmental stewardship).
To book your child contact stephanie@youthtown.org.nz or on 381 3245
Overnight stay $20 including food, accommodation and transport. Equipment can be supplied if needed.

Saturday Nov 19th-20th: Project K to Rod Donald Hut from the Hilltop to Port Levy Saddle
Project K mentors and students will tackle an overnight tramp to the Rod Donald Hut, starting from the Hilltop and heading out the next day to Port Levy Saddle. Not open to the public.

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