Introductory to Moderate
  • self guided walk
  • 3 nights farm cottage

4 Days$NZD

Trip Code: SOG7763

Trip highlights

  • Fundraising for Wishbone and promoting orthopaedic research
  • Traverse unique and beautiful volcanic landscapes, most of which are not open to the general public
  • Witness native vegetation and wildlife regeneration projects in action
  • Visit the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand (Oct to Dec inclusive)
  • Watch New Zealand Fur Seals play in their natural habitat
  • Learn about hardy folk who have contributed to human history in the area
  • Explore the quaint historical French settlement of Akaroa

Wishbone NZ Logo

Join Wishbone's Perry Turner and Ian Galley on leg 4 of their Length of NZ relay. Away from the crowds, walk at your own pace while soaking in dramatic natural landscapes and coastal panoramas, also observing native wildlife at opportune locations along the way. Part of the eroded crater of an ancient volcano, as well as being home to the historically French settlement of Akaroa, Banks Peninsula is mostly open farmland with pockets of regenerating native forest. Journeying beyond Akaroa where few travellers have access, the majority of this walk lies within the 13,500 hectare "Wildside Project" which is a cooperation between private landowners and several government organisations aimed at protecting and restoring unique ecosystems in the region. Traversing moderately steep farmland and exploring the peaceful Hinewai Reserve, staying each night in comfortable, well-equipped farm dwellings, you gain an appreciation for the diversity of flora, fauna and landscapes of this usually inaccessible region. While they generally remain discrete, a chance meeting with one or two of the local landowners, some of whom are descendants of early European pioneers, is a delightful experience.

We will meet in central Christchurch at 9:00am and drive to Akaroa, a charming little town nestled inside the harbour of Banks Peninsula. On the way we allow time for a visit to the Gallery Cafe in Little River. Akaroa has French and British origins; the architecture, lovely gardens, street names and many eateries still reflect this heritage. You will have the afternoon to soak up the ambience, wandering the shoreline, sampling some of the many gastronomic treats or joining one of the water-based activities such as whale or dolphin watching. We meet again outside the Old Post Office in Akaroa, 80 Rue Lavaud (on the corner of Rue Lavaud and Rue Balaguerie, opposite the BNZ bank) at 5:30pm with your luggage. Here you will meet a representative from our local partner for a short trip briefing before being transferred by bus to the first night's accommodation at Onuku Farm, at the trailhead of the Banks Track.

Meals:  Nil

Commence the Banks Track (also called the Banks Peninsula Track) from the front gate of your accommodation at Onuku Farm. You will walk steadily upwards through open farmland with magnificent views across the Akaroa Harbour. There are some short side trips to alternative view points if you have extra energy before reaching Trig GG, the highest point on the track at 699m, with a 360 degree panorama of the peninsula and beyond. On a clear day, it is possible to glimpse Aoraki Mt Cook (New Zealand's highest mountain, 3724m) in the distant Southern Alps. Descending the extinct volcanic crater rim from Trig GG on the way to sea level, you will pass through lush forest with magnificent old-growth red beech trees in the Tutakakahikura Reserve. Then take a few moments to visit a waterfall or two before reaching Flea Bay (Pohatu). The bay itself is a marine reserve supporting seals, dolphins, seabirds, fish and among other marine life, the largest Australasian Little Penguin colony on mainland New Zealand. Check the noticeboard inside the Flea Bay Cottage, where you stay tonight, for the timing of a complimentary guided penguin tour in the evening. This is available during the breeding season (October to December) and nests must not be visited unaccompanied. Moulting penguins can also be viewed in January and February but there are no tours after that as there are no penguins coming ashore. They spend most of their life at sea.

Meals:  Nil

Leaving the penguin colony, the track today is mostly open grazing land and winds its way along the tops of the rugged, craggy headlands of south eastern Banks Peninsula. It is the shortest walking day in distance but take your time to absorb spectacular views of sea cliffs, Flea Bay and the vast South Pacific Ocean disappearing over the horizon. Sit and contemplate at the halfway mark near Redcliffe Point, spend some time watching fur seals play at Seal Cave or you may be lucky enough to spot some dolphins offshore. Drop down into Stony Bay (Opatuti) where you pass by the landowner's homestead to find your accommodation for tonight. The Stony Bay cottages are set in lovely gardens and are full of character. You might like to enjoy an open air bath or browse the tiny museum where a collection of historical family artefacts reflects five generations of life in the bay. OPTION: It is possible to do a 1 - 1.5hr guided sea kayak excursion in the Pohatu Marine Reserve, exploring the shoreline of Flea Bay, to observe marine wildlife such as seals, penguins, dolphins and sea birds. It is an early morning excursion prior to walking to Stony Bay. This MUST be pre-booked, additional cost applies and the activity is undertaken at your own risk. Please ask for details.

Meals:  Nil

There is a steep ascent for the first half of today's walk as you climb approximately 700m from sea level up the flanks of the Peninsula's ancient volcanic crater. Passing through what is now some of Hinewai Reserve, you are following a similar route to both the first horse track (constructed in 1880's) and the first phone line (established 1914) between Stony Bay and Akaroa. Hinewai Reserve has been a working project to protect and restore native vegetation and wildlife since 1987. As far as possible introduced mammals and fire are excluded. Regeneration takes time but as you pass through beautiful forest including tree ferns, beech, podocarps, mixed hardwoods and kanuka the long term success of native trees taking over from exotic species such as gorse and broom is clearly evident. Emerging from the forest the track reaches the crater rim. There is an optional side track to Stony Bay Peak (806m) before the trail drops down to sea level in Akaroa, once again affording fabulous views of the harbour. Here you will meet your transport back to Christchurch at 3pm (drive time approx 1.5 hours) and you will be dropped in the central city in the early evening.

Meals:  Nil


  • NZ$300 per person donation to Wishbone
  • 3 nights accommodation in farmstyle cottages based on multishare bunk rooms (3 - 4 bunks per room) with shared bathrooms
  • Bunk mattress with bottom sheet, pillow and pillow case for 3 nights
  • Fully equipped kitchens in farmstyle cottages including tea towels, dishwash liquid, cutlery, kettle, coffee plunger, pots, crockery, cooking utensils, fridge, gas cook tops, microwave (Nights 1 & 2 only), oven (Nights 1 & 2 only), gas BBQ (Nights 2 & 3 only)
  • Commemorative Wishbone performance T-shirt
  • Daily luggage transfer - 1 bag/pack, weight limit strictly 15kg
  • Information booklet and route map (one per booking)
  • Return Transport from Christchurch to Akaroa
  • Transfer from Akaroa meeting point to accommodation at Onuku Farm on Day 1

  • Food - there are fully equipped cottage kitchens during the walk, a small farm shop on night 3, but you need to bring your own meals and snacks
  • Drinks other than water - good drinking water is available at each night's accommodation
  • Sleeping bag and towel
  • Optional activities, extras and upgrades
  • Items of a personal nature (eg. laundry, shopping, internet)
  • Excess luggage storage (available for additional cost - please request in advance)
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)

About Your Leader

Perry has set himself (often together with his family) the challenge of completing all the South Island legs (even adding in some great bits in-between) and Ian will be joining as many of the North Island legs as he & his family can. They are both pouring vast amounts of time & energy into organising this Wishbone Relay – Why?

“My main motivation was to bring all those involved in care of our patients together and share what orthopaedic surgery is achieving in NZ with the public. I want to help bring us together in a fun activity and common goal.” – Ian

“This is an opportunity for myself and my family to give back to a job and career that has given us so much.” – Perry

Health & Safety and Contracting Parties:

Take note that Wishbone Trust and the NZ Orthopaedic Association Inc are not organising the trips and they or their staff or officers have no role to play in providing the trips or managing any aspects of Health & Safety in relation to the trips. Wishbone Trust is only acting as the recipient of donations made by those choosing to participate in a trip.

You must follow all Health and Safety requirements of the trip organiser (Adventure South NZ) and any other provider of services or other organisations with any H&S responsibilities during the trip.


Trail Surface


Introductory to Moderate  

This hike involves a combination of what is described in our Introductory and Moderate levels. The emphasis is on introductory activity with several moderate stages. This adventure involves walking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace with plenty of uphill. You will need a good level of fitness and must be in good health. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions. Suggested preparation: We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic type exercise three times a week, from a minimum of three months period to your departure. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling - good cardiovascular exercise. Hill or stair walking with a 7kg daypack is also highly recommended at least once a week. During the walking stages you will need to carry your daily requirements such as water, lunch, spare clothing and personal items.

Departure dates

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Wishbone Relay - Banks Peninsula Walkway trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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