New Zealand Walking Tour:
Christchurch to Akaroa
4 days / 3 nights
The Akaroa Walk is an icon among New Zealand walking tours.
At approximately 40 km, it is a very achievable journey over 3 days of fantastic scenery, taking you from Christchurch, the Gateway to the South Island, to the charming historic settlement of Akaroa on Banks Peninsula.
This tour offers spectacular panoramic views from the crest of the Port Hills and Crater Rim walkways, a stroll amongst ancient totara forest on the Otepatotu Reserve Track and a close-up view of the twin volcanic craters of the Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours and the many smaller bays and coves that surround them.
Day 1 Christchurch to Sumner
Distance: 11 km approx
The Akaroa Walk begins with a walk briefing at 9am at our office in central Christchurch where you meet fellow walkers and your friendly local guide, your companions for the next 3 days.
From the city, we drive to the foot of the Port Hills and take a Gondola ride to the top (the easy way up the hill). At 445 metres above sea level, the views from the top are breathtaking and give you a great opportunity to get some panoramic shots before the walking starts. Looking down into Lyttelton Harbour- Te Whakaraupō, the first of the 2 harbours we visit on the Akaroa Walk, it’s easy to imagine the forces of nature at work that shaped this ancient volcanic cone.
The first section of the Crater Rim Walkway takes us around the harbour rim, away from the gondola station and towards Mt Pleasant, with expansive views back over Christchurch city and down over Lyttelton.
From here is a short downhill to the historic WW2 gun emplacements, with views out to the head of the harbour and the Pacific Ocean. On reaching Evans Pass we pass through Rapanui Bush, a small remnant of native bush where you can often see fantails flitting among the trees.
We continue our descent along the Captain Thomas track, named in honour of Captain Thomas, the surveyor who chose the town sites of Lyttelton, Sumner and Christchurch and also laid out the street plans for the new Canterbury Settlement.
We then arrive into Sumner Village, a pleasant seaside settlement on the outskirts of Christchurch and our location for the night.
There may be some time after our arrival to enjoy a stroll through the village, promenade along the beachfront or perhaps a swim or an ice cream before we head out to a local restaurant for dinner.
Day 2 Sumner to Duvauchelle
Distance: 16.5 km approx
To start our day we circumnavigate Lyttelton Harbour in the vehicle, with a drive from Sumner, around the edge of the harbour to our trail head at Western Valley Road. The drive takes us through several small bays and coves popular with locals for water sports and summer picnics and we pass by many holiday homes before climbing up Western Valley road to the Purau-Port Levy Saddle where todays walk starts.
Today you will cover a distance of 16.5kms. The track leads you up to Mt Fitzgerald where you will experience unsurpassed panoramic views of the small, secluded bays of Banks Peninsula.
From the summit you will follow undulating walkways to Mt Sinclair where the scenery continues to unfold below you. In particular, you will delight in seeing Port Levy, Pigeon Bay, Lake Forsyth and (in the distance) Kaitorete Spit. You will also get your first glimpse of Akaroa Harbour and the Onawe Peninsula.
Day 3 Duvauchelle to Akaroa
Distance: 11.5 km approx
After a transfer from Duvauchelle, along the Summit Road above Akaroa Harbour we take a short walk amongst the totara forest on the Otepatotu Reserve track to warm up your legs. From the Otepatotu Reserve its on to the old Le Bons Bay access track by which we descend into Takamatua and then walk to your accommodation in Akaroa via Childrens Bay. You should have time to enjoy the sights of Akaroa township for the remainder of the afternoon.
Tonight you will gather and celebrate the completion of the walk at one of Akaroa’s best restaurants… where you will relax and reminisce about your successful trip across Banks Peninsula.
Day 4 Akaroa to Christchurch - no walking today
This morning after breakfast at a local restaurant we drive you back to Christchurch arriving at approximately 12:30.
Each night you will stay in comfortable hotel, motel or bed and breakfast accommodation.
Rooms are double (one queen or king bed) or twin (2 separate beds). If you have a preference for a twin room, please let us know when you make your booking. All rooms have their own ensuite bathroom.
If you are a single traveller, you can nominate to share a room with another single of the same gender or pay an additional single supplement to secure a private room for the duration of the tour.
The single room supplement for this tour is $545
An experienced guide
Our guides are very experienced, friendly walkers and bikers who love to share their knowledge of New Zealand’s flora and fauna and local history. They all hold current first aid certificates, passenger driving licences and are the very best people to ensure your experience will be one to remember.
You will enjoy great local cuisine; continental breakfasts and hearty packed lunches during the day, and either restaurant meals or wholesome home-cooked fare prepared by your host/hostess in the evenings. If you have any dietary issues or food allergies, we are happy to cater for these, please advise the office of details when you make your booking. Alcohol is not included in the tour cost, but is available for purchase most nights.
Safety and Risk Management
To ensure maximum safety for all, our guides are certified first aiders and fully qualified drivers. Tuatara Tours operate under a Safety and Risk Management Plan which is regularly audited and approved by a qualified and independent auditor.
Luggage & Transfers
Tuatara Tours transports all your luggage for the duration of the tour.
Tour Kit Bag Exclusive to Tuatara Tours
To ensure you get the very best out of your journey with the least of fuss, we provide you with a bag of useful goodies.
This will be given to you at the start of your tour.
Access and Concession fees paid to the Department of Conservation
NZ Goods and Service Tax (GST)
The tour exceeded my expectations. It has boosted my confidence and whetted my appetite to be more adventurous in exploring our beautiful country
I felt it was very good, we were well cared for and I felt safe
Great tour as usual, the guides are top quality. Love the location and terrain