Hours km

After a night in Onuku Farm Trampers' Hut, the tramp starts near the farm gate, where there is a sign indicating the Banks Peninsula Track. The marked track rises steeply through sheep paddocks, swings east, sidles around a rocky promontory on a ridge and traverses a patch of bush to reach the site of Paradise Farm. Stockyards and exotic trees are all that remain of the farm. From the track there are great views of the harbour and Onuku Farm.

Banks Peninsula Track

7 7 40,000 0 700m Contour Interval 0

The Amphitheatre

Banks Peninsula Track

7 7 40,000 0 700m Contour Interval 0

The Amphitheatre

The track swings east, and about 45 minutes from the Onuku Farm gate you come to a prominent track junction on a ridge. To the west is a marked track to a lookout and an alternative route back to Onuku. The main track is indicated by a 'BP Track' sign, which points uphill and to the east. Keep following this track until you come to some park benches overlooking Akaroa Head. There is a side trip from here to a rock-studded knoll on the ridge.

The main track switches back from the benches, crosses an electric fence and aims for the highest point in the area, Trig GG (699m). Observe how the wind has shaped the vegetation here. If you're lucky you may also see Aoraki/Mt Cook 230km away to the west. From the Onuku Farm gate to this point is a solid two-hour climb.

From Trig GG it's canter down to Eagle's Roost Shelter. The track leads from here to a road junction; Lighthouse Rd goes north to Akaroa, and south to the lighthouse near Akaroa Head. Ignore the road, follow signs to Flea Bay Rd and take that downhill for just over 1km. Watch out for the turn-off (a sharp left fork) to the track, which passes through the DOC Tutakakahikura Scenic Reserve. This patch of remnant red beech has survived the once-extensive logging on this part of the peninsula. Climb the stile where it is signposted and follow the track down a serene gully, eventually joining the main stream, which drains into Flea Bay.

There are a number of signposted cascades and waterfalls along this stretch, all shrouded in tree ferns. About one hour after entering the gully, the track emerges into an open area and drops steeply. Park your backpack here and head off to do some exploring. There is a waterfall that you can walk behind.

The track soon passes through a grove of tree ferns and nikau palms at their southern natural limit. Beyond the palms the track follows the stream on its true left (east) bank for about 1.5km. The track crosses the stream a couple of times before arriving at Flea Bay Cottage (12 bunks), the first of the buildings.

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