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Banks Track facts for kids

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Banks Peninsula Track 0348
Accommodation at Stony Bay for walkers on the Banks Track

The Banks Track is a 30 kilometre tramping track on the Banks Peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand in the Canterbury region. The track opened in 1989 as the first privately owned track in New Zealand.


The track is open from October through April. Hut accommodations along the track are unique and well-equipped.

The route

Banks Peninsula Track 1
Sheep on the Banks Track, with the Sleepy Cove sea arch in the background that fell in the 2010 Canterbury earthquake; after the 2016–17 season, trampers won't have this view, as the track will have been relocated

Both the two-day and three-day track options start and end in Akaroa and reached a maximum altitude of 699 metres (2,293 ft) at Trig GG, traversing a rugged coastline, forests, bush, pastures, and the Hinewai Reserve.

The track sections are:

  • Onuku Farm (outside Akaroa) to Flea Bay Cottage (11 km)
  • Flea Bay Cottage to Stony Bay Cottage (8 km)
  • Stony Bay Cottage to Akaroa (11 km)

Point Coordinates
(links to map & photo sources)
Onuku Farm Trampers' Hut 43°50′41″S 172°57′00″E / 43.844650°S 172.950019°E / -43.844650; 172.950019 (Onuku Farm Trampers' Hut)
Trig GG 43°51′11″S 172°57′52″E / 43.852957°S 172.964386°E / -43.852957; 172.964386 (Trig GG)
Mortlock's Mistake 43°50′46″S 172°58′47″E / 43.846053°S 172.979590°E / -43.846053; 172.979590 (Mortlock's Mistake)
Flea Bay Cottage 43°52′00″S 173°00′13″E / 43.866691°S 173.003679°E / -43.866691; 173.003679 (Flea Bay Cottage)
Stony Bay Cottages 43°51′16″S 173°02′15″E / 43.854491°S 173.037447°E / -43.854491; 173.037447 (Stony Bay Cottages)
Mount Vernon Lodge 43°48′29″S 172°58′53″E / 43.808057°S 172.981305°E / -43.808057; 172.981305 (Mount Vernon Lodge)

Flora and fauna

Among the fauna that may be observed are yellow-eyed penguins, little penguins, spotted shags, sooty shearwaters, fur seals, and Hector's dolphins. Flora observed include nikau palm, kahikatea, and tree ferns.


The establishment and ongoing stewardship of the track is an example of ecotourism. The track was established by ten landowners, mostly farmers, as a means of supplementing income in response to the fiscal pressures caused by drought and elimination of farm subsidies in the 1980s. A limited liability company was formed to manage track operations. In return for use of the land, track maintenance, and providing accommodations, landowners are given an annual sum based on several factors, including the amount of land traversed by the track and level of responsibility for track operations.

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