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           Home >  Regions  > Banks Peninsula  :

Akaroa Without A Car - Part 2 - More Energetic Pursuits
Dorothy - 13/8/99

If you haven't already done so, you may wish to read Part One of this series.

Si vous êtes en bonne forme, allez plus loin!

Walks up the hills
Your walks up the hills give you exercise, take you through bush and farmland, and offer great views and interesting places to visit. Wear sensible shoes as the tracks can get muddy after rain and take a jacket in case the weather changes.

The Garden of Tane and the Cemetery

Street sign pointing to the cemetery
Street sign pointing to the cemetery
Photo source Peter Hunt
The first hill walk I suggest can be added to the walk along Rue Lavaud. Walk up Bruce Terrace opposite the wharf and turn right into Rue Jolie. At the top of the slope you will find the Garden of Tane, a beautiful bush reserve. You can walk down through the bush to the foreshore.

While you are in this area you may like to explore the cemetery used for the burial of Akaroa people who were not original French colonists. Note the section for those who did not belong to the Catholic or Anglican churches. It is marked "Dissenters"!

Woodills Track
This walk offers a choice. You can walk for one and a half hours, or two and a half hours. You start at the Grand Hotel and follow the signs for Woodills Track until you reach the main track to Tree Crop Farm at a stile labelled "Feeling old and not so bold". If you are feeling bold, not old, you may wish to do a fifteen minute detour which takes you further up the hill where you get wider and better views.

View from the hills above Grehan Valley
View from the hills above Grehan Valley
Photo source Peter Hunt

Tree Crop Farm Park
This is a privately owned property, but the public have been granted access through much of it. There you will be able to patronise the verandah café, enjoy the gardens, and visit the mini vineyard. Toilets and drinking water are provided too.

Visitors can book over night stays in huts with fires and outside baths and eat breakfast in the café.

The return trip - a choice
Down Rue Grehan

You can return from there to Akaroa along Rue Grehan. On your way down you could visit the Herb Farm, and look at the old houses.

Mill Cottage
Mill Cottage
Photo source Bill Moore
Mill Cottage on your right as you walk down was built in 1852 from pitsawn totara felled on the property. It was the home of Charles and Sarah Haylock who operated a water- driven flour mill on the site. The cottage had been lying derelict for many years when in 1996 John and Sarah Galt began restoration. They installed plumbing and electricity but managed to keep the original character and charm. Now it is used as accommodation for bed and breakfast guests.

Via Mount Vernon Lodge and Rue Balguerie
If you are feeling energetic you could add to the walk by continuing along the track to Mount Vernon Lodge and Stables and returning down Rue Balguerie. You may choose to pause for a visit to Nettle Creek Pottery where you can see Dave Walker, the potter, at work. As you come closer to the town you will want just to stroll as you look at some more of Akaroa's oldest cottages.

Mount Vernon Circuit
For this two hour walk you start at the Information Centre and head up Rue Balguerie, till you reach Nettle Creek. Here you turn left and go up the steep track marked Purple Peak Track to Mount Vernon Lodge and stables. When you need to pause for breath look at the surrounding bush, listen to the birds and watch to see fantails, bellbirds, and native pigeons.

Mount Vernon Lodge
Mount Vernon Lodge offers family accommodation, all with harbour views. There are self-contained cabins and chalets and a lodge with a shared kitchen and lounge with a log fire. It is a great place for a group to stay, taking up to forty five people in the different types of accommodation. Children enjoy the farm setting and the tame farm animals.

Horse treks
While you are at the Lodge find out about the horse treks that begin there every day providing the weather is suitable. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider you can join a trek on a gentle horse with an experienced guide.

The route back to the town
The return trip takes you to the Old French Burial Ground and down steps to Rue Lavaud. There are great views over the town and harbour.

Takamatua Valley (via Takamatua Valley Vineyards)
This walk takes at least three hours. It starts at the Grand Hotel and at first follows Woodills track between two fences, and then continues up a private driveway to Long Bay Road. Turn left down the road until you reach the stile leading to the vineyards. The rest of the walk is downhill on the Long Bay Road and the Old Coach Road to the starting point at the Grand Hotel.

Clear brochures
The Information Centre has clear and detailed brochures for all the walks, and I strongly recommend that you purchase one at fifty cents before setting out on your walk.

Sports
You can play golf, tennis, and bowls or hire a kayak or dinghy. You can fish from the wharf or hire a boat or join a fishing trip.

Dining at the end of the day
After a day of activity or relaxation you can choose from a number of different restaurants offering local cuisine, seafood and international vegetarian menus.

Bon appétit!




 
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