The stunning view over Akaroa Bay. © CarlQuick

Loved by the locals: Banks Peninsula


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1. View from the scenic drive to Akaroa

The drive from Christchurch to Akaroa via Lyttelton is not to be missed on any road trip in Canterbury. About two hours, it’s a great way to arrive down in Akaroa from the big city.

While the scenic tourist drive is not for the faint of heart as you wind along the tops of the mountains overlooking the various harbours, it’s incredibly beautiful and worth doing all on its own.

2. Dig into some fish and chips on the beach

A trip to Akaroa would be incomplete without stopping for a bite at Akaroa Fish and Chips. World famous in New Zealand, this fish and chips spot is a great place to grab a takeaway lunch or dinner that you can tuck into on the beach nearby. 

TGIF. Let's cH😀😀Rs... 🍻🍻🍻 #newzealand #akaroa #akaroaharbour

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Simple but delicious, it’s no wonder it’s a favourite – though not as cheap as it used to be. If you’re lucky, you might even have a wandering musician or street artist nearby to serenade your meal on the beach.

3. Take the family to an alpaca farm

Alpacas have quickly become a farm craze in New Zealand, and it’s pretty easy to understand why.

With their furry faces, spunky attitude and high quality wool, alpacas make great farm animals to photograph and meet while travelling.

Kids and families love meeting them too. Out on the Banks Peninsula there is an amazing alpaca farm you can visit across the harbour from Akaroa near French Farm. Shamarra Alpacas is a great place with epic views over the mountains and bays where you can meet and interact with the alpacas and check out their champion wool.

4. Little River Café

A classic great Kiwi café has to be the Little River Café. A town so small that if you blink you’ll miss it, you definitely have to be looking the other way if you accidentally drive by the Little River Café.

Boasting an excellent selection of local NZ food, wine and cheese, it also has great coffee and even an art gallery with a sunny space to sit outside. It’s the perfect way to take a break on a Banks Peninsula road trip.

5. Bach escape at Le Bons Bay

If you hanker for the good old days of renting a quiet bach on the beach, don’t worry, it still can be found on the Banks Peninsula down at Le Bons Bay. Just about as remote as you can get on the Banks Peninsula, you’ll find the little settlement on Le Bons Bay.

Made up of a handful of classic baches around one street on a beautiful sandy white beach, it’s a great escape especially in summer.

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