Akaroa Head Scenic Reserve walk

Akaroa Head Scenic Reserve walk

Banks Peninsula


10 Rankers Reviews

10 Face-to-Face

8 Banks Peninsula

Online Maps

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Time: 40 min return From Akaroa, take the Akaroa Lighthouse Road - 11 km of steep, narrow rough road, suitable for 4 wheel-drive vehicles.

From the car-park wander down the road, entering the reserve through a gate. The road descends past the foundations of the lighthouse keeper’s house and other buildings, to the site of the old lighthouse.

From here, follow the old supply road, constructed 1878 -79, which ends at an iron ladder descending to a rock shelf in Little Haylocks Bay.

The original Akaroa lighthouse was replaced in 1977 by an automated light and in 1980 the lighthouse was relocated at Akaroa.

Botanical significance of this reserve is low because of a long history of grazing, but there is plenty of wildlife.

Fur seals/kekeno are seen in the bay, with local colonies of white-fronted terns/tara, black-backed gulls/karoro and white-flippered penguins/kororā.

There are excellent coastal views of towering cliffs.


Feature Value Info


DOC Canterbury

Central government organisation


South IslandCanterburyBanks Peninsula


  • Walking
  • Free


Corbin Hure's avatar

Corbin Hure

New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Rough drive up and down on a steep gravel drive. Lovely to see seals playing around.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Sammy Kerrod's avatar

Sammy Kerrod

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

Incredible lookout. Lots of seals and wildlife.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Guilhem's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

A small walk that offers the best view of the surrounding area. I really enjoyed it!

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

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Laura Schratt's avatar

Laura Schratt


Ranking: 10/10

It is an easy walk and really beautiful! You have a nice view and you meet a lot of sheep on your way.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Chris Spratt's avatar

Chris Spratt

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Peaceful town with a good, easy walk around the waters edge. The lighthouse and whaling ports along the way are interesting to read about.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Munne's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

Landscapes are very beautiful but there are less activities and they are expensive.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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MichaelS1's avatar


Isle of Man

Ranking: 7/10

One of the best walks along the ridge of craters. Little publicised but equals Tongariro Crossing. Not well marked and at the end at Hill Top, should more clearly specify exit of walk.

Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in March 2009

Hans de Rijk's avatar

Hans de Rijk


Ranking: 9/10

Location on the lake very beautiful, Hill Top view point marvellous, lighthouse open only on Sundays. (Tip: in peak season more days).

Reviewed over 12 years ago

Brenda Brelinski's avatar

Brenda Brelinski


Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful view once you reach the 803m top of Stony Bay Peek, a rough climb

Reviewed over 12 years ago

susanl's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Loved it, despite a lengthy section on the road.

Reviewed over 12 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner