The Banks Peninsula: Where the Sea Meets the Forest

Call me the Peninsula inhabitant. I have moved from the Otago Peninsula in Dunedin to the Banks Peninsula in Christchurch. The Banks Peninsula has beautiful harbours, hidden bays, walking tracks, and is home to the world’s rarest dolphin, the Hector’s dolphins. I’m currently staying in Diamond Harbour, which is a 40 minute drive to Lincoln, the location of my new internship. I’m mainly going to be helping with two fieldwork projects on pesticide spray and drift, leaving me with plenty of time to explore I’m grateful for this because I’m down to my last three months in New Zealand and I have a long list of things I still want to do. Some of which include: tramping the Abel Tasman Coastal Track, visiting the glaciers on the West Coast, and doing a dolphin watching tour in Kaikoura.

But until I recover from this terrible cold, I’m going to be hanging out in Diamond Harbour. The Cliff Track is a scenic walk, winding along the shoreline/cliffs of Diamond Harbour to Purau or to Church Bay, depending on which direction you choose to go. The awesome thing about the Cliff Track is that the store in Diamond Harbour has pretty good ice cream. So if you are hiking the Cliff Track on a hot, sunny day, it’s a treat to end the day with an ice cream cone.  In addition, the Mount Herbert walkway is also in Diamond Harbour, which is the highest peak on the Banks Peninsula at 920 meters and has views of the Canterbury Plains and the Southern Alps. I plan to tackle this as soon as I feel better.  For longer tramps, there is the Banks Peninsula Track (35 km), which is a two or a four day journey starting in Akaroa. I haven’t decided if I am going to tackle this one yet, as it’s kind of pricey ($220 for the 4 day tramp), but the scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities might make it worth it.

  

Views from the Cliff Track, Banks Peninsula

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