New Zealand day 10: Banks Peninsula

Banks peninsula is one of the most prominent volcanic feature of South Island. In the form of circular share protruding from South Island near Christchurch, it has two harbors and many bays. On the first day of our Chirstchurch visit, we had got a view of one of the harbor, Lyttelton from port hills. Now it was time to deep dive into the peninsula.

Pacific ocean seen at the mouth of the bay
It was a circuitous route from Christchurch to Akaroa, the second harbor town in the area. Though badly hit by cyclone a week ago, no traces of damage was seen. As we entered into the peninsula we were welcomed by numerous hills. They resembled the shola forests of our western ghats.

Hills of Bank Peninsula
After stopping at couple of places for taking photographs, we reached Akaroa. It was a small but a beautiful harbor town. Few smalls boats were anchored at the harbor. It was a nice walk in the town. At a nearby tourist information center, we got some directions towards the places to visit. There were lot of options and we had to choose based on the time available with us!!

We did a brief visit to the lighthouse before heading out of the town.

Akaroa lighthouse
The drive was now on the summit road, a long and circuitous road overlooking the Akaroa harbor and the bay. We had done quote some drive in New Zealand but this road provided a completely new experience. New Zealand has lot to offer at each place!!

Akaroa town
Of all the places in our list, Okains Bay looked interesting. A detour from Summit road took us down to the Okains village through a narrow road. The village looked so deserted and beautiful!! Since the sea was not seen, we drove further and reached a sort of dead end.

Views from Summit road
There was a camping ground and I checked with the lady looking after it for parking and access to sea. She happily helped us with those information. One thing about New Zealand, people always ready to help. We never had a single bad experience in New Zealand. Great people!!

Okains bay
Beach was simply beautiful. Nothing similar to the ones we had seen before. Again, we were the only ones in the area!! We had our lunch and spent a long time in the beach. There were couple of vehicles parked in the camping ground but we found no people. May be they were out for hiking.

Okains bay beach
We were back on the summit road. The road never seem to end as we criss crossed the hills on the narrow road. Stops had become numerous. It was so beautiful that Chaya asked why it was not planned in my original itinerary!! I had no answer. Basically, I had fit the plan into the time slot I had with me!! Nevertheless, we felt great to be at that place.


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