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8 camping places on Banks Peninsula, Akaroa: trip guide

  • 5 minutes


New Zealand South Island Banks Peninsula is a perfect getaway from the crowds camping destination. Akaroa is a great family destination with camping providing a budget friendly holiday option. In Lyttelton you can explore a maritime heritage or browse among the art and craft shops. Several of the camping grounds are open only in the peak season, forward bookings are recommended. There are no designated freedom camping sites on Banks Peninsula. Check travel pack information for further details for freedom camping.

@Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum
@Okains Bay Maori and Colonial Museum
  1. Okains Bay Camping Ground is a classic camping ground without the frills of cabins, chalets and swimming pools.  It is an idyllic location next to a safe (unpatrolled) swimming beach with parklike grounds where there is plenty of space to construct your own summer abode.

What to do nearby

  • Alpahas make for a great animal experience and they are certainly different from the sheep dotted around Banks Peninsula
  • Akaroa for a tourist buzz with its ice cream shops, busy visitor feel
  • Port Chalmers for its art galleries and a great coffee
  1. Duvauchelle Holiday Park Christchurch

Situated on the water’s edge in Duvauchelle, just before the village of Akaroa on Banks Peninsula. Two large level terraces have powered and non-powered sites. There are a 3 bedroom self-contained Tourist Flat, a Deluxe Cabin and 2 standard cabins that have superb views of the harbour.  Peak season forward bookings recommended.

What to do nearby

  • Barry’s Bay Cheese factory
  • Banks Peninsula walks
  • Onawe Peninsula walks
Akaroa Beach on the Banks Peninsula, Akaroa, New Zealand
Akaroa Beach on the Banks Peninsula
  1. Accommodation Akaroa Little River Campground Holiday Park

Sustainable camping practices from compostable toilets to water retention systems situated in over five hectares of original native bush with safe swimming river pools nearby. Part of Bird watching, native bush, biodiversity, banks peninsula

For details Little River Campground

  • 287a Okuti Valley Road, Little River
  • Phone: 03 325 1014
  • Cell: 021 611 820 or
  1. Camping on a former farm Onuku Farm Hostel from bunkrooms to a private ensuite cabin as well as powered and non-powered sites.  Here are Onuku’s description of what is offered, “Located on the edge of the Pacific on Banks Peninsula with the next-door neighbours being Antarctica’s penguins, ..unique stargazers – wooden tents with see-through roofing – are how best to enjoy it. Together with 14 tent sites and our budget dorm “Tophut” they make up our walk-in campground that is located in a quietl clearing amidst Kanuka trees. Onuku Farm Hostel 89 Hamiltons Road, Akaroa 7520.

What to do nearby

  • Check out Bank’s peninsula penguins
  • Climb the Ridge on the farm for spectacular views
  • Rent a kayak
  1. Camping on a working farm Orton Bradley Park Camping.  A classic camping ground with powered and non-powered sites situated in the idyllic Orton Bradley Park with its 650 hectares of bush walking tracks to explore.  Over 25 km of tracks.  There are safe water holes and streams for swimming.

What to do nearby

  • Walk the numerous park tracks exploring your camping vicinity
  • Summer heat laze away the day at the cafe. On the southern shores of the Lyttelton Harbour sits Orton Bradley Park Café nestled in a stunning 650ha park.
  • Explore Lyttelton’s heritage maritime museum

Department of Conservation

  1. Awaroa/Godley Head Campsite:

Category: Scenic

Bookings required


  • Toilets – flush Water from tap – treated, suitable for drinking Wheelchair accessible with assistance
  • 25 non-powered/tent sites

What to do nearby

  • Bird and wildlife watching
  • Mountain biking
  • Walking and tramping

Seasonal restrictions Fires are not permitted at any time. Dog access Dogs on a leash only Godley Head, Canterbury

Dry stone walls 19th century, New Zealand
Dry stone walls 19th century
  1. Packhorse Hut: Banks Peninsula area, Canterbury region. Situated on a low open saddle on the ridge between Mt Bradley and the Remarkable Dykes, the stone hut can be seen against the skyline from many parts of the reserve and the Lyttelton Harbour basin.


  • Porch
  • Lounge with a stove (firewood supplied)
  • Sleeping room
  • Tank water which should be treated or boiled before drinking
  • Sealed vault toilet nearby


This hut was planned as part of a series of rest houses built by Harry Ell for a proposed summit route from Christchurch to Akaroa. Only four houses were ever built, all in local stone, including the grand ‘Sign of the Takahe’. The Sign of the Packhorse, Sign of the Bellbird (1914) and Sign of the Kiwi (1917) were designed by Samuel Hurst Seager, one of the earliest architects to move away from historical styles and seek designs and plans with New Zealand character.

  • Easy walk from road end: 1-3 hours
  • Category: Serviced
  • Bookings required
Packhorse Hut, New Zealand @DOC / Andy Thompson
Packhorse Hut @DOC / Andy Thompson


  • Heating
  • Mattresses
  • Toilets – non-flush
  • Water from tap – not treated, boil before use

9 bunk beds

Seasonal restrictions Packhorse Hut is on Te Ara Pātaka. This section of the track is closed for lambing from 8 August – 15 October each year. Year-round access to the hut is possible via the Kaituna Valley Packhorse Hut Track. Information from the online resource Department of Conservation. Check DOC resource for up to date information.

  1. Rod Donald Hut: Banks Peninsula area

Mountain bike buffs here is an ideal location for Te Ara Pātaka: Walking and tramping in Banks Peninsula area. For families there is the a 1 hour walk Port Levy Saddle to Rod Donald Hut: Walking and tramping in Banks Peninsula area as part of the Te Ara walk and cycle way. The summits of the Banks Peninsula are often windswept even in the summer months. Sunscreen and clothing layers is necessary.

Category: Serviced

Bookings required


  • Heating
  • Lighting
  • Mattresses
  • Toilets – non-flush
  • Water from tap – not treated, boil before use

9 bunk beds

Seasonal restrictions Rod Donald Hut is on Te Ara Pātaka which has lambing 1 September – 25 October. The track is open but leave gates as found, do not handle livestock and give them space. The hut can also be accessed via Port Levy Saddle.

Rod Donald Hut @DOC
Rod Donald Hut @DOC


Getting there

Travel Pack Information


Camping in a tent or a vehicle without certified on-board facilities.

You need to stay at a campground where there are facilities you can use. Camping in a tent or vehicle without certified on-board facilities is not permitted anywhere in Akaroa or Banks Peninsula. Full details are in the Freedom Camping Bylaw 2015

Narrow, steep and unsealed roads

Some of the roads in Akaroa and Banks Peninsula are narrow, steep and unsealed with limited places to turn around. For everyone’s safety we advise that you don’t travel on roads marked ‘Not suitable for campervans’ or ‘4WD drive only’ unless you are in a suitable vehicle.

To plan your journey, check the road conditions and get more information, visit

Campervan parking in Akaroa

Akaroa has narrow streets and limited parking at busy times – for daytime parking, larger vehicles are encouraged to park near the Akaroa boat ramp area.

Wherever you decide to park, please park considerately, and in a park that is the right size for your vehicle.


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