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8 camping places on Banks Peninsula, Akaroa: trip guide

Pack Horse Hut, Banks Peninsula @Wilderness Magazine

New Zealand South Island Banks Peninsula is a perfect getaway from the crowds camping destination. There is the urban vibe of Akaroa if you need a coffee fix or simply a place to relax in a bush setting there are several choices for camping. 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.


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
Okains Bay Camping Ground, New Zealand @TripAdvisor Okains Bay Camping Ground @TripAdvisor

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
Duvauchelle Holiday Park Christchurch, New Zealand @Auckland i-SITE Duvauchelle Holiday Park Christchurch @Auckland i-SITE

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

@littlerivercampground @littlerivercampground

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
@onuku @onuku

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
@ortonbradley @ortonbradley
@ortonbradley @ortonbradley

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

Awaroa, Godley Head Campsite, New Zealand @Stuff Dry stone walls 19th century

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


  • 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, please check website for up to date information.

Packhorse Hut, New Zealand @Department of Conservation Packhorse Hut @Department of Conservation

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.

Rod Donald Hut, New Zealand @Department of Conservation Rod Donald Hut @Department of Conservation

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.




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.


The journey is worth it.

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