2 November 2017

Beautiful Banks Peninsula

When Captain James Cook first saw Banks Peninsula he thought it was an island and named it 'Banks Island' after Joseph Banks (Endeavour's botanist). Cook didn't explore the land any more before sailing away.

Then in 1809, the sailing vessel Pegasus tried to sail between Banks Island and the mainland - it was then that it was discovered it was a peninsula and not an island.

The photo above is looking over 'Cass Bay' - the photo below is the eastern point of 'Quail Island'.

Banks Peninsula is made from the remains of two volcanoes. The circular shaped Peninsula has many bays and two deep harbours, Lyttleton and Akaroa.

The photo above is of Quail island.  It's now a recreational reserve (covering 81 hectares) and can easily be explored in a day. A ferry service runs a return trip from Lyttleton to the island where people enjoy walks, swims and picnics.

Cass Bay is the second small bay from Lyttleton, the first bay is Corsair Bay. Looking across the water from Cass Bay is Mt Herbert. Notice at all the broom growing the hillside.

The 300 metre long Govenors Bay jetty was closed due to earthquake damage - it wasn't until I looked at this photo that I could see why. 
The Christchurch City Council decided to sell this iconic jetty to Governors Bay Jetty Restoration Trust for $1. The trust will repair the jetty (at an estimated cost of $3.2 million) and sell it back to the council for $1.

Standing above the rocky shoreline of Diamond Harbour looking across towards Lyttleton.

Paddy was admiring the water. He didn't get to have a swim here but he had one later at New Brighton Beach.

The turquoise water is simply stunning. Diamond Harbour offers many walks and is a good place for fishing. Dogs are welcome and there are spacious areas for picnics. A ferry runs from Diamond Harbour to Lyttleton and many residents use this to commute to  Christchurch.

Stoddart House is a colonial cottage with historical interest. It's located on a knoll above the Diamond Harbour Domain, with an excellent view of the harbour.  Australian gum trees  surrounding the cottage were planted by Mark Stoddart.
It's the birthplace and family home of one of New Zealand's first professional female artists, Margaret Stoddart. The pre-fabricated Colonial home was shipped over from Australia by her father, Mark Stoddart, in 1861, making it one of the oldest homes left in the area.

Purau is a small settlement  facing Lyttleton Harbour. It has a long history of Maori settlement with many Maori burial sites in the area.

Loved the colourful boats lined up on the pier at Purau.

All the boats facing the same direction at Purau.

We loved our tiki tour around this part of the peninsula. Now we're looking forward to exploring the other side.


  1. there use to be a nice camping ground at Purau

  2. you forgot to drive over the hill to port levy from Purua a very nice Bay


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