The Story of Banks Track
Initially, a group of adjoining Banks Peninsula farmers and landowners got together in the late 1980s, looking for ways to diversify their income after some difficult years of drought and falling prices. At the same time, a private trust was establishing Hinewai Reserve as a major conservation initiative.
The cooperative activity saw the track formed, bridges constructed, signs erected, huts built, and all the background organisation that was to blossom into New Zealand’s first private multi-day walking track in 1989.
A ‘Must Do’ Hike
The original Four-Day Banks Track (with a Two-Day Option) grew into a “must-do” activity for many walkers from both New Zealand and overseas. The retirement of one landowner in 2017 resulted in change, so after 27 years the four-day track became the Three-Day Classic Walk (with a Two-Day Hikers Option). These three days offer everything the four days were able to offer except a visit to one bay, and the silver lining is that many of our walkers find it easier to plan a three-day escape than a four-day one.
There are now five landowner partners: the Gibbs, Hamilton, Helps, Armstrong, and Hugh Wilson from Hinewai Reserve. Each takes responsibility for the track that runs through their land and the accommodation they provide. Together, the landowners and a few other locals manage the booking office, health and safety, marketing, pack transport, and more. We operate as a traditional family-run Banks Peninsula business.
Banks Track Conservation
We are a group of rural folk, with our hearts in the land we care for. Each landowner, whether farming, running a tourist operation, or managing a nature reserve, works their own property as well as the Banks Track operation. Each of us is involved in conservation and is a part of the Banks Peninsula “Wildside Project” of conservation protection and restoration. Pest Free Banks Peninsula is working towards eliminating all pests from the Banks Peninsula, which will see even more birdlife thrive and native plants flourish on Banks Track.
A Test of Time
This diversity of ownership, coupled with such a range of landscapes, makes the Banks Track not only the original but also the most unique private walking track in New Zealand. We welcome you to walk in our backyard from 1st October to 30th April each year.