The Banks Peninsula is made up of dozens of small bays formed by the lava flows from two extinct volcanoes. It is a very distinctive landscape, and is the backyard for many Christchurch residents, and a must visit for visitors to the region.
Recently we stayed in Little Akaloa, one of these small bays around the Peninsula and had a simple kiwi Christmas.
Nearby is a small church which is one of the most beautiful I have seen – St Lukes Akaloa.
Hidden amongst the trees behind the graveyard, a small gate beckons you up a path to the Church.
Built by local farmer John Menzies in 1906, it was Menzies who did much of the carving and design work in the church based on Maori designs and local flora.
We joined many locals and holiday makers who filled the church at 5pm on Christmas Eve