The Banks Peninsula Track bus picks us all up from outside the Old Post Office, packs are loaded up and we are given an introduction to the tramp before heading off to our first night. On the way we introduce ourselves to the other trampers, and read the booklet about how we are going to spend the next few days.
All of us are kiwis, a family of four, a woman and her very fit 82 yr old mother on her first tramp and our group of 6 women.
Onuku Farm Hostel is our beautiful rustic home for the first night. It sits on a hill looking north across Akaroa Harbour. Set in a gorgeous garden setting, a separate building houses the toilets and showers – a bit far for a midnight dash!
I am tempted by the bed on the veranda – on a warmer night you could wake up to the sun rising over the harbour. There are also some cute Skygazer rooms for more space and a different kind of experience, but it feels too cold tonight so we all choose our the traditional bunk rooms instead.
A breakfast of fresh home grown eggs and baked beans set up everyone for the day.
Certainly more than I need as the driver and as the walkers lace their boots, we pack up the car ready to head back to Akaroa. For us its an espresso coffee before meeting the others at midday where the track cuts the road to Flea Bay.
For the others it is a steady uphill climb to the top of the ridge and over to Flea Bay to start the day.