A Wee Sunday Stroll to Wainui, Banks Peninsula

When someone mentions Banks Peninsula (in the amazing South Island) most people think of Akaroa, the beautiful French flavoured town 84 kms from Christchurch. While Akaroa is a must, it's definitely worth checking out some other areas such as the Southern Bays of Tubledown Bay, or if you're wanting to watch some surfing, perhaps Magnets (one of the great left hand breaks in New Zealand) if you have the time. It just so happened that yesterday I decided to take a drive out to French Farm and Wainui, signposted as soon as you reach the hill top (you will know exactly what this means when you do the drive!). With the temperature at a wonderful twenty six and hardly a cloud in the sky, I turned off toward Wainui with a mask and snorkel, hoping to visit an old site I had collected Paua from before. Since the earthquakes in Christchurch the cruise liners now dock in the Akaroa harbour rather than Lyttelton, so it was a nice surprise to see one of them docked here (see photo below). French Farm is the first settlement you will come to, around 8 kms before Wainui. There are some great facilities here (Dump station, toilets, picnic area) where I also saw around 6 other campervans enjoying the beach. Wainui has a great beach which is perfect to spend a quiet afternoon fishing, swimming or just relaxing! All up you are looking at about a one and a quarter hour drive from Christchurch, and if you are wondering, yes there are still Paua in this area so after my catch it was home to make Paua Soup. If you are diving for Paua though just remember that the minimum size in 125mm and there's a maximum allowance of 10 per diver (but this is often far more than what's necessary) iPhone5 Panorama