Akaroa Walk on Waitangi Weekend
On the Sunday of Waitangi Weekend we went for an Akaroa walk. Living in an area like Akaroa with an abundance of walks and natural beauty it is easy to overlook or put off doing some of the gentler walks.
Waitangi Day celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. Onuku Marae was the site of the first signing of the Treaty in the South Island. There is a monument at Stanley Place commemorating the arrival of Captain Stanley who claimed sovereignty for Britain in August 1840. We’d sailed past it, driven with friends to the end of the street in the pouring rain, but had never actually been to the monument.
Garden Of Tane
Waitangi Weekend seemed as good a time as any to put on the new walking boots and visit the Britomart Monument in Akaroa via the Garden of Tane.
Our walk route
The starting point for our walk was in the car park beside the Roman Catholic and Dissenters Cemeteries off Onuku Rd. Taking the path to the left (our meanderings in red) we descended past tree plantings commemorating Gallipoli and the 175th anniversary of the French and German settlers arriving in Akaroa in 1840 on the Comte de Paris.
We are aware that a lot of work has been done in the Garden of Tane. Walking tracks criss cross through native bush and exotic trees. It’s a bit of a maze with the occasional dead end and a few shortcuts. After taking one path we doubled back and zig zagged across the area between the lookout, main entrance (where the children’s playground is located) and back to the car park from whence we descended via our first track back to the lookout. This time we carried on to the left down some steps, up the side of the gully, across a bridge to the right and then left up to the Anglican Cemetery where we intended to exit onto Hempleman Drive and walk along the waterfront.
From there our meander took in the waterfront of The Glen where, at the last house on the left, there is a track up to the Britomart monument. A short climb up the track and 45 steps and there was the Union Jack flying above the monument to the British claim of Banks Peninsula by Captain Stanley August 11 1840. L’Aube from France arrived 17 August 1940. The steps are concrete and not difficult.
It’s a beautiful peaceful place with views into Tikao Bay and Wainui, up the harbour to Barrys Bay and Onawe and around to Akaroa.
Stanley Place Entrance
We made our exit past some old macrocarpa stumps via a path around a plot of grazing land out to Stanley Place.
From there we walked up onto Onuku Rd and back to the RC & Dissenters Cemetery where many of the old peninsula family names can be found in family groups.
It took us 1 ½ hrs zig zagging, stopping to take photos, watch the fishing boat coming in, read the gravestones and admire the views. There is some up hill and some steps however most people of even limited fitness could do most of the tracks and a lot faster than we did if that’s the aim of your walk. Instead of doing the zig zags across the Garden of Tane, the track through the RC & Dissenters Cemeteries across to the Anglican Cemetery and on down Hempleman Dr would be a shorter option.