THE BANKS PENINSULA
From Christchurch, it can be a quick 1 1/2 hour drive to Akaroa on the Banks Peninsula. But, the main road, SH 75, is not the most enjoyable way. If you have a GPS or a reliable map, the way to go is absolutely around the Harbour.
From Lyttleton, you can circle the Harbour by Governor’s Bay to Diamond Harbour. From there, continue following the road to Port Levy, winding through the hills and countryside.
If you haven’t hit Akaroa in a couple hours, you might be lost! But, eventually you will be rewarded with some of the most scenic views I found in the country.
Akaroa is a great place to spend the day. There are many restaurants, and it has a very French feel to the town. I recommend grabbing a bite to eat, and trekking up to the Akaroa Lighthouse, for the best panoramic view of the Harbour!
My trip to the Banks Peninsula was part of my larger trip to New Zealand. See the rest of the trip here: