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Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

Singapore
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Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

My family and I would like to visit the Banks Peninsula area before our departing flight from Christchurch at 06:20 on January 5.

One option is that we arrive in the late afternoon of January 3, spending the night somewhere on the Banks Peninsula (either Diamond Harbour or Akaroa?). We would then explore for most of the day on January 4 before heading back to Christchurch where we would sleep in a hotel for several hours before returning our rental car and checking in for our early morning flight.

Second option would be to spend 2 nights on the Banks Peninsula (probably Diamond Harbour since it's closer to Christchurch) and then head to the Christchurch airport at 2:30am on January 5. Having never been there, I am wondering how safe is the drive from Diamond Harbour back to Christchurch. Is the road very curvy with steep drop-offs, and therefore unsafe to drive in the middle of the night?

Also, if we opted to stay for 2 nights, would Diamond Harbour be a good base for exploring the Banks Peninsula? Any recommendations for a dayhike that has great views but isn't that strenuous of a hike?

Thanks in advance for your help!

7 replies to this topic
Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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1. Re: Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

I wouldn't do it and I know the road well. For a start it is 40Km or around 50 minutes to an hour of very twisty terrain, hugging Lyttleton Harbour - yes there are a few steep drop-offs, although mostly on the way out there, and there will be no lights anywhere until you reach the actual city limits around Cashmere/Dyers Pass.

Why would you want to leave anywhere at 2:30 am for a 6:20 am flight?? The airport probably won't even be open that early.

The second reason for not staying at DH is that although it is ON Banks Peninsula, it is quite a detour from the normal route from Akaroa. I would recommend 1 N at Akaroa & the last night as close to CHC as you can get so you only need to fall out of bed at 4am!! There are about 3 motels with "Airport" in their names (Airport Gateway, Airport Birches etc iirc).

Day Hikes - if you do choose to go to Diamond Harbour, you can climb Mt Herbert, the highest mountain in Chch City (919m). Not a "beautiful" climb but the views are wonderful. I always enjoy Hinewai, which is a unique eco-sanctuary. While the Visitor Centre and main car park are at the top of the property on Long Bay Rd, 12 min from Akaroa, I prefer to drive down to the road end at Otanarito Bay & walk UP the hill and back down to a swim at the bottom! (4-5 hr RT). From the Hilltop Pub you can access the Montgomery Scenic Reserve. Have a look at this brochure:

…govt.nz/Documents/parks-and-recreation/trac…

New Zealand
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2. Re: Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

Stay the night before your flight at an airport hotel. Return the rental car the day before so all you have to do in the morning is fall out of bed and walk 5 minutes to the airport check-in.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

Option one is a better idea. I've driven the road to Akaroa more times than I can count and I wouldn't do it at 2:30am by choice.

Akaroa is probably a better spot for you - there's more to see and do than there is at Diamond Harbour and plenty of half and full day hikes.

4. Re: Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

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Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

Get home safely spend the last night in a airport Hotel. At least you know you will be there for the flight with no worries.

Anything can happen on the road in the morning and that should be enough to discourage you if not the high cliffs with no lights on twisty windy roads in the middle of the night.

London
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6. Re: Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

#4 - Plesse note that self-promotion / advertising is strictly against the T'&C's of TripAdvisor.

Singapore
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7. Re: Night travel from Banks Peninsula to Christchurch airport?

Thanks everyone for responding to my post. Based on your feedback, we have changed our minds about staying on the Banks Peninsula. We will still be visiting the area but as a day trip instead from Rolleston as my husband would prefer to stay at a farm.

As for leaving for the airport at 2:30am, that was based on the assumption that it would take about an hour to drive from Diamond Harbour as well as allowing time to return the rental car, AND arriving 3 hours in advance of an international flight which is usually the normal practice. How far in advance do check-in counters open at the Christchurch International Airport?

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