Banks Peninsula is located near Christchurch in New Zealand’s south island. The place is really breathtaking with amazing landscapes of mountains encountering the sea. It has a volcanic origin that’s why the landscapes over there are so amazing.
The first volcano was formed 11 millions years ago and a second one appeared 3 million years ago. The mountains seem to fall directly in the sea and the former craters are now the 2 harbours of the peninsula, Akaroa and Lyttelton. The name of the peninsula was given by James Cook during his travel in the South Pacific, to celebrate the 25th birthday of his botanist, Sir Joseph Banks. He made a mistake by thinking it was an island and didn’t notice that it was attached to the main island.
To discover this place, you can follow many different roads departing from Christchurch. You can follow the coast, or the summit road or take both to go from Lyttelton to Akaroa. As these are not exactly roads, more on tracks, the best is to have a 4WD car and then follow the way you want with an adventurous spirit. Be it along the bay, or from the top of a hill, the views are always surprising, changing and showing you the beauty and force of nature.
The funny thing is, once you arrive in Akaroa, there are so many French flags and street names, and it appears that the Banks peninsula saw the beginning of the French colonisation while the Brits were also colonizing the south Island of New Zealand. In 1838, a French whaler, Captain Langlois bought this peninsula from the local Maori and founded a French whaling company there. Two years later, he came back with 63 French people to found the first French colony of New Zealand. But in the meantime, the Brits made an agreement with the Maori to have total control of the whole south island and Akaroa became an English colony but with a mainly French population!
Today the “French” aspects of Akaroa are more used as a tourist attraction and only the street names along with some french flags are here to remind you of this page in history. I took some shots of these with my LC-A+, but discovered later that my camera was broken and had nothing on the negatives :(
But of course, I also had my Horizon and Diana F+ (never go travel with only one camera!!) and even without the many LC-A+ pictures I thought I have (and will never exist, besides in my souvenirs…), you can still enjoy some pictures I took of the beautiful Banks Peninsula!