Wainui on Banks Peninsula: A Diving Day Trip

When Banks Peninsula near Christchurch is discussed as a destination, most people overlook Wainui and think of Akaroa. It is well worth a visit, especially for diving!

Getting to Wainui on Banks Peninsula

Wainui is just over 77 km from Christchurch. It’s near French Farm, which is almost opposite Akaroa. It is about a one and a quarter-hour drive from Christchurch. Your best bet is to use your CamperMate app and follow the directions.

With the temperature at a wonderful 26º C and hardly a cloud in the sky, I set off for Banks Peninsula and Wainui with a mask and snorkel. I was hoping to visit an old site I had collected Paua from before.

Cruise liner coming into Akaroa, viewed from near Wainui on Banks Peninsula
Cruise liner coming into Akaroa

Since the earthquakes in Christchurch, the cruise liners dock in Akaroa Harbour rather than Lyttelton. It is always nice to see one of them on their way in or out!

On the way

French Farm is the first settlement you will come to on your way over the hills of Banks Peninsula, around 8 km before Wainui. There are some great facilities here like a dump station, toilets, and picnic area. I also saw around six other campervans enjoying the beach.

The first thing you’ll when you arrive at Wainui is the great beach. It’s perfect to spend a quiet afternoon fishing, swimming or just relaxing. There is some paua in this area, but remember that the minimum size is 125mm. There’s also a maximum allowance of 10 per diver, which is more than enough.

Wainui is off the beaten track, and there are lots of other similar places around Banks Peninsula. Check your CamperMate App for suggestions. If you’re wanting to do some surfing, take a look at Magnet Bay, one of the great left-hand breaks in New Zealand. if you have the time.

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