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Encyclopedia > Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula has a roughly circular shape, with many bays and two deep harbours.
Banks Peninsula has a roughly circular shape, with many bays and two deep harbours.
Location of Banks Peninsula
Location of Banks Peninsula

Banks Peninsula is located in the Canterbury region on the east coast of the South Island of New Zealand, partly surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and adjacent to the largest city in the South Island, Christchurch, which has approximately 370,000 residents. The peninsula has a land area of approximately 1,000 km². The peninsula, including Lyttelton and neighbouring areas that are not on the peninsula proper, was governed by the Banks Peninsula District Council from 1989 until 6 March 2006 when the council was merged with neighbouring Christchurch City Council. The population of the peninsula in 2001 was 7,833 residents (2001 census). This shows Banks Peninsula, including Lyttelton Harbour and Akaroa Harbour, in Canterbury, New Zealand. ... Image File history File links NZ-Banks_P.png‎ Location map of Banks Peninsula, New Zealand Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... Image File history File links NZ-Banks_P.png‎ Location map of Banks Peninsula, New Zealand Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1. ... The New Zealand region of Canterbury mostly comprises the Canterbury Plains. ... The South Island The South Island is one of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the North Island. ... For other uses, see Christchurch (disambiguation). ... Peninsula A peninsula (from Latin paene insula, almost island) is a geographical formation consisting of an extension of land from a larger body, surrounded by water on three sides. ... Lyttelton on a sunny day Lyttelton (43. ... March 6 is the 65th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (66th in Leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...



Three successive phases of Māori settlement took place on the peninsula which was known to Māori as Horomaka. Waitaha settled there first, followed by Kati Mamoe and then Ngai Tahu took over in the 17th century. For the Māori language, see Māori language. ... Waitaha is a Māori iwi. ... Kāi Mamoe, or Ngāti Mamoe, is a Māori iwi. ... Ngāi Tahu, or Kāi Tahu, is the principal iwi (tribe) of the southern region of New Zealand. ...

The crew of Captain James Cook became the first Europeans to sight the peninsula, during Cook's first circumnavigation of New Zealand in 1769, when he named the feature in honour of the Endeavour's botanist, Joseph Banks. The peninsula occasioned one of Cook's two major New Zealand cartographical errors - unable to see the low plains adjoining the peninsula he charted it as an island. Distracted by a phantom sighting of land to the southeast, he sailed away before exploring any closer and never discovered the two good harbours. James Cook, portrait by Nathaniel Dance, c. ... Nine ships of the Royal Navy have been named HMS Endeavour. ... Joseph Banks Sir Joseph Banks, 1st Baronet, PRS (February 13, 1743 – June 19, 1820) was an English naturalist and botanist. ...

By the 1830s, Banks Peninsula had become a European whaling centre - to the detriment of the Māori, who succumbed in large numbers to disease and inter-tribal warfare exacerbated by the use of muskets. Two significant events in the assumption of British sovereignty over New Zealand occurred at Akaroa. First, in 1830 the Māori settlement at Takapuneke became the scene of a notorious incident. The Captain of the British brig Elizabeth, John Stewart, helped North Island Ngati Toa chief, Te Rauparaha, to capture the local Ngai Tahu chief, Te Maiharanui. The settlement of Takapuneke was sacked. (Partly as a result of this massacre, the British authorities sent an official British Resident, James Busby, to New Zealand in 1832 in an effort to stop such atrocities. The events at Takapuneke thus led directly to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.) Then in 1838 Captain Langlois, a French whaler, decided that Akaroa would make a good settlement to service whaling ships and "purchased" the peninsula in a dubious land deal with the local Māori. He returned to France, floated the Nanto-Bordelaise company, and set sail for New Zealand with a group of French and German families aboard the ship Comte de Paris, with the intention of forming a French colony on a French South Island of New Zealand. The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ... Muskets and bayonets aboard the frigate Grand Turk. ... A view of the Akaroa harbour. ... Mai i Miria te kakara ki Whitireia, Whakawhiti te moana Raukawa ki Wairau ki WhakatÅ«, Te Waka Tainui. ... Te Rauparaha (1760s?-1849) was a Maori Chief and War Leader of the Ngati Toa tribe who took a leading part in the Musket Wars. ... James Busby (February 10, 1701 - July 31, 1771) is widely regarded as the father of the Australian wine industry, as he took the first collection of vine stock from Spain and France to Australia. ... The Treaty of Waitangi The Treaty of Waitangi (Māori: Te Tiriti o Waitangi) was signed on February 6, 1840 at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. ... In various forms, France had colonial possessions since the beginning of the 17th century until the 1960s. ...

However, by the time Langlois and his colonists arrived at Banks Peninsula in August 1840, many Māori had already signed the Treaty of Waitangi (the signatories including two chiefs at Akaroa in May) and New Zealand's first British Governor, William Hobson, had declared British sovereignty over the whole of New Zealand. On hearing of the French plan for colonisation, Hobson quickly dispatched the HMS Britomart from the Bay of Islands to Akaroa with police magistrates on board. While Langlois and his colonists sheltered from unfavourable winds at Pigeon Bay on the other side of the peninsula, the British raised their flag at Greens Point between Akaroa and Takapuneke and courts of law convened to assert British sovereignty over the South Island. William Hobson (September 26, 1792 - September 10, 1842), was the first Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi. ...

From the 1850s, Lyttelton and then Christchurch outgrew Akaroa, which has developed into a holiday resort and retained many French influences as well as many of its nineteenth-century buildings. Lyttelton on a sunny day Lyttelton (43. ... For other uses, see Christchurch (disambiguation). ... A view of the Akaroa harbour. ...

Historic harbour defence works dating from 1874 onwards survive at Ripapa Island in Lyttelton Harbour, and at Godley Head. Ripapa island, just off the shore of Lyttelton Harbour (Whakaraupo) has played many key roles in the history of New Zealand or Aotearoa. ... Lyttelton on a sunny day Lyttelton (43. ...


Banks Peninsula forms the main volcanic feature of the South Island. Geologically, the peninsula comprises the eroded remnants of two large stratovolcanoes (Lyttelton formed first, then Akaroa). These formed due to intraplate volcanism between approximately eleven and eight million years ago (Miocene) on a continental crust. The peninsula formed as offshore islands, with the volcanoes reaching to about 1,500 m above sea level. Two dominant craters formed Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours. The Canterbury Plains formed from the erosion of the Southern Alps (an extensive and high mountain range caused by the meeting of the Indo-Australian and Pacific tectonic plates) and from the alluvial fans created by large braided rivers. These plains reach their widest point where they meet the hilly sub-region of Banks Peninsula. A layer of loess, a rather unstable fine silt deposited by the föhn winds which bluster across the plains, covers the northern and western flanks of the peninsula. The portion of crater rim lying between Lyttelton Harbour and Christchurch city forms the Port Hills. Stratovolcano Mount St. ... The Miocene epoch is a period of time that extends from about 23 to 5. ... Lyttelton on a sunny day Lyttelton (43. ... A view of the Akaroa harbour. ... The Southern Alps is a mountain range which runs along the western side of the South Island of New Zealand. ... The Indo-Australian plate is shown in dull orange on this map. ... The Pacific plate is shown in pale yellow on this map The Pacific Plate is an oceanic tectonic plate beneath the Pacific Ocean. ... Alluvial Fan in Death Valley An alluvial fan is a fan-shaped deposit where a fast flowing stream flattens, slows, and spreads typically at the exit of a canyon onto a flatter plain. ... The most famous example of a large braided stream in the United States is the Platte River in central and western Nebraska. ... Loess in Hungary has travelled by wind from Asia This article is about the geologic material, for the statistical technique see Loess curve. ...

Land use

Estimates suggest that native forest once covered 98% of the peninsula. However, Māori and European settlers successively denuded the forest cover and less than 2% remains today, although some reforestation has started. European settlers have planted many English trees, notably walnut. Species See text The walnuts (genus Juglans) are plants in the walnut family Juglandaceae. ...

Several sites off the coast of the peninsula serve for mariculture cultivation of mussels. Mariculture is the cultivation of marine organisms for food, either in their natural environment or in seawater in ponds or raceways. ... Subclasses Heterodonta Palaeoheterodonta A mussel is a bivalve mollusk that can be found in lakes, rivers, creeks, intertidal areas, and throughout the ocean. ...

A large Marine Mammal Sanctuary, mainly restricting set-net fishing, surrounds much of the peninsula. This has the principle aim of the conservation of Hector's dolphin, the smallest of all dolphin species. Eco-tourism based around the playful dolphins has now become a significant industry in Akaroa. Binomial name Cephalorhynchus hectori Van Beneden, 1881 Hectors Dolphin range Hectors Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori) is the most well-known of the four dolphins in the genus Cephalorhynchus. ... Genera See article below. ...

A relatively small marine reserve called Pohatu centres on Flea Bay on the south-east side of the peninsula. Marine reserve is an area of the sea which has legal protection against fishing or development. ...

The Summit Road forms a notable feature on the peninsula. Built in the 1930s, the road is in two sections:

  • one section runs along the crest of the Port Hills from Godley Head (the northern head of Lyttelton Harbour) to Gebbies Pass at the head of the harbour
  • the other section runs around the crater rim of Akaroa Harbour from 'Hill Top' - the junction with the main Christchurch-Akaroa highway - to a point above Akaroa. Both roads afford spectacular views as well as providing vehicular access to many parks, walkways, and other recreational features.


  • Highest point: Mount Herbert (919 m)
  • Permanent population : 7600

External links

  • Now part of Christchurch City
  • 2001 census results, Banks Peninsula District

  Results from FactBites:
Banks Peninsula tramping tracks: Mahaanui (1127 words)
The roads on Banks Peninsula are winding, steep, narrow and not all are sealed.
Banks Peninsula was once a rich mosaic of plant and bird species.
This is a strenuous walk from the sea to the summit of Mt Herbert/Te Ahu Pātiki, the high point of Banks Peninsula.
Tas Walker's Biblical Geology - Banks Peninsula, NZ (5418 words)
The Banks Peninsula (Figure 2) is composed mainly of the remnants of two large extinct volcanoes—Lyttelton in the northwest and Akaroa in the southeast.
Thus, the entire structure of the Banks Peninsula can be considered as one geological unit because, although the position of the vent moved during the eruption of the lava, the whole volcanic sequence represents a consistent set of geological conditions.
In this case the absence of glaciers on Banks Peninsula could be explained by the volcanoes being isolated from the mainland and surrounded by warmer ocean waters during the Ice Age.
  More results at FactBites »



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