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Onawe Plug, Canterbury

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Onawe PlugBeginner

Submitted by Stephanie Berry

Info Info
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Trail Information






Little River

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands


1:00 (Slow)
0:45 (Moderate)
0:25 (Fast)



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Head towards the peninsula along Onawe Flat Road enjoying the magnificent views of the harbour and the amazing remnants of lava flows. After about 1.5kms you will veer slightly left off the road and through the parking area where you will see the sign for Onawe. If you are not a brave soul then follow the track down onto the beach and run along the beach to the track proper. If you are either brave or stupid then head up the narrow track and along the very narrow ridge and scramble down the other side. Please don't take children this way.

Once you're off the beach follow the mown track up the hill. At about the 2.7km mark there is a track that ducks off into the bush on your left. Follow this around and you will come out at the top where the Pa once stood. If you climb up onto the large rock there are awesome views of the harbour. Once you've admired the views then follow the single track around the knob and back down to join up with the main track and head back the way you came. There are a couple of old along the cliff face that have been closed since the earthquakes due to the risk of rockfall. Please respect this. You are on sacred land. This is a fun easy run that can be enjoyed by the whole family or a quick blat on your way too or from Akaroa or the surrounding bays.

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Features of interest

Onawe Peninsula is the plug for Akaroa Volcano now jutting out into Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula. It is a sacred/tapu Maori Site being the site of a Ngai Tahu Pa which was captured in 1832 by Te Rauparaha, chief of Ngati Toa. It's history is fascinating. The Craft Station in the old railway station in Little River and the Duvauchelle Store have a booklet entitled "Walk with me to Onawe". It is well worth grapping a copy as it has details of the Pa and where they sourced water etc. You can find out more about the gruesome battle that took place here and claimed so many lives online. Please do not eat whilst out on the peninsula. You will find many fascinating volcanic rocks and features as well as amazing views of the harbour.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 50%

Gravel Road: 50%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Start next to the historic Duvauchelle Hotel.

    There is parking across the road from the hotel on the grass where there is a nice picnic table that you can enjoy after your run. Alternatively you can park in the Hotel car park and enjoy a cold one after your run.

    18 km

    22 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.


    This is a low tide adventure. The peninsula is not accessible at high tide unless you have a snorkle.

  • Post run indulgence

    Duvauchelle Hotel

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