The Ōtepatotu Track, within the Ōtepatotu Scenic Reserve, is a great short hike that gives visitors a taste of the wonders of the Banks Peninsula in eastern Canterbury, New Zealand. With views of Akaroa Harbor on one side, views of the Pacific Ocean on another, and a diverse assortment of New Zealand forest and grassy overlooks in between, the Ōtepatotu Track is an excellent choice for visitors who want to escape the tourist hustle-and-bustle of Akaroa or even those coming from Christchurch who do not mind a little bit of driving.
There is only one trail leading into the bush from a small trailhead that is hardly marked from the road, but the trail itself is signed and easy to find. A short distance in, however, the trail forks. Heading left will lead to many rocky outcroppings with stunning views of Akaroa Harbor and the Banks Peninsula. A short climb after leads to the summit of Lavericks Peak, which is built up pretty heavily since the north half of it does not lie in the Ōtepatotu Scenic Reserve and is clear-cut. While the clear-cut isn't pretty, it does open up to views of the Pacific Ocean. A short, steeper descent through forests of moss-covered trees leads to the initial fork in the trail and to the parking area.