History & heritage, Things to do  |  11 Oct 2021

Banks Peninsula hosts a range of exciting events at this year’s Christchurch Heritage Festival.

The theme this year is People and Place – our stories revealed.

Council Head of Urban Design, Regeneration and Heritage Carolyn Ingles says it’s a celebration of the diverse people who have made their home on the peninsula over time.

“There is a rich programme of events with opportunities to explore some of the fascinating stories behind the places and people of Banks Peninsula.” 

A highlight this year will be the Craftmasters’ Festival of Heritage Crafts. Skills once essential to 19th century peninsula life but now in danger of dying out will be revisited at Okains Bay Museum over Labour Weekend in October.

People can book in to workshops from 23 – 25 October and learn about the arts of traditional printing, blacksmithing and bread making. Due to its remote location organisers are encouraging people to get a group or family together and stay for the weekend. Accommodation is available at the Council campground and the museum also offers onsite stays.

New to the festival this year are tours of the newly developed Ōhinetahi Geosite on 17 October. There will be interactive displays at Allandale Reserve and guided walks along the foreshore track using new interpretation panels as a focus.

Visitors can gain new insight into the early settlers who established the first formal European settlement in the South Island with a tour of Akaroa’s cemeteries on 17 and 24 October. And a visit to Akaroa Museum during the two-week festival will reveal what archaeology can tell us about the lives of people who lived in the township during the 19th century.

The history of recreation on Whakaraupō -Lyttelton Harbour is explored in an exhibition of photos at Lyttelton Library. They tell stories of how local inhabitants have boated, swum, fished and relaxed in the harbour from the first years of European settlement.

Through engaging the community with the local history of the harbour the library hopes to encourage people to share their own images of the area by contributing to the Christchurch City Libraries’ Photo Hunt. 

Help create a rich picture of the city’s history by getting involved in the Photo Hunt contest. People can submit their images throughout October, with images uploaded to the Discovery Wall in Tūranga.

Find out more about the  Christchurch Heritage Festival which runs from October 9-25.