Ōtepātotu Track is accessed from the Summit Road above Akaroa, about half way between the intersections with Okains Bay Road and Le Bons Road. There is a large grassed area next to the carpark, plus a toilet, picnic benches and nice views. A perfect place to take a picnic.
The track is to the left of the grassed area, and is steep in places. With a total climb of 155 metres, the track takes you to the top of Lavericks, a 755 m highpoint on the Akaroa Harbour crater rim.
It initially climbs steeply to a viewpoint above a rocky cliff, with another amazing view back across Akaroa. From there, retrace your steps a few metres and veer left on the loop track to the top. This passes through an attractive surviving strip of ancient forest, dominated by mountain tōtara hung with weeping moss to create a goblin forest effect.
From the top, the return track travels down into a gully through more forest, including a section of mature native fuchsia/kōtukutuku with bright orange trunks.
Ōtepātotu means “place of the fairies” which definitely fits this walk!