Christchurch Port Hills Walks

Get the blood pumping on these popular hill walks. Enjoy panoramic views of the city, Southern Alps and learn about the history of the early settlers to the region.

Bridle Path

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Duration of walk: 4.8km track, 2 hour return.

Start location: Either start on the city side from the Bridle Path car park, just below the Christchurch Gondola or Lyttelton side from Bridle Path road.

Key Highlights:

  • This route was first constructed in 1850 for Canterbury's first European settlers travelling between Lyttelton and Christchurch.
  • A steep track but stunning views over the city to the Southern Alps and of Lyttelton and Banks Peninsulan make it worth while!
  • There are a number of memorial seats on the way up and a stone shelter at the top to commemorate the pioneer women of Canterbury.
  • The number 28 bus runs between Lyttelton and the city via Heathcote if you would prefer to only do the walk one way.

More information

Bus information


Rapaki Track

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Duration of walk:  7km, 2 hours return.
Start location: Parking on Rapaki Road or nearby roads. 

Key Highlights:

  • One of the most popular walks in the city. Steep in parts but great views of the city, estuaries and ocean walking up and views over Banks Peninsula at the top.
  • The top is the Summit Road which can be accessed by road and also good for linking to other tracks at the top if you want to carry on or return the same way.
  • Well formed track. good for off-road prams. 

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Victoria Park - Harry Ell

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Duration of walk: 2 hours, 4km distance.
Start location: A number of entry points but a good car-park at Victoria Park Visitor Centre.

Key Highlights:

  • Well maintained walkway with a few points that would be difficult to navigate with a pram.
  • Undulating but not overly steep.
  • Beautiful views across the city to the Southern Alps.
  • End at Sign of the Kiwi (due to re-open in December 2016), water fountain and toilets are available here.
  • To return head back the same way or link up with Thomsons Track or Bowenvale Valley Track to get back to Victoria Park.

More information

More walks in and around Victoria Park


Kennedy's Bush Track

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Duration of walk: 5.3km, 1 hour one way.
Start location: Start at Halswell Quarry or at the end of Kennedy's Bush Road.

Key Highlights:

  • The track is mostly on a wide 4WD surface, starting with a steady climb and then flattening and descends at the gate before climbing again to end at the Summit Road.
  • At the top it's well worth crossing over to the Crater Rim track and have taking in the views of Lyttelton Harbour. 
  • Most of the land is private no dogs are allowed.

More information

More walks around Kennedy's Bush Reserve


Ahuriri - Crater Rim: Sign of the Bellbird

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Duration of walk: 8km and 3 hours return
Start location: Sign of the Bellbird or Summit Road.

Key Highlights:

  • Head along the Summit Road to readch the saddle on the south side of Cass Peak Reserve. A cattle grid marks the point where you can leave the road to access the track.
  • Stunning views over the city to the Southern Alps
  • Ahuriri Reserve is a small pocket of bush tucked away on the Plains side of the ridge. Carefully fenced, it has maintained its understory and some fine examples of great old native trees.

More information

More walks around Ahuriri

There are a number of stunning and interesting tracks in the Port Hills. Find other tracks of interest here.