Christchurch Port Hills Sampler

When you think of cycling in Christchurch, the Port Hills automatically springs to mind! The Port Hills are home to a variety of tracks for both technical and non-technical riders with the added bonus of spectacular views, a must-do for any cyclist spending time in Christchurch.

Ride the Port Hills:

Bowenvale Valley

Track distance: 8.6km
Track grade: 2

The track begins at the end of Bowenvale Avenue. You'll start with a gradual climb on a 4-wheel drive track before coming to a steep section taking you to the jump park and skills area at Victoria Park.

From there climb 800m to the start of the Bowenvale Traverse Track, near Summit Road. Follow the Bownevale Traverse Track 2.5km to the top of Huntsbury Track. Continue down a gravel road for 500m to arrive at a junction by an old airstrip. A white marker will point left to the steep and rough Bowenvale Down Hill Track (please note this section is currently closed). At the end of the 4-wheel drive track join back up to the single track taking you 2.8km back to the start point at Bowenvale Avenue.

Bowenvale Traverse Track

Track distance: 3km
Track grade: 2

The track is signposted and starts about 10m below Victoria Park starting in pine forest before travelling cross-country through tussock land. The 3km track is mostly easy with some gentle climbs with stunning views over the Canterbury Plains.

Bridle Path

Track Distance: 3km
Track Grade: 3

Beginning at the base of the Gondola in Heathcote Valley the track takes you to either the Summit Road or Lyttelton. The well-formed track is steep in sections to really get your blood pumping! There are historical points of interest along the way highlighting information on the first settlers to Christchurch. The track is also popular with walkers, so it's important to give way to walkers at all times and keep your speed under control. You'll be rewarded with spectacular 360 degree views at the Summit Road capturing the Canterbury Plains, Southern Alps and Lyttelton.

Huntsbury Track

The 4WD track starts at the end of Huntsbury Ave. The earth surface track then turns into gravel delivering a pleasant climb through open tussock and providing access to more challenging tracks on the Crater Rim.

  • Track Distance: 2.34km

Kennedy’s Bush Track

Technically not a difficult track offering a long ascent with gradual incline providing straight forward riding. This track is best avoided during lambing season, August – September.

  • Track Distance 5.3km
  • Track Grade: 3

Kennedy's Bush Track to Worsleys Track

An intermediate ride combining some steep, narrow and rough sections. The 8.23km ride begins at Kennedy’s Bush slowly climbing up the 4WD track until you reach Summit Road. Follow Summit Road for 1.6km, then turn left up a short road to the top of Worsleys Spur. The descent follows a heavily rutted 4WD track and finishes at Worsleys Road. Please note that during the spring months of August-September the track may be closed due to lambing.

  • Track Distance: 8.23km
  • Track Grade: 3

Marley Hill Track

Park at the Sign of the Kiwi and bike about 2km south-west along Summit Road to Worsleys Road. The start is about 300 metres on the right and is signposted. A 400 metre climb up a 4WD track before connecting to a single use track on your right signposted ‘Flying Nun’. The track more than likely gets its name for the amount of twists and turns on the downhill run and if you are able to look, the views of the Canterbury Plains and Lyttelton Harbour are spectacular on a clear day. The track has alternate routes to make it even more exhilarating adding large berm corners and jumps, however you can take the easier lines beside the jumps. The track is designed as a downhill track and there are a couple of boulder/bedrock sections and wooden platforms which will require you to watch your speed in order to navigate safely. 

  • Track Distance: 2.3km
  • Track Grade: 3

Mt Vernon Farm Track

Beginning at the end of Hillsborough Terrace, the earth/grass track greets riders with a steep and rutted first section to then steadily climb on grass until reaching Summit Road. The track provides good access to other mountain biking tracks on the Crater Rim.

  • Track Distance: 2.57km

Mt Vernon Track

2.4km of intermediate tracks with some narrow, rough, steep sections and offering great views of Lyttelton Harbour. The ride begins at the car-park at the base of Mt Vernon, off Summit Road. Offering a lot of variety within a short distance the track begins with a short rocky section before levelling out and traversing beneath Mt Vernon. For those that don’t want to cycle the whole track there is a bail-out section onto Summit Road part way through the ride. The later part of the ride is predominately on a well formed track to the end.

  • Track Distance: 2.4km
  • Track Grade: 3

Rapaki Track

Rapaki Track is suitable for mountain bikes 250 metres in height. Beginning at the intersection of Rapaki Road and Centaurus Road. Cycle for 1km making sure to watch out for motorists and descending cyclists, to join the start of a gravel road climbing past Montgomery Spur Reserve and continue to Summit Road.

  • Track Distance: 3.5km
  • Track Grade: 2