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Mountain Bike Trails Of Ōtautahi Christchurch

Credit: @Jayfrench
Ōtautahi Christchurch

The Ultimate Mountain Bikers Playground

Think Ōtautahi Christchurch is flat? You just have to talk to any local mountain biker to hear otherwise. With the vast natural landscapes that surround the city, there are endless steep tracks to race up and down. 

Ride through a forest, tear down the Port Hills, or test your fitness with an uphill climb. Whether you are an absolute novice or a full throttle expert, get out into Christchurch's ultimate natural playground for endless endorphins and good times. 

Credit: @Jayfrench

McLeans Forest

Perfect for the beginner mountain biker, McLeans Forest has three mountain bike loops perfect for families and those looking to build confidence. Running along the Waimakariri River behind Christchurch Airport, McLeans Forest is a forest reserve with winding tree-lined trails. Trail lengths suit any fitness level. All loops are one-way and can be interlinked to make a total distance of 17km.

Difficulty: Super Easy

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Bottle Lake Forest Park

Bottle Lake’s walking and biking trails cut through an extensive pine plantation 15 minutes north of the CBD. It’s a working forest so trails regularly change as trees are planted or harvested creating little surprises for regular riders. The 11 green trails are a regular spot for families with kids or those wanting to build their fitness with some laps through the forest.

Difficulty: Easy

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Christchurch Adventure Park

The Christchurch Adventure Park has put Christchurch on the riding map with 58 trails and year-round lift assisted riding. There are rides for every ability level from super flowy green trails to technical double blacks. The Loess Rider Trail is a favourite of all skill levels, allowing beginners to gain confidence in their turns or advanced riders to go full tilt. The park also has gear hire, lessons and a café for a bite and a pint of local craft beer.

Difficulty: Easy to Expert

Explore Christchurch Adventure Park

Crocodile Cross Country (XC) MTB Park Trail

Crocodile has a fun little trail system in Halswell Quarry, perfect to advance your skill set. Beginners will find nine comfortable green trails to explore and intermediate to advanced riders have 19 trails to play with. There are even a few black diamond runs for more expert riders. The system is spread over the hill side, so you’ll be running on pedal power for short uphill climbs on some tracks.

Difficulty: Easy to Advanced

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Victoria Park

Christchurch’s original home of downhill riding. In Vic Park you’ll find 71 trails across diverse landscapes; forest, dark jungle, dust, rocks, mud, and jumps – it’s all there. A typical route takes you up Rapaki and along the Bowenvale Traverse before you drop into Vic Park. If you can’t be faffed with the climb, drive to the Summit Road car park and you’ll be spoiled for choice of routes to take down. Mix it up with different trails and be sure to hit local favourite Sesame Street.

Difficulty: Intermediate to Expert

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Ideal for a range of riders, Lyttelton has 22 mountain bike tracks along with two mountain bike routes suitable for those out for a leisurely ride or those a little more hardcore.

The Lyttelton Gondola Loop and Monument Bradley Packhorse are the longer routes if you are keen to make a day of it, while shorter tracks such as the Urumau Track, Stormer and Grommies are popular for beginner to intermediate riders.

If you're looking for something really challenging, then the Jackasaurus or the Zombie Lurch are two tracks that are bound to get your adrenaline pumping.


Difficulty: Easy to Expert

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Port Hills East

From Heathcote Valley to Godley Head, the eastern Port Hills boast 25 trails, linking up to create epic sweeping routes along the hills. The most popular of these is the Sumner to Godley Head Loop combining intense climbs with free-flowing downhill, all with city-to-sea views.

Another popular route runs up Rapaki, east along Summit Road and up Broadleaf Lane to Greenwood Park. Head downhill to Captain Thomas Track and the longest descent in the Port Hills.

Difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

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Port Hills West

the 22 trails in the western Port Hills are some of the most popular for uphill climbs. Rapaki Track is shared with walkers and is solid climb – 333m over 3.6kms. Huntsbury Track in the valley over is a 190m climb and gives easy access to the Bowenvale Traverse taking you to Vic Park and the Christchurch Adventure Park. Both trails connect with Summit Road to head east to the trails around Sumner.

Difficulty: Easy to Intermediate

Explore Port Hills West

Credit: @Jayfrench

The MTB Community

Many of these trails are maintained by volunteers. If you’re riding regularly, consider joining a local group to build and maintain tracks.