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Top Five Short Walks With Amazing Views Around Ōtautahi Christchurch

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Top Five Short Walks With Amazing Views Around Ōtautahi Christchurch

Grab those sneakers and enjoy the awesome scenery which makes Ōtautahi such a special place to live.

Explore our native forests, mountains and gaze over our coastlines on the many short walks found in our backyard here in Christchurch.

Check out our pick of short walks - less than an hour’s walk from your car - with views that will take your breath away!

Use #ExploreCHC when you post your scenic snaps!

1. Quarry Rim Track, Halswell

Stand atop the historic Halswell Quarry in southwest Christchurch and enjoy the stunning views of the mighty Southern Alps beyond the Garden City.

Halswell Quarry offers a fun day out for friends, family and pets with its many tracks, historic sites and six sister-city gardens.

The Quarry Rim Track is a rewarding track with dramatic panoramic views, suitable for all ages and dogs on the leash.

The details:

  • Time: 40 mins return loop.
  • Start at the main car park loop.
  • Views of southwest Christchurch and the Southern Alps stretching the skyline.
  • Dogs on leash. Unfenced dog exercise park where dogs can be off the leash, but under effective control.
  • Dogs are prohibited from the Wetlands Conservation Area.

While you’re here:

2. Ngaio Point Track, Duvauchelle

Take a pitstop on your way from Christchurch to Akaroa with a deviation which rewards the adventurous. The Ngaio Point Track is a great short walk to stretch the legs around the headlands.

Take Monarch Drive off SH75 between Duvauchelle and Robinsons Bay and follow the track on foot. You can take a quick dip at Archdall Beach off the track (15 min return).

Continue on the track around the Ngaio Point headland through native bush down to Bayview Beach for dip number 2! Climb the steps up to Bayview Crescent and follow the track to SH75.

The views are worth stopping for!

The details:

  • Time: 1 hour return loop.
  • Start: Monarch Drive off SH75.
  • Views of Ōnawe Pa.
  • Toilets in Akaroa.
  • Dogs on leash.

While you’re here:

  • Despite its dark history, the teardrop-shaped, once fortified Ngāi Tahu pā, Ōnawe Pā, makes for a pleasant afternoon walk leaving from Ōnawe Flat Rd at low tide.

3. Lyttelton Coastal Path

Enjoy a moment of peace along Lyttelton’s Coastal Path looking out to Ōtamahua/Quail Island and Charteris Bay from the pines.

This coastal path connects the beautiful Motukauatirahi/Cass Bay, Motukauatiiti/Corsair Bay and Magazine Bays. It offers spectacular views of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour starting at Pony Point and ending on the edge of the Lyttelton township.

The track follows the coastline high above the shore and offers detours down to these wonderful beaches, making for a lovely family day out.

Make sure to pack a picnic and bring your togs!

The details:

  • Time: Magazine Bay to Corsair Bay (15 mins one way), Corsair Bay to Cass Bay (20 mins one way), Cass Bay to Pony Point Reserve (15 mins one way).
  • Views of Ōtamahua/Quail Island and across to Church Bay and Diamond Harbour.
  • Carparks: Pony Point Reserve, Cass Bay beach, Corsair Bay.
  • Toilets at Corsair and Cass Bays.
  • Dogs on leash.

While you’re here:

4. Dry Ridge, Mt Vernon Park

Get out of the ‘burbs and head for the hills.

Take in the views of Christchurch from Mt Vernon Park with the short and enjoyable Dry Ridge track.

From the Mount Vernon Track carpark on Hillsborough Terrace, head right up through the trees and past the cave. Yes, cave!

Follow the zigzags and up the spur to a panel table overlooking Christchurch and the Alps in the skyline. You can return via the Mt Vernon Farm Track.

The details:

  • Time: 25 minutes one way.
  • Start: Carpark at end of Hillsborough Terrace.
  • Finish: Intersection with the Gorge Track.
  • Views of Cashmere, central city and the Southern Alps.
  • Dogs on leash.

While you’re here:

  • Continue further to join the Gorge Track or the Marette Taylor Track.

5. Mitchells Track, Port Hills

Breathe in the air amongst the native trees on Mitchells Track in Christchurch’s Port Hills.

Starting from the carpark opposite the Sign of the Kiwi, you enter the shrub and emerge hitting a steep ridge revealing dramatic views over Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour.

Take a snap for the ‘Gram of these spectacular views and continue following the track which re-enters native bush towards the Bowenvale car park exit.

The details:

  • Time: 30 mins.
  • Start: Bowenvale car park, Summit Road.
  • Finish: Opposite Sign of the Kiwi.
  • Views of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour.
  • Toilets at Sign of the Kiwi.
  • Dogs on leash.

While you’re here:

  • Continue your walk along the many different walking paths around the Crater Rim Walkway. Grab a well-deserved coffee and a muffin from the Sign of the Kiwi Cafe.