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The Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Christchurch

If you want to get your sweat on while enjoying incredible views, look no further than Banks Peninsula in Christchurch. With sights extending from the Southern Alps to the sea, lush native bush and hidden bays - you can’t go wrong with any of these fantastic walks.

Crater Rim: This track extends the length of the Port Hills from Godley Head to Gebbies Pass and gives spectacular views of Lyttleton Harbour which is an extinct volcano! Want an extra grind? Try starting from the bottom of the Rapaki Track and head up east toward Mt Cavendish Saddle which has been touted as the most interesting section of the track.

The Bridle Path: Walk in the footsteps of the British Settlers who arrived in Lyttelton Harbour in 1850. Be prepared, this 5km walk is a steep one but the view from the top is worth it. If you started from the city side of the track, once you reach the summit you’ll descend into the harbour and from there you can explore Lyttelton township and grab a bite to eat at one of the many great cafes.

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Godley Head: This walk is one of our favourite walks in Canterbury. The track is around 3 hours return from Taylors Mistake and has amazing coastal views. On a good day you may spot dolphins, seals or whales playing in the blue green waters of the harbour. You can explore the military buildings and gun turrets left behind from World War II and visit the colourful old batches in Boulder Bay.

Quail Island: Accessible only by boat… or kayak if you’re the adventurous type – this historic island was once a former leper colony. On your walk around the island you can visit the ships' graveyard and the quarantine barracks, as well as enjoy swimming and water skiing beaches and a bird-watching barricade. The easy grade makes these walks suitable for small children and family groups. All walks start from the ferry jetty.

Harry Ell Track: This track is located in Victoria park and was named after naturalist and visionary, Harry Ell, without whom we would not have so many amazing public reserves in the Port Hills. This super easy track winds and leads you up through changing vegetation to a perfect view over the city to the Southern Alps. Plus, there's the Sign of the Kiwi at the top providing great coffee and amazing views to sip it over.


Heartland Hotel Cotswold is located on the outskirts of the CBD and is the perfect base for you next stay in Christchurch.

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