The Port Hills are one of the best-loved landscapes of Christchurch. The tussock grasslands and rugged rock out-crops, contrast the flatness of the Canterbury Plains. Remnants of podacarp forest are reminders of the past.
People enjoy the Port Hills in many different ways, from scenic drives to picnic lookouts. Walking, running, mountain biking and road biking are all very popular. Botanists explore the crater rim forests, rock climbers dangle down the sheer volcanic bluffs, and paragliders soar high over the tussock slopes. There are permanent orienteering courses set up, great places from which to launch model planes, and many a photogenic view and rock.
The Christchurch City Council manages 31 of the 39 reserves on the Port Hills. Other reserves are run by the Department of Conservation, privately or by trusts.
Christchurch City Council Port Hills (and Victoria Park) track status is updated every few days, more often when weather is variable. Always check the status here before you head out. Some tracks (like Rapaki and Kennedys Bush) rarely ever close, others can suffer greatly in the rain and are damaged by riding on them when wet.
Track type/distance summary
Total number of tracks for Port Hills: 34
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