Looking to try out some new walking tracks or rediscover some favourites as part of your weekend exercise? Visit the Christchurch Gondola where there are some great walks accessible from the base and summit stations!
Bridle Path – a favourite amongst Christchurch locals and used since 1850, the Bridle Path is a great walk with stunning views. The full track between the Gondola and Lyttelton takes around 90 minutes with parking on the Gondola side. You can also choose to walk up or down one half of the path and catch the Gondola the other way (an especially good option for tired little legs!) If ending in Lyttelton catch the public number 28 bus back to the carpark next to the Gondola.
Crater Rim Walkway – this 20-kilometre track runs along the crest of the Port Hills on the rim of an extinct volcano, but shorter sections are accessible to walk from the Gondola’s top station. Either head east towards Evans Pass Road (5.3 kilometres, 3 hours one way) or west towards Rapaki Track (3.4 kilometres, 1.5 hours one way).
Stan Helms Track – a short downhill walk into Lyttelton from the Gondola’s summit station. Head west along the Crater Rim Walkway and take the track after the Bridle Path. The 1 kilometre 30-minute track zigzags down to the end of Harmans Road. From here it is a 1.3 kilometre walk to the closest bus stop to catch the number 28 bus back to the Gondola carpark.
Major Hornbrook Track – another short downhill walk into Lyttelton. From the Gondola’s summit station head east for 400 metres along the Crater Rim Walkway then take the track south for the Major Hornbrook Track. The path meanders for 1 kilometre (30 minutes) down to Ross Terrace. From here you can walk to a nearby bus stop 900 metres away on Winchester Street via Cornwall Road to catch the number 28 bus back to the Gondola carpark.
With so many walking tracks to try out, make sure you pack your walking shoes on your next visit to the Christchurch Gondola!
For maps and details about further tracks, see the Christchurch City Council’s Port Hills Walks brochure online.