Christchurch is the perfect outdoor playground with hundreds of walks and biking trails within the city and the Port Hills.
Have you ever thought about walking on the edge of an extinct volcano? Then the Crater Rim walkway is for you! This track runs the length of the Port Hills from Awaroa / Godley Head to Gebbies Pass, and is approximately 28 km long. The walk is divided into different sections, so it's easy to tackle one section at a time. Some of the sections will lead you through native bush, others are along the summit, with stunning views. Don't forget to stop at the Sign of the Kiwi Cafe to refuel: the "boca negra" chocolate slice is irresistible!
The walkway's starting point is at Taylor's Mistake, close to Sumner Village. The track meanders along the coast edge to the top of Godley Head. There is plenty to discover on the way: typical Kiwi baches, old gun emplacements and wildlife. This walk is ideal for families, and the whole loop takes 3 hours return. Make sure to leave time to go for a quick swim at Taylor's Mistake afterwards!
Te Ara Otakaro - Avon River Trail
This walk will take you on a journey from the heart of Christchurch to the sea. The track goes through the residential Red Zone of Christchurch, a part of the city where the houses had to be pulled down after the earthquakes. Nature is slowly taking back this area, and you can observe different native birds and plants. The track ends in New Brighton, a seaside suburb and home of the famous New Brighton Pier. The walk will take 2 hours one way and can be walked either way. If you still have some energy left, add on the 2 km of the new Avon River Promenade to see the new face of the inner city.
Hagley Park is an old Christchurch classic! It is said to be the third biggest park in the world and an all-time favourite with locals and tourists alike. The cherry tree blossoms in spring or the incredible colours in autumn - Hagley Park is a must visit throughout the year! The whole loop is around 10km long and will take around 1.5 hours.
Diamond Harbour is a good 45-minute car ride away from the city centre, but it's quicker to drive to Lyttelton and then take the ferry! All the tracks start from the jetty and are well signposted. A favourite is the Purau Loop: a relaxing 2-hour stroll to Purau Bay and back - the views are amazing! It's also a good spot to observe the kereru - the native New Zealand wood pigeon.