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Level: Intermediate
Length: 40 mi (64.4 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +1,055/1 ft
Total: 20 riders

Mountain Biking Port Hills Tracks

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#325 of 384 mountain bike trails in New Zealand
#11,534 in the world

On a fine still day the Port Hills are magical. To the west is Christchurch city and in the distance the towering snow covered peaks of the Southern Alps. To the east are the blue waters of the Lyttleton Harbour, the crater of this huge ancient volcano. Behind the harbour is the far rim of the crater and the Pacific Ocean.

Summit Road runs along the crest of the Port Hills and is the baseline for several mountain bike tracks which run alongside it. The trails tend to be narrow and concave with rocky patches as they sidle round the hills like sheep tracks without a lot of technical action. They undulate but don't have long climbs and the side exposure is generally not vertiginous. But there is a lot of variation. Here is a brief review - from west to east...

*** Flying Nun Track, 2.3km, advanced, down slope, rock lined berms, swooping curves, jumps, the best...
*** Thomsons shared use track, 1km, intermediate, short, leave it to the walkers and ride up the road...
*** Bowenvale Traverse Track, 3km, easyish, tending level, a few humps, rocks and lava pinches, nice...
*** Mount Vernon Track, 2.4km, intermediate, some rocky, some smooth and flowing, spicy variety...
*** Witch Hill Track, 1km, Intermediate, lava flows, boulders, steep pinch, great views. short and sweet...
*** Castle Rock Track, 1.5km, advanced, some groovy downhill switchbacks, exposure, boulders, great...
*** Mount Pleasant Track 2km, intermediate, up and back for 360 views, flowing, just a few rocky patches...
*** John Britten Track, 1m, easy, short, quite level, pleasant sheep track with some lava, too soon over...
*** Greenwood Park Track, 3km, advanced, some fast and flowing, some rock garden action, wow! ...
*** Godley Head Track, 7km, advanced, steep rocky climb, then great down slope, rock garden action, awesome!...

Several tracks run up and down the slopes of the hill, linking the Summit Road tracks with the city below. Here they are from west to east....
### Crocodile Track, 2km, intermediate, weaves back and forth across steep pasture, nice switchbacks...
### Kennedys Bush Track, 5km, intermediate, grunt up or bomb down, straight 4x4 track...
### Worsleys Track, 4km, intermediate, steep 4x4 track, rutted and part unrideable near top...
### Old Dyers Pass Track, 2.3km, intermediate, mix of singletrack and 4x4 track, only goes part way down the hill...
### Huntsbury Track, 2.5km, intermediate, stays open, 4x4 gravel track, starts half way up the hill, ho-hum...
### Bowenvale Downhill, 2.8km, intermediate, branches off the Huntsbury, fantastic curvy downhill ride...
### Lava Flow Track, 1.3, advanced, gnarly, steep, drops, rocky...
### Mount Vernon Farm Track, 2.6km, intermediate, steady climb-descent on grassy track ...
### Rapaki Track, 3.5, easy, gracefully climbs-descends 300m, best way up from the city...
### Captain Thompsons Track, 3km, intermediate, ride it down not up, technical sections, exposure...
### Anaconda Track, 2km, intermediate, go down not up, fast, fun, technical, berms, swoops, flowing, the best...

First added by Ginny_Tory on May 17, 2013. Last updated May 1, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: yes
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Christchurch drive up Dyers Pass Road to the top or... drive up Evans Pass Road from Sumner or... ride up the Rapaki Track or... ride up the Crocodile from Halswell or... etc
System trails (12)
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Port Hills Tracks Trail map

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Miguel Lopez (on Sep 29, 2019)
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Dusty (on Apr 28, 2020)
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Rider questions

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  • Sam James
    Reviewing Huntsbury Track:

    Another climb trail that does what it needs to do. A little steeper than rapaki, but gets you to the better trails faster.

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  • Sam James

    Really fun trail, some techy rock sections in places but maintains good flow and rewards proficient riders. Watch out for some of the bigger rocks, they could make a mess of your wheels...

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  • Jim Cummings

    Kennedys Bush Track is a four wheel drive track over farmland. It has no particular merit as a mountain bike trail but it does provide access between Halswell and the trails along the Summit Road. It joins onto the Crocodile track at the bottom end. The top is not far along Summit Road from the magical Flying Nun Track.

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  • Jim Cummings
    Reviewing Godley Head Track:

    The Godley Head Track is one of the best on the Port Hills for skilled riders. There is heaps of variety in pace and technicality. It's up on wide open hills with stunning views - a long way from hell!

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  • Jim Cummings
    Reviewing Bowenvale Downhill:

    There is great variety all the way down this formidable trail. There is some easy grassy track, some four wheel drive track, and lots of classy singletrack with interesting technicality. It gets better and better as you go down. It's a shaded valley so does get a bit damp - perhaps best avoided in winter.

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  • Jim Cummings
    Reviewing Anaconda Track:

    Short and sweet - very sweet singletrack - a feast of fast flowing bends and other tasty stuff.
    Incidentally, I was too lost in the moment to stop and take photos of the best bits. Think about taking your camera to fill in the gaps!!!

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  • Jim Cummings

    The Greenwood Park Track is one of several trails that run along the crest of the Port Hills parallel to Summit Road. They are all great trails and this one is one of the best.

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  • Jim Cummings
    Reviewing Huntsbury Track:

    The Huntsbury Track is a four wheel drive track that goes up the Port Hills between Christchurch's Huntsbury suburb and the Summit Road. It's an all-weather track and doesn't close during rain. It makes for a good workout on the way up and a fast ride down. It's a non-technical track used for access.

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  • Jim Cummings

    The best down slope rides on the Port Hills are Anaconda, Bowenvale Downhill and Crocodile.
    All the traversing tracks that parallel the Summit Road are great. The best is the amazing Flying Nun. Godley Head and Greenwood Park are also fantastic.
    The best ride up is Rapaki.
    It's a stunning array of trails with wonderful variety, expansive views, and height - there really is something about looking down on the rest of the world!

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  • Jim Cummings
    Reviewing Mount Vernon Trail:

    On a fine, clear day this trail is food for the soul and endorphins for the body. It's another great link in a chain of awesome trails along the Summit Road.

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  • Jim Cummings

    This trail won't strain your muscles and on a fine day you are bound to feel the magic of the Port Hills - the wide open spaces and the expansive views - as your wheels whir along the smooth flowing track.

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  • Jim Cummings
    Reviewing Rapaki Track:

    I saw bikers going up and down this trail as a fitness ride, but most were going up to Summit Road where the real fun starts on the 40 odd kilometres of great singletrack up there.

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