View some of Kidz Go New Zealand favourite family-friendly walks and family biking trails in and around Christchurch.
BOTTLE LAKE FOREST PARK
Mountain Bike / Walking Trails
This Kidz Go favourite has it all! Immerse yourself in miles of sandy beaches, walking tracks galore, superb forest mountain bike trails that are easy yet varied and fun, mountain bike terrain park and a recreation area with adventure playground, flying fox, paddling pool, tennis courts, sandy volleyball and BBQ pits. (Spencer Park)
The flat trails are ideal for baby buggies but this area really comes into it’s own as a perfect place to take the kids mountain biking. Try the Pegasus Bay track which skirts the forest, following the beach from Spencer Park to New Brighton’s North Shore. Otherwise discover the maze of fun, winding mountain bike trails that criss-cross the forest. It’s hard to get lost for more than a few moments and you can pick up maps of the forest from the information centre at Spencer Park (Off Lower Styx Road.)
Bike Grade: easy Alternative access and recreation area off Waitikiri Drive.
Picnic / Mountain Bike / Walking Trails
Spencer Park is just 15 minutes drive north from the city centre, right on the beach at Spencerville. Facilities include: BBQ pits, sandy volleyball court, tennis, mini golf, adventure playground, flying fox, toddlers' pool and tons of running around space. It's just a stone's throw from a sandy beach and the popular Bottle Lake Forest Park - a perfect forest for walks and family-suited mountain bike trails. Spencer Park is also right opposite the fantastic Adrenalin Forest - a great outdoor climbing adventure for kids and adults(see our activities section for more information.) If you want to stay on-site, right next door is Spencer Beach Holiday Park. Check our accommodation section for more on this great family accommodation.
Heyders Rd, off Lwr Styx Rd, Christchurch
Mountain Bike Trails
Part of the Waimakariri River Regional Park, the MacLeans Track is a well-built, smooth 10km mountain bike track (now with several kilometers of extra track variations) that is ideal for family biking. There are plenty of twists and turns, bumps and small ups and downs, to make it great fun, without being too technical. Ideal for beginner bikers or family groups! Plenty of parking at the start of the track, and there's also a cabin open at weekends, selling bottled water, drinks, muffins and other goodies. You can even rent bikes (for both kids and adults) and helmets, at the start of the track (weekends only, or by arrangement from On Your Bike - 03 348 1738).
Bike Grade: easy Opposite Orana Wildlife Park, McLeans Island Road, off Johns Road, Christchurch
THE GROYNES PICNIC RESERVE
Note: Dog parks and agility coure located here
Parklands galore – 85 hectares of reserve, streams, lakes, playground, fishing, BBQ spots and walking trails. Just 15 minutes drive from the city centre The Groynes is a perfect place to picnic, feed the ducks or go for a walk. All trails are flat and there are short walks that follow the lakes and streams. Otherwise follow signs for the Waimairi Walkway for an easy 1 – 2 hour return stroll. Fishing is allowed and is definitely kid-friendly – restricted to under 17s.
Look out for organised Family Days and Kids' Fishing Days.
Off Johns Road, near Christchurch Airport
Picnic / Cycle and Fitness Trails / Sports
Expansive parkland (around 160 hectares) in central Christchurch, Hagley Park public reserve is totally flat and a perfect escape from city life, without leaving the city. Drive in off Rolleston Avenue – there’s plenty of parking, a licensed cafÃ© and information centre. Nearby is a large playground, lake and extensive gardens. There are walking, cycling or rollerblading tracks throughout the park and indoor/outdoor Botanic Gardens. Numerous recreation areas provide tennis courts, rugby fields, fitness track, netball courts and cricket pavilion. Look out for open air concerts during summer.
Christchurch City Center Main entrances off Rolleston Avenue or Riccarton Avenue.
RICCARTON HOUSE AND BUSH
An inner city haven – historic house with cafÃ© and toilets on-site, situated on the river bank in extensive grounds. The Riccarton Bush walk is an easy 20 minute walk through protected, ancient native forest – it’s undisturbed and is an interesting window into how Christchurch would have looked to the first settlers. In fact it’s the sole remnant of the kahikatea forest that clothed much of the coastal floodplains. The sound of birds in this pocket of forest is significant. Other than this there’s Riccarton House and Dean’s Cottage to wander through, plus lots of grass area for the kids to play.
HALSWELL QUARRY PARK
Note: Dog park located here
A unique, 55 hectare family-orientated park on the outskirts of Christchurch. The disused quarry makes an interesting (and fenced off) stroll, with its striking amphitheatre of steep, jagged rock walls. There’s plenty of grassy spots and picnic areas to spread out plus walking and bike tracks that wander through woods and orchards. Toilets and water on-site. To get there from Halswell, take Kennedys Bush Road south toward the hills. A marked turnoff at the base of the foothills leads into the park. A lake on the left is surrounded by the new plantings of the Sister Cities' Gardens, and on the right, the abandoned buildings of the quarry are visible.
Picnic / Walks / Mountain Bike Trails
Access to this extensive area of bush is from Dyers Pass Road, opposite the end of Colombo Street. Playground and picnic spot and numerous walking trails, all overlooking the whole city with a backdrop of the Southern Alps. Victoria Park runs into Bowenvale Recreation Reserve, and between them they feature some of the Port Hills best Mountain Bike tracks.
Note: Dog park located here Bike Grade: moderate to hard
Mountain Bike / Walking Trails
Entrance to this 'park' is located on the Summit Road, between the Gondola and Sumner. As you drive up towards the summit from the Sumner direction you'll pass a wooded area on your right and a gate signed Greenwood Park. There's a not-too-steep track that is wide and easy for buggies. Views are panoramic - from one point you can see the Southern Alps, Christchurch City, Sumner, Lyttelton Harbour and the Banks Peninsula! Great for unusual scenic photo angles! The track comes out overlooking Lyttelton township at some old World War II gun enplacements (great for sheltered picnics!). There's also mountain bike tracks through Greenwood Park, which are well-marked, crossing the walking path about half way along.
Summit Road, close to Evans Pass.
Walk grade: moderate, 40 minutes each way.
Bike grade: moderate.
CASS BAY TO MAGAZINE BAY
This easy waterside stroll winds from the Cass Bay playground back to Lyttelton. The path meanders round tiny inlets, including Corsair Bay – a favourite swimming spot with changing rooms and picnic area. You come out at Magazine Bay – follow the marina from here into Lyttelton or take the road or walking path back to Cass Bay.
Walk grade: easy, 30 minutes each way.
DIAMOND HARBOUR: STODDART POINT WALKWAY
If arriving by ferry turn left from the wharf and follow the pathway nearest the sea, rather then walking up the road. Follow the flat path alongside the cliff edge, through natural bush. You come out in the centre of Diamond Harbour village, near Stoddart’s cottage. Features: This walk has a stunning outlook across the harbour and there’s lots of woodland to play in. However, during the first few minutes of the walk the path takes you very close to steep drop offs. Keep children with you for the first section and take extra care if biking. Walk grade: easy, 30 minutes duration
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