Christchurch – the city of cycles. Bikes are definitely a popular mode of transport to explore the city and surrounds. The flat grid-like structure of the city positioned next to the vast network of scenic road and off-road trails up and around the Port Hills is a draw card for many cycling enthusiasts. Cycling is also a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. So pack some lunch and hit the trails for a great family day out.
A sample of tracks for the family include:
Bottlelake Forest Park
An expansive network of forest tracks through 1000 hectares of pine forest, encompassing the area from Burwood through to Spencer Park. The park caters for all ages and abilities of riders offering a range of track lengths from 30 minutes to 2 hours with access points throughout. The mostly flat terrain provides great riding fun. For those wanting to ‘push’ themselves the tracks near the coastline take in the sand hills and can make riding more challenging. Spencer Park is the perfect spot to rest and stretch the legs especially if you’re riding with young ones. The playground at Spencer Park provides a welcomed distraction and an ice cream is a must!
North Hagley Park
Christchurch’s iconic Hagley Park is home to 4.75km of track to gently meander around. Perfect for families with young children who are starting out on balance bikes or learning to cycle. The tree lined avenues and bike paths look stunning in all seasons and are especially striking in spring when the cherry blossoms are in bloom or in autumn with the changing of the leaves. After your cruise around the park enjoy a coffee and bite to eat at one of the many cafés in the central city.
Heathcote River Ride
A fantastic track that follows the Heathcote River from Pioneer Stadium through to the estuary-mouth at Ferrymead. The total track is around 14.82km and meanders alongside the river for a pleasant family bike ride.
Little River Rail Trail
A picturesque ride that follows the former rail route from Hornby to Little River. The 45km trail can be divided into six sections or completed in its entirety. Sections five and six provide great riding options for families with flat off road tracks from Motukarara to Little River, a total of 21km. The track in this section follows the banks of Lake Ellesmere and the shores of Lake Forsyth with the raised track providing spectacular views of the wetlands and lake. Continue on past Kaituna Quarry Reserve, the Kaituna Lagoon and the impressive Kaitorete Spit to finish in Little River. There’s great art and crafts shops and a wonderful café to explore in Little River. For a shorter ride, cycle from Birdlings Flat to Little River, 7km one way.
Bowenvale Traverse Track
The mountain biking track starts about 10m below Victoria Park in a pine forest before travelling cross country through tussock land. The 3km track is easy with some gentle climbs and stunning views over the Canterbury Plains. The track is perfect for those getting into mountain biking.
For more information check out www.chirstchurchnz.com