Off Topic: Completing The Christchurch 360 Trail

Today I completed a journey that I started on December 30th 2021 – The Christchurch 360 Trail, an amazing loop around the city divided into eight segments showcasing the best diversity of the Canterbury environment.

I’ve written a detailed blog for each of the eight segments that you can read here which contains videos and photos. My aim was to complete it entirely in the summer of 2021-22 but for a variety of reasons, including some knee surgery, I could not and needed to wait until Spring 2022 to for the final section. On reflection, this was not a bad thing as it allowed me to experience the different seasons of our beautiful city.

Whilst intended to be a walking/hiking trail, I actually rode my bike on 5 of the 8 segments which certainly allowed me to complete some the trail faster (two of those rides I did two consecutive segments in one day).

My favourite segments were probably the first (Godley Cliffs) and the last (Sugarloaf Hills) with a close third being the Dunes Wetlands. Interestingly, these were the three that I walked suggesting that the slower pace and more immersive experience of walking could have contributed to the overall enjoyment. However, I’d also suggest the spectacular views from the Port Hills of Lyttleton Harbour, elevated views of Christchurch City, and out to the Pacific Ocean are what really secure these as my favourites.

Again, you can read and see the individual segment posts in detail here but as a snapshot, here is one photo from each segment as a teaser:

Godley Cliffs

View down into Taylors Mistake

Estuary Marshes

Looking back to the Port Hills over the Estuary, knowing I’d walked along the hills as part of this Christchurch 360 Trail

Dunes Wetlands

Looking up to the sky from deep within Bottle Lake Forest

Brooklands Lagoon

My new eMTB powered me through some very boggy ground near the lagoon on a beautiful calm morning

Waimakariri Braids

Under a cloudy sky, the unique braiding of the Waimakariri river is evident

Avonhead Gardens

The stunning Deans House in Riccarton Bush was a highlight of this segment

Opawaho Divide

A quintessentially Canterbury sky

Sugarloaf Hills

These yellow flowers were everywhere on this segment of the trail and formed a beautiful foreground for the view down into Lyttleton Harbour


Completing a journey is always a satisfying feeling. This one required some determination and focus and a great enabler (thanks to my wife who dropped me off and picked me up from the segments I walked and she also accompanied me on two segments by bike). Life is busy and there are many distractions, but being able to walk or bike around the entirety of my city over multiple days was a real privilege and was a great way to recharge my batteries and invigorate me.

I highly recommend this trail to anyone with moderate fitness and a desire to see some new parts of Christchurch.

I am always keen to discuss what I've written and hear your ideas so leave a reply here...

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