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Christchurch boasts 60 kilometres of cycleways and shared trails, meaning there’s a path to explore from most parts of this humming city. If you haven’t brought your own bike along on your visit, there are several options for hiring one. Save money, save the planet and join us as we explore Christchurch from the saddle.
City centre to University of Canterbury campus – 6km
This is a fab ride for the whole family, with a couple of must-see, must-do places where you can hit the pause button and enjoy Mother Nature along the way. From the Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum or the Christchurch Art Gallery, don your helmet, jump on your bike and make tracks through the sprawling splendour of Hagley Park. Follow the cycle trail to Mona Vale for a wander through the majestic sprawling grounds, and take a moment to ponder the meaning of life under one of the ancient oak trees. Next up on the trail you’ll find Riccarton Bush, which if you’re there on a Saturday is the place to experience one of the city’s great farmers’ markets. Grab a tasty handmade treat to enjoy down by the river for an idyllic break on your journey. Take a stroll through the tranquil ancient native forest filled with towering kahikatea trees before jumping back in the saddle and heading to the tree-lined cycleways through the university campus.
Worcester Street to Charlesworth Reserve – 4.5km
Before kicking off your journey in Linwood, a hearty brunch at our fave local café Under The Red Verandah is a must to keep your motor running as you pedal from Worcester Street towards Stanmore Road. Sail past the Tiny Shops Village to admire the gardens, children’s play space and, of course, the tiny shops in this Green Lab community project. The cycleway takes you through Linwood Park, down Linwood Avenue and then to Charlesworth Reserve, which will soon connect with the Coastal Pathway. Now a lush home to native birds filled with over 100,000 trees and shrubs, this peaceful tidal wetland has plenty of walkways to allow you to commune with nature.
Truckers Road to Kilmarnock Street – 5.5km
If you are staying on the north side of the city, the route along the railway line is a popular one that ends at Mona Vale, or you can continue through North Hagley Park into the central city if you’re up for some café hopping and a dose of retail therapy. For a spot of lunch, pop in to Mona Vale Homestead and Pantry. Get there via an off-road cycleway that’s shared by walkers and joggers, and continue on the Uni-Cycle cycleway. It connects up with the Northern Line and takes you all the way to Riccarton Bush, Hagley Park and beyond.
South Hagley Park to Springs Road – 11km
Glide through South Hagley Park and the historic Church Square in Addington to Brougham Street, where the cycleway runs parallel to the Southern Motorway for easy connections to sports hub Ngā Puna Wai. Be rewarded for your pedalling efforts with lunch at any of the many cafés and restaurants in Addington.
City Centre to Northlands Shopping Centre – 5km
From the city centre, head north on Colombo Street through St Albans to Edgeware Village, where you can get some traditional and beautifully presented Japanese cuisine at Tomi Japanese Restaurant. If you’ve an eye for a bargain or an old-skool aesthetic, snap up some vintage duds and retro collectibles at Etcetera. From there it’s on to Rutland Street and past Rugby Park (home of the Crusaders rugby team). For a spot of retail therapy, end your ride at Northlands Shopping Centre. If you have the energy after all that pedalling, drop in to the Graham Condon Recreation and Sports Centre. Take a dip in the pool or hit the machines for a serious workout.
Ferrymead Bridge to Moncks Bay – 3.5km
The warmer months invite carefree bike rides along the causeway, which has been resurfaced and replanted, from Ferrymead Bridge to Moncks Bay. Stop off at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre for an aerial yoga class or stock up on fresh veges and local produce at the Saturday farmers’ market from 9:30am to 12:30pm. Head to Redcliffs Village where you can pick up some quality meat at the butchers, a stunning spring bouquet from the local florist or pop into The Children’s Bookshop for the best range of beautiful books for younger ones. For a sailing lesson, the Christchurch Yacht Club has classes for kids and adults as well as affordable family membership. If you’re in the mood for a stroll along the beach and a delish artisan ice cream from Utopia Ice, continue on just around the corner to Sumner.
City Centre to Halswell Domain – 8.5km
Start at the Antigua Boat Sheds, where if you’re not in a rush you can hire a canoe or kayak and enjoy a relaxing meander down the Avon. Back in the saddle, ride south on Antigua Street towards Moorhouse Ave then follow the cycle trail across Brougham Street and onto Strickland Street, past the Christchurch South Community Gardens. Turn right into Roker Street and continue until it merges with Sparks Road then follow all the way to Halswell Domain, home to the Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers’ wonderful miniature railway (every Sunday 1 – 4 pm, weather dependent). The final stage of the cycleway – from Halswell Domain to Te Hāpua and Victors Road – opened in October 2019.
City Centre to The Tannery – 3.5km
The addition of the Ferry Road cycleway means the Heathcote Expressway is now rideable from the central city through to The Tannery in Woolston, where you can feast on some heavenly pastries at Bellbird Baked Goods followed by a spot of shopping at Recycle Boutique, EnCompass, Cosi Fan Tutte and Uncommon, among others. Start your journey in the central city and head for Ferry Road. Follow the cycleway along Wilsons Road and Charles Street, then follow Mackenzie Avenue to Woolston and on to The Tannery.
Pages Road to Cambridge Terrace – 11km
This shared-use trail starts at the Pages Road bridge in New Brighton and takes cyclists right through the residential red zone and along the Avon River before popping out at Fitzgerald Ave. To begin your journey, load your bike on a Yellow Line bus to New Brighton and get off just before the Pages Road bridge. You’ll be hungry and thirsty by the time you make it to Fitzgerald Ave, so park up at Pomeroy’s for a cheeky pint before carrying on down Cambridge Terrace to the central city.
If you need to hire some bikes, head to Action Bicycle Club in Walker Street or Chill – Explore With Us on Durham Street North. Action Bicycle Club has city, mountain-bike and e-bikes for hire, while Chill offers city bike tours, beyond the city tours, and bike hire. If you’ve really got the bug, check out the dream bikes and gear combos available from Bespoked Cycles.