Mountain Bike Trails In Canterbury And Beyond
Mountain biking can be an intimidating thing to approach if you haven’t done much of it. But fear not! Christchurch and The Central South Island are filled with flat trails and beginner tracks to satisfy your two-wheeled cravings or get you started on your journey to pro-riding.
Check out these spots to cruise around. We’ve also thrown in some places to rent bikes. Your outdoor adventure is sorted.
St James Cycle Trail, Hurunui
The St James Cycle Trail is the cycling equivalent of one of New Zealand’s Great Walks. It’s a mix of easy to advanced grades, but the majority weaves easily through stunning mountain scenery and pristine waterways. Take on the Homestead Run for an easy day-trippable section of the trail. Check out Hanmer Adventure for bike hires.
The Crater Rim of Port Hills, Christchurch
Ah, the Port Hills, the outdoor playground on the city’s doorstep. Hire a bike (or e-bike to make it a breeze), pick a spot and explore the Crater Rim that weaves its way above the city streets. Access to the top of the hills is either by car to Summit Rd, the chairlift at Christchurch Adventure Park, or hustle up one of the tracks from the city (Rapaki is probably your best bet). Chill does a great hiring deal.
Green runs at CAP, Christchurch
Christchurch Adventure Park is one of the best mountain biking destinations in the country (and one of the world’s only all-season MTB parks…cool right?), so naturally it makes our list. Get here for extremely kid-friendly experiences, including numerous green runs, chairlift access to the top, a free kids loop trail, and of course the epic café at the end. Hire your bikes here too.
Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, Mackenzie
The epic Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail runs from the Southern Alps all the way to the east coast in Oamaru and can take up to 8 days to complete. That’s a fair bit, so we’re suggesting just tackling some of the bits in the Mackenzie region, like the amazing 40km between Braemar Road and Twizel that hugs the edge of Lake Pukaki. Check out stunning mountain views and an insanely blue lake (thanks to glacial flour). If you need a bike or would prefer to take a tour, there are a fantastic range of operators providing bike hire and touring packages.
Mananui Tramline, West Coast
The easy and flat Mananui Tramline is just south of Hokitika and takes in views of Lake Mahinapua from and old logging track. It’s only a few kilometres long so expect an easy ride for you and the kids. The West Coast is stacked with walks and bikeable trails, so do some research. Check out these guys for sweet deals on bike hire.