05 Apr 2016

Summer might be officially over but you can still get outside and stretch your legs on one of Christchurch's many walking tracks and walkways.

With a new survey out this week showing walking and running now at the top of the list of Kiwis' favourite outdoor pursuits, we thought it would be timely to remind you about some of the wonderful walking tracks in Christchurch and Banks Peninsula.

• The Orongomai Trail takes you through some of the best native forest in the Port Hills. The trail starts and finishes at the Sign of the Bellbird, Kennedys Bush, and takes about 75 minutes to complete.

• Rapaki Track is one of the most popular tracks on the Port Hills for walker and runners and offers fantastic view from the top over Lyttelton Harbour. The track starts at the junction of Rapaki Rd and Centaurus Rd and finishes at the Summit Rd. It will take you about 45 minutes one way. You can return the same way or create a longer loop by returning via Huntsbury Track.

• The Quarry Rim Track starts from the main car park of Halswell Quarry and heads up the hill above the old quarry buildings, showcasing panoramic views of the Southern Alps and the city. It is suitable for all ages and takes about 40 minutes to do the full circuit. Along the way you can learn about the workings and historic features of the quarry, which is believed to be the oldest continually operated quarry in Australasia.

• The Heathcote Towpath circuit takes you along the estuarine salt marshes of the lower Heathcote River and offers extensive views of the Port Hills. The walk is best at mid to low tide as some of the paths can get flooded at high tide. The 4km circuit starts at Gould Crescent, in Heathcote, and takes about 75 minutes to complete.

• The Riccarton Bush walk takes you through the only area of podocarp forest remaining in Christchurch and is suitable for wheelchairs and buggies. The 2km walk starts by Riccarton House and takes about 40 minutes.

• The Travis Wetland Walk starts and finishes at the Beach Rd car park in Burwood and takes you on a loop around the last large freshwater wetland in Christchurch. The 4km walk takes about an hour.

• Panako Walkway is a 40 minute walk within Styx Mill Conservation Reserve, near Northwood, featuring wetlands, ponds and a viewing platform. The walkway starts and finishes at the Hussey Rd car park and is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.

• The Godley Head Walkway showcases some of Canterbury's most spectacular coastal views, a penguin colony, quirky old baches and a slice of New Zealand's military history. The 7km walk starts and finishes at the Taylors Mistake car park and takes about 3 hours.

• The Pegasus Track explores the dune landscape of North Shore and starts at Larnarch St car park and finishes at Broad Park, Waimairi Beach. The track is 2km long and takes about 30 minutes each way.

Find out about other walks and walking groups you can join.