Bridle Path

Walk in historic footsteps – and get fit – on this route constructed in 1850 for Canterbury's first European settlers travelling between Lyttelton and Christchurch.

Start Car park at the foot of the Gondola, Heathcote
Finish Bridle Path Road, Lyttelton
Distance 2.4km
Time 1.5 hours one way
Toilets Lyttelton
Dogs Must be kept on a leash

The trail starts in Heathcote at the car park between the Gondola and the Lyttelton tunnel portal. Be prepared for a good workout as it is a steep walk but the views from the summit are well worth the effort.

As you walk up you will see what remains of Castle Rock to the west and the massive boulders strewn down the hillside in the Christchurch earthquakes. There are a number of memorial seats on the way up and a stone shelter at the top to commemorate the pioneer women of Canterbury.

Pause at the Summit Road to enjoy the panoramic view over Lyttelton Harbour with Banks Peninsula's highest peak, Mt Herbert (Te Ahu Pataki) rising above the small settlement of Diamond Harbour.

From here you can head back the same way, pick up the Crater Rim Walkway in either direction or continue on to Lyttelton. The track to Lyttelton descends steeply before joining up with Bridle Path Road.

On Saturdays, you can visit the popular Lyttelton Farmers Market. Catch the 28 Bus back through the tunnel to Heathcote near the Bridle Path car park.

An alternative walk is to catch the Gondola up to Mt Cavendish and walk down.

Get ready for this track using Plan My Walk(external link) by the NZ Mountain Safety Council. You can find track alerts, weather forecasts, trip reviews and a packing list, so you are set for your adventure.