Heathcote towpath

COVID-19 update on parks and tracks

The Government is asking for everyone to stay at home. Their advice is that you can go for a walk or exercise outdoors for a short time, and to stick to simple walks or exercise spots close to home. 

When you are out, you must stay two metres away from anyone who is not in your household.

Parks and cemeteries are open for pedestrian access only, and where possible we have closed off park car parks.  Please do not use any play equipment or exercise equipment.

The following are closed:

  • Public toilets
  • Playgrounds, play equipment or exercise equipment in parks
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • Car parks within parks are closed for vehicle access
  • Visitor and information centres, i.e. Bottle Lake Forest and Travis Wetland
  • The Spencer Park animal area
  • Fenced dog parks, including Horseshoe Lake, The Groynes and Styx Mill Reserve. All other parks are available to exercise dogs in
  • All Council-owned sports facilities e.g clubrooms

Heathcote towpath. Start: End of Gould Crescent, Heathcote.

Finish: Ferry Road or Settlers Crescent.

Distance: 4 km.

Time: 1 hour 15 minutes return.

Dogs: Must be kept on a leash around the estuary.


From the end of Gould Crescent walk along the Heathcote River and follow the grassy banks downstream to Tunnel Road. There is a concrete path under the bridge, which can be taken at mid-to-low tide but can get very slippery with river silt.

On the other side is a bollard monument indicating that the early coastal vessels used to harbour here at what became known as Stream Wharf from 1856. A trail heads downstream with native plantings shielding busy Ferry Road. The path swings around the back of the factories on Settlers Crescent with excellent views of the Port Hills.

Footbridges cross small tidal inlets and the path passes a viewing platform before leading around to the well positioned bird hide. The path continues along a line of macrocarpa trees beside a row of factories and goes over a low mound to an information platform opposite Ferrymead Historic Park. This was the site of the first European ferry across the river in 1851.

Retrace your steps back along the towpath.

Map Listing