Hey Team, Badger here!
I hear you are interested in exploring the Port Hills a bit more... well, you have come to the right place as there is absolutely, no doubt, that the Port Hills is my favourite place to have fun with my Dad, Rocky from Further Faster.
Here are my top five tracks to sniff and run along. If you see me on the trail make sure you stop and say Woof!
Crater Rim Walkway and Godley Head Loop.
I really liked the standard Godley Head Loop, with the cliffs, birds, and seals out in the water... but then one day we added in the back of the Crater Rim Walkway and it was mint! We start and finish at Taylors Mistake, hug the ocean side tracks on the loop and use the new link track off the side of Anaconda on the way back.There is lots of wildlife here, even penguins I have been told! So I stay on the lead around here.
Coast track, Lyttleton to Cass bay and up to Pony Point.
Trails and beaches (check the time of year... sometimes I am not allowed there). From Lyttleton, near the new marina, run along the Coast Track through Corsair Bay and along to Cass Bay. Then I like to head up the short but steep steps to Pony Point, and loop back down to the beach through the Gum trees. Here I can grab a drink from the tap and jog back or sometimes swim! Note the council has time restrictions for when I am allowed on the beach - so best to check those so I don't get in trouble! If I do get wet, I love my special towel to clean me up a bit before I jump back in the truck.
Victoria Park, Thompsons Track and down Harry Ells Track.
Starting at the Victoria Park Dog Park, I get to say hello to all my dog buddies! After a mooch in here I like to head up the 4wd track in Victoria Park (which is where we go on the Run To Remember!! I love getting some training in!). Once at the top by the Summit Road I head down Thompsons Track. If I am lucky I get a treat at Sign of the Kiwi before we check out the views along Harry Ells track on the way back to the car.
Mt Ada and Ellas Track
This is on the quieter side of the Port Hills. Head up to Mt Ada from the Summit Road, it is a great spot for a sunrise stroll. You can see the entire harbour from here and the sun rising over the ocean! You can turn around from the top, head back down to the Crater Rim Track and have a wee stroll around Ellas Track too. This is a short but sweet loop, but you can make it longer by adding on some of the Crater Rim. You can always start down the bottom at Haslwell Quarry too! That makes for a long walk so I like to carry some water and snacks..
The Rapaki & Mt Vernon Loop.
This is a classic. Great Views, nice climb and a good few km’s to get some fitness under my belt (and belly!) Make it a real mission and climb to the summit of Mt Vernon! There are a couple of false summits… keep going until the top. It is worth it!! From the Mt Vernon Car Park, there are a couple of wee alleys between the streets that can short cut you to Rapaki Track to save heading out to Centaurus Road... go have a sniff and you will find them! This is a really popular trail, so I wear my harness on this one in case I get too excited with all the new people and smells!
My dad used the AllTrails App to find these trails on a map, and penned in his favourite routes in red. BUT I found the trails in real life by just going out and exploring!
All these trails require us dogs to be on a leash or under effective control. We have a load of great gear to go hiking or running with your dog, you can check it out here.
Some times it is lambing season and the trails might be closed, that’s OK - there are loads of other places to explore!