Huntsbury Track to Crater Rim

The lovely autumn weather set the scene for our 16 walkers to begin the 12.7km walk about 9.30am.  The original plan was to go up the Huntsbury Track and then onto Te Poho o Tamatea, a hill looking down on Lyttleton Harbour and the township of Rapaki.  However we found on arrival that the landowners have closed this hill track to walkers and rock climbers.  So we carried on along the Crater Rim before descending via the Bowenvale Mountain Bike Track  and the Mt Vernon Farm Track.

 

As it is school holiday time, we were able to walk through the school grounds where Lindsay volunteers to help children with their gardening skills.  We admired the success the children had with their extensive plantings, aided by the knowledgeable volunteers.

 

Through the residential area of Huntsbury

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Kennedys Bush Track to Sign of the Bellbird 2018

What luck that we were able to do our planned walk up Kennedys Bush Track, which opened only four days ago! It had been closed for more than a year, so that the felling of burnt trees could occur after the Port Hills fires in February 2017.  We walked up the track to the Summit Road, then took the Holdsworth Track to The Sign of the Bellbird, a trip of 14km (return). Our 13 walkers observed some big changes on the Kennedys Bush Track, with areas previously tree-covered now laid bare.

Ready to go, outside the historic Singlemen’s Quarters in Halswell Quarry Park

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Bridle Path to Lyttelton via Crater Rim and Major Hornbrook Track

Our nine walkers started at The Christchurch Gondola, where the Bridle Path begins. We were expecting a cloudy day of around 16C for our Port Hills walk, however we got a bit more cloud than we had bargained for! Our planned walk to the gun emplacements and to Lyttelton via Brenchleys Farm Track was cut short by weather conditions.  Instead we turned off the Crater Rim early, and walked to Lyttelton via Major Hornbrook Track, then visited the Lyttelton Timeball while in the town.  We ascended 350m during our 6.3km walk, most of the height gained on the steep Bridle Path.

 

Early on the  Bridle Path

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Port Levy Saddle to Rod Donald Hut and beyond

Although our nine walkers had planned for a hot day (based on the forecast), we started our  walk with jackets on and hoods up.  There was a strong easterly wind and there was mist swirling around. Our plan was to walk from Port Levy Saddle to Mt Fitzgerald on Te Ara Pataka (Summit Walkway) with a deviation to the Rod Donald Hut.  Because of the deviation and the weather, we did not quite make it to Mt Fitzgerald.  The whole 11.2km walk took just over four hours, including stops, with the deviation down to the hut taking around 25 minutes (one way).

 

Leaving Port Levy Saddle

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