Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done

Mt Fitzgerald & Mt Sinclair

Akaroa, Canterbury

Submitted by Ian Pendle

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 20 ?

Gnarl Factor: 16 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Open farmlands

Open tussock/grasslands

Open ridges/tops

Run Makeup


Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.8%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.0%


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Estimated Times to Run







Summary: Climb up through Montgomery Park Scenic Reserve and then along the tops on a well-marked 4WD track through bush and tussock along the "Double Fenceline" track to the summits of Mt Sinclair and Mt Fitzgerald. Return via the same route.

Starting at the Summit road entrance to the Montgomery Park reserve take the obvious DOC track which winds up steadily through forest and regenerating bush. There are good views of Akaroa from some sections of the well-worn track. The track eventually turns and climbs steeply up a gap in the bluffs, over boulders which can be very wet and slippery for a day or so after rain. It quickly reaches open tussock tops and an obvious 'Track' sign where you turn right to climb onto 'Rocky Peak' on a short piece of single track about 250 metres from initially reaching the tussock top.
From Rocky Peak drop down onto the obvious and well-marked (and poled) 4WD track and traverse across the tops passing through the Whatarangi and Mt Sinclair scenic reserves always following the 4WD track. (Note: a slight detour of the track is needed to reach the summit of Mt Sinclair at 844M - turn off main track at the highpoint on obvious track. Return back to 4WD track the same way).
Continuing NW along the 4WD track from Mt Sinclair eventually bring you to a saddle just before Mt Fitzgerald where a stile and choice of route soon presents itself. Either follow the poled route which traverses to the right of the obvious summit up steady a 4WD track - or be slightly more adventurous and take the more challenging direct route through the bush by climbing over the stile and follow the trail through the ancient bush where there are forest remnants of kahikatea, matai, and tōtara.
Both routes lead to the summit eventually, where the views are grand in all directions.
Return via the same route back down to the start or you could continue onwards to Mt Herbert along the 'Te Ara Pātaka Trail' to extend your options for a longer run along the tops. (Not described here).
Finally note that most of the 4WD track is in open country and is very exposed with very little water along the way - so take enough to last the run and be prepared for bad weather at any time of the year.

This trail includes the peaks Mount Fitzgerald and Mount Sinclair (Banks Peninsula).

Lots of old totara remnants and a huge forked lowland tōtara in Montgomery Park Reserve which is estimated to be 2,000 years old and measures 8.5 metres around its trunk.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Buses available from Christchurch. Stopping at Hill Top Tavern - about 600Metres from start of run.

Limited parking on side of road. Enough for 3 or 4 cars max.

19 km

21 minutes




Generally good.

Waterproof leggings, Thermal leggings, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map

Very scarce and limited. Take your own supply

Steep track over bluffs in Montgomery Park Reserve is up a small stream and could be very wet during or immediately after heavy rain.

Hill Top Tavern
600 Metres from Start point on main State Highway
Very convenient Scenic location Sell beer.

Trail Legend

Rebecca Sunderland

Rebecca Sunderland

has completed Mt Fitzgerald & Mt Sinclair once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Beautiful views. My map reading is rubbish so had a bit of trouble finding the actual summits - neither are actually on the track. Mt Sinclair has a trig which helps 😊

Kamala Hayman

February 6, 2023

Fantastic views to be had throughout the run. A missed trick on the GPX file, when you come through rocky point, don’t drop left down the 4wd track. Instead follow the poled route past the cell towers that then drops you down some great bush with more Totara and (if you’re lucky) some outstanding Bellbird song. Relinks to the GPX a bit further on once back out in the open.

Simon Dunlop

April 18, 2021

Great views looking North when you get to Mt Fitzgerald. Lots of climbs along the way with a final climb near the end that was a stroll for me today. Lots of bees out too so keep an eye out.

John OConnell

January 7, 2021

Peter's review just about covers it. Only things I would add -The totara near the start is something special and definitely worth a stop / visit in its own right.The description is correct... the start of the track (in the bush) is very slippery after rains!

Matt Halverson

June 7, 2020

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Overlapping Trails

These overlap with this trail to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate activity for each.

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