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A Diamond in the Rough, Canterbury

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A Diamond in the RoughBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Keith Wright

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

4:00 (Slow)
2:45 (Moderate)
2:00 (Fast)



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Navigation is pretty straightforward - keep a constant eye out for the DOC marker posts and you cannot go wrong.
An initial few hundred metres up the road leads you to the first stile and into pine forest and farmland. There's some good climbing to be had before you emerge on to hillside at around three and a half km, from there a relatively quick step to the Packhorse. Take the marked track to Mount Herbert shelter, and the side track to the summit.

There are a couple of very solid climbing km soon on the way and a couple of km that are quite technical - take care especially if you are tiring. Once at the summit its a pretty solid downhill for the next 8.5km to Diamond Harbour and a well earned coffee and meal.

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Features of interest

Sign of the Packhorse is one of Harry Ell's original stone teahouses on the route from Godleys Heads to Akaroa that was intended to be the Summit Road.
Fellow mammals to be seen include a good number of hares and the odd rabbit or two in the initial three or four km (if you are there at the right time of the day) and the magnificent mob of healthy Angus cattle on the Mount Herbert descent.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 88%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 2%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Park at the top of Gebbies Pass Road in the parking area just past/before the Summit Road intersection (depending which direction you come from). The trail starts from a closed section of road.

    Parking for about a dozen cars. Don't leave valuables in car if leaving overnight as hoons seem to enjoy breaking into vehicles here ... okay during the day. However given this is a one way trip best to find some supportive friend to drop you there - and leave you whilst laughing.
    Getting home is easy and fun. Take your metro card for a quick ferry ride back to Lyttleton and then the number 28 bus into the city. Ferries generally leave on the hour - but check this out using google or the metroinfo site before you leave just to be sure. http://www.metroinfo.co.nz/Pages/default.aspx

    23 km

    36 minutes



  • Staying Safe



    Lightweight fleece top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival bag, Cellphone, Map.

    There are tanks at Packhorse and Mount Herbert Shelter. It is likely these are rainwater filled, so be on the safe side and take your own.

    Closed for lambing 8 August - 15 October.

  • Post run indulgence

    Preserved Eatery
    2 Waipapa Avenue, Diamond Harbour
    This place was open on New Year's day. Blue cod and chips went down a treat and the coffee was good. A post run beer is also an option. The views from the back deck are great, letting you view Mount Herbert and enjoy the fact you've just descended from its peak.

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


See other runs nearby:

Godley Head loop
Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour
Halswell and Kennedys
Summit Walkway
The Bowenvale Elevator
The Gorsetrack Strikes Back
Rapaki Sugarloaf Return
Sign Of The Takahe - Rapaki
Port Hills Nearly Half Marathon
Horse Longitudes
Horse Latitudes
Sumner Half Heads
Whigs' Flying Fifty (WFF)
VKV challenge
Banks Peninsula Ultra Beer Run
Bottle Lake Blue Loop
Gebbies to Packhorse Romp
Hagley Figure of 8
Bowenvale / Huntsbury Loop
Avon City Loops
Avon - Source to Surf
Okuti to Hilltop Amble
Gondola Gallop
Orton Bradley Loop
The ATH (Around The Harbour)
Lava - H.ELL Loop
Travis Wetland Loop
Punk Rock Assault On Windsor Castle
The Guv'nor & His Birds
The Crater Rim
Lava Lite
Takahe Half
North New Brighton Spit
Mt Pleasant Trig
God's Con - Rehab Road
Gang of Four
Dog Sniffing Rhythms - Harbour Crusin'
Trinity - Harbour Bruisin'
Gates Of The East
Hunting Out A Gorge-ous Loop
Lyttelton Dress Circle
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Up Hill Down Valley
The Coffee Run
Pour Some Sugarloaf On Me
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Hagley Perimeter
Holliss Stairway to Heaven
Diamond, Herbert & Fitzgerald
Barnett Bunker Buster
The Pipeline of Pain
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Little Learner Loop (Halswell Quarry)
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