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Beer Bum Bluffs, Canterbury

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Beer Bum BluffsIntermediate

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info

Trail Information

9.50km

530m

530m

 

Canterbury

Christchurch

Urban fringe

Loop

Very hilly

Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops
Volcanic

Intermediate

2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)

-13.6%

+14.0%

Note the rock fall signs, but don't worry these tracks are well maintained and regularly used by the locals

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Description

Park up at the trail head. Note the sign about rockfalls, but don't worry as the trails are well maintained and looked after by an awesome group of local volunteers.

Head up the few sets of stairs and zig zags until you reach a junction. Don't keep going up here, this is where you come back down later - unless you are doing the loop in reverse. Take the right turn to into the old quarry. Pass a seat and a bunch of kids' swings and carry on sidling above the houses. After a while leap the over a stile and hum along a few switchbacks and gain some more height. This is great trail running and you'll pass the sign for the Beer Bum Track - follow this.

The trail does a wide swing around the side of the valley well above Heathcote. Lovely sweeping views out over Christchurch here. Keep trucking on what is now called Morgans Track all the way round, under the gondola and around to the Bridle Path. Head up the hill here via the infamous Pipeline Track and grovel all the way to the top of the hill on the old Summit Road.

At the top of Pipeline head along the old Summit Road, which is now forever closed to traffic. Look out for bikes while you enjoy the sweeping views. Carry on up the road until you cross a cattle stop by some rock climbing sites. Here you'll pick up the John Brittan shared use trail and follow this onto the Kenton Track, which drops you down to the houses at the top of Mt Pleasant.

Keep going on the Kenton track as it traverses the top of the bluffs. Awesome technical trails here all the way to the top of the Heathcote Quarry Trail which you follow back down to the start, again noting but not worrying about the rockfall signage. The track is good, and well looked after. Take care on this steep often slippery descent - it's a good idea to have your grippiest footwear on for this section. Could be especially treacherous in the wet.


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Features of interest

Old Heathcote quarry site; The infamous Pipeline; Christchurch Gondola; Superb views


Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 40%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 10%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%


Route Data

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  • Access

    Park up on Bridle Path Road right at the track entrance.

    The Lyttelton Bus gets you within a block or two if you don't have a car, or you could get off the bus and the Gondola base station and start the loop part way round

    11 km

    18 minutes

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Moderate.

    Don't drop into the houses on the side trails - other than that it's pretty intuitive.

    Perfect throughout.

    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    There's a tap at the foot of the bridle Path if you need it, small diversion down to reach it.

    Muddy in sheltered shady parts in winter or when rain has been about.

    Take care above the bluffs, and don't rush down the final descent

  • Post run indulgence

    Heathcote Valley Inn
    2 Flavel St, Heathcote
    http://valleyinntavern.co.nz/
    Great little pub

    Christchurch Gondola Top Station
    Top of Mt Cavendish
    https://www.christchurchattractions.nz/christchurch_gondola/
    Great views, food and beverages

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