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Lyttelton Dress Circle, Canterbury

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Lyttelton Dress CircleIntermediate

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info

Trail Information

9.00km

645m

645m

 

Canterbury

Christchurch

Urban fringe

Loop

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops
Volcanic

Intermediate

2:00 (Novice)
1:30 (Intermediate)
1:00 (Elite)

-15.2%

+14.7%

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Description

This is kind of a well kept secret....but the secret is out now! Come and run the crest of hills above Lyttelton Township and discover all manner of treats, and then sit back with a cold one at the finish and look back up to admire your handiwork.

Starting in Lyttelton township outside the library, head west along London St to Bridle Path Road. Drop onto Cunningham Terrace to access Lyttelton West and then head right and up hill on Voelas Rd to reach Harmans Rd. Head straight up Harmans to a sweeping corner where you will pick up the Stan Helms Track, where the LPG Pipeline comes down off the hill. Stan Helms was a former Lyttelton Councillor and Deputy Mayor- hope over the style and begin your steady zig zagging trail in his name as it heads up into the hills. Stan Helms gradually steepens towards the top with a mix of stairs and short breathers, and eventually you top out where the Bridle Path crests the Summit Road.

Catch your breath and then pick up the Crater Rim Trail behind the Pioneer Women's shelter, and head towards the Mt Cavendish Gondola- the high point of this circuit. Stay on the Lyttelton side of the hill behind the Gondola building and follow the 360 Trail/ Crater Rim Track down to a saddle under Mt Pleasant.

Next is one of the highlights of this run, head towards the base of the bluffs right in front of you and you'll pick up the gem that is the Mt Pleasant Bluffs track. The next couple of km's is a wonderland of native bush, dripping rock overhangs and nice technical undulating trail. Its relatively hard work along here but well worth it. Mind the odd stinging nettle and gorse bush.

Once you emerge from the Bluffs track get back on the Crater Rim track east of the Gun Emplacements. Follow down the hill until you reach a style. DON'T hop the fence, instead you want to pick up an unmarked but fairly obvious trail that heads out along the ridge that juts out east of Lyttelton Township. Follow this trail down and round rock outcrops, largely staying on the ridge for a wonderful decent. Eventually you'll reach the new Uramau mountain bike track which you can use to descend back down to the top of Gilmour Tce. Swing around to Randolph Terrace and descend the stairs of Watsons Lane down to Sumner Road to access Lyttelton township and a well earned beverage.


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Features of interest

Mt Pleasant Bluffs and native bush
Sweeping views of Lyttelton Harbour and Christchurch City


Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 20%

Sealed Road: 10%


Route Data

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start/ Finish on the main street of Lyttelton shops

    Bus service runs from town to Lyttelton if needed. Plenty of parking otherwise

    13 km

    19 minutes

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Moderate.

    Take care not to miss the start of the Bluffs track at the saddle. Don't ascend mt pleasant on the crater Rim Trail, this will make you miss the best section of all under the bluffs.
    The section back down into Lyttelton from the Gun Emplacements is not formally marked, but is an obvious easy to follow trail along the ridgeline

    Generally good.

    Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone, Map.

    BYO

    Muddy after rain, especially under the bluffs. Being the Port hills, expect some wind from some direction most days- can be pretty cold and wild in a winter southerly.

    A few prickly gorse and stinging nettles under the bluffs, but nothing too serious.

  • Post run indulgence

    Lyttelton Coffee Co
    London St
    lytteltoncoffee.co.nz
    Great coffee

    Wunderbar
    London St
    wunderbar.co.nz
    Great quirky bar overlooking the port

    Civil and Naval
    London Street
    civilandnaval.co.nz
    Great craft beer

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