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Rapaki Sugarloaf Return, Canterbury

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Rapaki Sugarloaf ReturnBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Martin Lukes

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

2:15 (Slow)
1:45 (Moderate)
1:20 (Fast)



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From the Wilsons / Centaurus Corner head east on Centaurus Road for abut 600 m to the steep right hander up Rapaki Road. Watch out for mountainbikers as you make your up to the end of the tarseal and the track entrance in pine trees. The pines don't last long as you pop out into tussock.
Follow Rapaki up to, then over the Summit Road. Turn right and summit Mt Vernon. Have a breather; its a great spot. Descend to the road and continue along the Crater Rim Walkway over two small knobs before the final steep East Face climb onto Mt Sugarloaf.
From the trig veer cityward down the spur, over the Summit Road and into Victoria Park. There are a myriad of tracks down into the Bowenvale Valley on your right. The best is taken from near the Vic Park play area and descends in steep zig zags to the valley floor. From here its a fast flat run gravel 4WD to the end of Bowenvale Ave. Zip down the road and follow Centaurus Road back to Fava Cafe as a cool down.

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Features of interest

Rapaki is Christchurch's classic uphill. A social spot. Keep an eye out for the white metal markers identifying where an early settler or two perished in the 19th Century. The volcanic Crater Rim is wonderful scenic backdrop. The Sugarloaf Transmitter Tower will appeal to the engineer types.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 2%

Technical Single Track: 10%

Moderate Single Track: 38%

Easy Single Track: 10%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 10%

Gravel Road: 10%

Sealed Road: 20%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run 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 Strava activity for each

Sign Of The Takahe - Rapaki

Sign Of The Takahe - Rapaki

Length: 13.00km

VKV challenge

VKV challenge

Length: 10.00km

Gondola Gallop

Gondola Gallop

Length: 11.30km

Lava - H.ELL Loop

Lava - H.ELL Loop

Length: 10.30km

Port Hills Spur Challenge!

Port Hills Spur Challenge!

Length: 18.50km

Up Hill Down Valley

Up Hill Down Valley

Length: 10.80km

Vicki Vale

Vicki Vale

Length: 9.25km

Montgomery Loop

Montgomery Loop

Length: 7.90km

The North Faces

The North Faces

Length: 24.80km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Fava Cafe on Centaurus Road is a great place to load up. Right at the Wilsons Road and the Centaurus Rd intersection in St Martins

    Plenty of spots to park up on side streets. Even a Mobil garage if you need the other type of refuelling. Bus stops right at corner.

    5 km

    11 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Easy in fine weather. Always err on side of caution if cloud low and cold winds blowing. The Port Hills in winter must never be taken lightly.

    Generally good.

    Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    At Cafe, Garage, Rapaki Toilet, Victoria Park

    Bowenvale Valley can be slippy in wet conditions

    The odd sheep, mountain-bikers and fast walkers will keep you on your toes.

  • Post run indulgence

    Fava cafe
    Centaurus Road
    Good coffee, nice hangout, excellent cafe food.

    St Martins New World
    Wilsons Road
    All sorts of pre and post delights. Has a cafe too

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See other runs nearby:

Godley Head loop
Lyttelton to Diamond Harbour
Halswell and Kennedys
Summit Walkway
The Bowenvale Elevator
The Gorsetrack Strikes Back
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
A Diamond in the Rough
Port Hills Spur Challenge!
Up Hill Down Valley
The Coffee Run
Pour Some Sugarloaf On Me
Never Trust A Crocodile
Lyttelton Semi-Circle
Hagley Perimeter
Holliss Stairway to Heaven
Diamond, Herbert & Fitzgerald
Barnett Bunker Buster
The Pipeline of Pain
Mt Vernon Farm Track
Vicki Vale
Heathcote River Run - Opawa to Hoon Hay
Christchurch 360 Trail - Sugarloaf Hills Section
Little Learner Loop (Halswell Quarry)
Bird to Bird
Port Hills Protocol
O'Farrells For Shore
The Governator
Heathcote Meander
Spitting Distance
Montgomery Loop
Canterbury Agricultural Park Loop
2 Sugars, 2 Vernons & a Half Shot
Quail Island Looping
The Chairlift Choice
Tussock Hill Ridge
Mt Pleasant Elevator
McLeans Meander
Girdle the Groynes
Governator 2 - Judgement Day
Christchurch 360 Trail - Godley Cliffs Section
Westmorland Wetland Time Trial
Loopy in Siberia
The North Faces
Westmorland Hill Reps
360 Trail - Dunes Wetlands Section
Rocking Gibraltar
Dune Bugging
Hey Sisters!
Living Springs Loop
Springing Around Longhurst
Lady Isaac Loop
The Missing Link
Beer Bum Bluffs
Brooklands for the Birds.
Surf's Up!!!
Styx Pick Me Up
Orton Odyssey
Shoeing the Horse
Tauhinu-Korokio TKO
Double Top
Beginner's Adventure Park Loop
Boulder Dash
Clan of the Cave Runner
Taiora Track
Landfill Lark
Morgans Baa Baa Loop
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Horsing Around
Port Hills 8-Attack
Pinecone Pirate - Waitākiri/Bottle Lake Forest Park
Takahe to Taylors
Tai Tapu - Sacred Boundary
Blackhill Hut Buster

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