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Sign Of The Takahe - Rapaki, Canterbury

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Sign Of The Takahe - RapakiBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Mark Rigby

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only

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

Beginner - Intermediate

1:50 (Slow)
1:20 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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Run starts at the Sign of the Takahe. From here head 200m up Dyers Pass Rd and cross over to the left hand side and you will come across the start of Harry Ell Track. Follow this track for approx 3.2km. At the end of the track you come to Summit Rd. Turn right and run down 100m to the Sign of the Kiwi.

Here you need to look left and you will see a sign showing Sugarloaf Reserve. Enter the track here, you are now on part of the Crater Rim Track. Follow the Crater Rim (signposted) track for around 3km (total 6.3km) always staying above the Summit Rd on the right hand side. Once here there is a short sharp climb to the top of Mt Vernon ( follow the orange top markers) giving you great 360 degree views of Banks Peninsula, Christchurch and the Southern Alps.

From the top work your way down the other side towards Rapaki Track (this is a 4 wheel drive track which you can see from the top). At the bottom you will come across a shared mountain bike/ walking track, here turn left and work your way around this track until you reach the point where you climbed Mt Vernon. From here cross the road and follow the track that runs on the lower side of the Summit Rd, keeping the road on your left hand side.

Follow this track for a few kms until you come to a pine plantation (about 10.6km). Take the track to the right and cross the small cattle stop and as soon as you enter the pine forest look to the right and work your way down and you will come across a small silver gate. Go through this and then the next one (they are about 10 metres apart) and this is the start of Latters Spur Track. Follow this track for around 1km to a car park area and Latters Spur Track continues on the right hand side of this car park (about 11.5km) for another km or so. After this you will come out onto a footpath which runs next to the road into Victoria park. Follow this path down to the Sign of the Takahe and the loop is finished.

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Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 15%

Moderate Single Track: 45%

Easy Single Track: 40%

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

Rapaki Sugarloaf Return

Rapaki Sugarloaf Return

Length: 15.00km

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

Pour Some Sugarloaf On Me

Pour Some Sugarloaf On Me

Length: 8.30km

Vicki Vale

Vicki Vale

Length: 9.25km

The North Faces

The North Faces

Length: 24.80km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Sign of the Takahe.
    Cnr Dyers Pass and Hackthorne Rds.

    Bus Stop at the Sign of the Takahe.

    7 km

    16 minutes



  • Staying Safe


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

    At the top of Harry Ell track where you come onto the tar seal road turn right and run down 100m to the Sign of the Kiwi. Look left opposite the Sign of the Kiwi building and enter the track on the left hand side of the road (Sugarloaf Reserve).

    After 10.5km you come to an area where the track has a left and right option. Take the right hand side and cross the small cattle stop and enter the pine forest and after 50m look to the right and work your way down until you see a silver gate. Go to this gate and go through it and the next one which you will also see. This is the start of Latters Spur track.

    Perfect throughout.

    Lightweight fleece top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Cellphone.

    Water available from fountains at the Sign of the Takahe and 2.5km up Harry Ell Track and at the Sign of the Kiwi.

    Exposed to strong winds along the tops and when blowing southerly cold winds and sometimes snow in the winter.

    Some of the track is shared with mountain bikers.

  • Post run indulgence

    The Cup
    Cnr Dyers Pass and Hackthorne rds
    best café views over chch and looking out to the southern alps. Coffee is good as well as having a wide selection of food options including breakfast.

  • 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
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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