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Takahe Half, Canterbury

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Takahe HalfBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by James Stewart

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

3:30 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:45 (Fast)



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Start at the Sign of the Takahe and head up into Victoria Park. 100m in you'll see signage on your right for the Harry Ell track. Jump on this and head on up. You'll blaze through stunning native bush and a good swath of Christchurch locals stretching their legs. Halfway up you'll note the impact of the 2017 fires on both sides of the track and across the valley at the Christchurch Adventure Park (CAP).

When you hit the summit, head down past the Sign of the Kiwi and keep tracking west on the Crater Rim Trail. This will take you around Coronation Hill, past the top of CAP. After about 6km you'll face a split in the trail, CRT to the right, Trig V straight and boundary track down to Lyttelton Harbour. Take the middle track for a neat peak to bag and a stunning view of the harbour and over to Mt Herbert.

You'll rejoin the CRT and at about the 7.5km mark head left at the trail fork onto Ella's Track around the back of Mt Ada. Continue on Ella's track until you hit the Cass Ridge Track at 8.8km. Follow this up the hill where you'll shortly meet up with the CRT. Hang a left and keep on. At 9.6km you'll have the chance to deviate up to Cooper's Knob, a stunning rocky outcrop with amazing views. Local legend has it if you give it a rub it will be bigger for the next visitor...

Stick on the CRT until the 11km mark. There's a side track to the right that takes you to Summit Road. Here you have three choices, (i) head back the way you came (out and back) (ii) head over the road and tackle a gorsey 4WD track back the way you came or (iii) take the tarmac option back to the Sign of the Kiwi and back down Harry Ell to the start.

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Features of interest

Climbing up the original Lyttelton/Christchurch road, named after one of Christchurch's early trail-blazers and environmentalists, Harry Ell.
Scooting across the rim of a dormant volcano
Stunning views of Lyttelton Harbour, the Christchurch Adventure Park, Christchurch City, Pegasus Bay and the Southern Alps
A real life regenerating natural environment following the Port Hills fires of early 2017.
Amazing pockets of dense native bush along the Crater Rim Trail.

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 50%

Easy Single Track: 30%

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

The Guv'nor & His Birds

The Guv'nor & His Birds

Length: 16.00km

The Crater Rim

The Crater Rim

Length: 27.90km

Vicki Vale

Vicki Vale

Length: 9.25km

Bird to Bird

Bird to Bird

Length: 9.80km

The Governator

The Governator

Length: 9.85km


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    At the Sign of the Takahe / the entry to Victoria Park

    Heaps of parking, on-street (around the Sign of the Takahe) or in Vic Park

    6 km

    15 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Generally good.

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

    Frequent spots up Harry Ell track and at the Sign of the Kiwi

    Pretty muddy after rain.
    Very exposed to southerly gales across the tops.

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See other runs nearby:

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