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The Coffee Run, Canterbury

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The Coffee RunBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Kevin Holland

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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Open farmlands
Open tussock/grasslands
Open ridges/tops

Beginner - Intermediate

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



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Start from cafe in Diamond Harbour and run to the cafe in Little River with just enough distance to be ready for the 2nd coffee. The run starts just above the Diamond Harbour wharf. Run up Waipapa Avenue, veering left to cross Marine Drive, and continuing up Waipapa Avenue to the gravel road at the top. Follow the gravel road to the right, 350m to the start of the Mt Herbert walkway. Follow the walkway to the top of Mt Herbert, head south east on the Te Ahu Patiki track towards Western Valley & Rod Donald Hut.

At 10.5km, be careful to go straight ahead and do not take the track to the left toward Monument. This is the part to be careful of in low visibility. After Little Mt Herbert (11km), follow the clearly marked track. Cross Western Valley Road at 13.5km, following the signs to Rod Donald Hut. The track to the hut branches right off the route to Hill Top. Run down the access track from the hut, joining Western Valley Road, which joins the road to Akaroa 250m from the Little River café. Continue straight ahead to the café for the 2nd coffee.

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Features of interest

Old totara stumps and some new bush regeneration. Great views of Lyttelton harbour and over Lake Ellesmere on a fine day.

Make Up of Run

Easy Single Track: 50%

Farm Road / 4WD Track: 25%

Gravel Road: 9%

Sealed Road: 16%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Dark Star Cafe, Waipapa Avenue, Diamond Harbour, 450m walk up the hill above the Diamond Harbour wharf.

    #28 bus from Christchurch City, Diamond Harbour ferry from Lyttelton and walk up the hill to the first coffee. Or drive to Diamond Harbour, with plenty of parking on Waipapa Avenue.

    32 km

    51 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Take care from Mt Herbert summit to Little Mt Herbert summit. There is a clear trail, but there are other possible trails. The correct route had parked poles with orange markers. In very low visibility care needs to be taken to stay on the ridge line track, not dropping of either side until you start descending the face of Little Mt Herbert.


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

    Water and toilet available at the Rod Donald Hut, 16km into the run.

    Exposed to wind & rain all year on the top of Mt Herbert and along the ridge line. You will be on the top of a small mountain and this needs to be treated with respect. In winter there can be significant snow after the top of Mt Herbert.

  • Post run indulgence

    Little River Cafe
    Little River, at the end of the course
    It is one of the easiest places to convince people to come and pick you up from. It makes a great cafe stop that is combined with an art gallery. This makes it much easier to plan a one way trip when you can find people happy to go to your destination.

  • Blog Posts and Articles
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