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Banks Peninsula Ultra Beer Run, Canterbury

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Banks Peninsula Ultra Beer RunExperienced

Submitted by Tony Sharpe

Info Info

Trail Information

50.00km

2400m

1950m

 

Canterbury

Christchurch

Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

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

Experienced

10:00 (Novice)
7:00 (Intermediate)
5:00 (Elite)

-9.8%

+9.5%

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Description

NOTE (Dec 2019): re. the section from Gebbies to Packhorse - unfortunately as at November 2019 logging operations have completely decimated the nice forest section in the middle. You are now diverted out onto a couple of km's of 4WD road and then link back up to the last bit of trail before the Dykes on a grotty but well marked section or logged area. Best check before you go with DOC

This is a great long run in its own right, showcasing all that is best with Banks Peninsula. You'll need to organise a transport connection - ideally a friend or family member who can join you for a cold one and a feed at the Hilltop Tavern at the end, where you can kick back and enjoy the views and reflect on your adventurous spirit.

Start at the foot of Worsley Spur in Cashmere near the Christchurch Adventure Park. Ascend Worselys road for 3km until it reverts to 4WD track and climb steadily to the "Bodybag" at the top of Marleys Hill. Descend a short section of road to the Summit Road.

Here choose either the Summit Road or the awesome Crater Rim Track (south side of the road) and head towards Gebbies Pass. Distance is about the same but the trail is much more fun. The author has done this section both ways, but if you have a time constraint the road is quicker. The downhill section to Gebbies will need to be on the road.

At Gebbies Pass locate the track to Packhorse Hut and enjoy the mix of farm trails and single trail in and out of forest and past the Remarkable Dykes up to Packhorse Hut. Here you can water up and check out this lovely bolthole.

One of the largest climbs of the day then follows, up the flank of Mt Bradley and up to Mt Herbert. Views are great but it can be greasy up here after significant rain. Just before you crest Mt Herbert you will spot a shelter, which is another source of water. Unless you divert to the Rod Donald Hut later on this will be your last water supply until the pub.

Views from Herbert on a good day are sweeping and magnificent. But be aware, its very exposed, and any bad weather will punish you up here. Be well prepared with warm waterproof clothing food, and good routefinding skills if it clags out on you.

Onwards from Mt Herbert head along the ridgelines and trails to the Port Levy saddle. Some great downhills, undulations and views as you progress, and also the chance for a support crew hookup at the Port Levy Saddle if you desire.

From Port Levy Saddle remain on the ridgelines following the Summit Track all the way across Mt Fitzgerald, Sinclair and Montogmery. Remnant stumps from felled forests interspersed with regenerating natives and open farmland provide a rewarding last quarter of this trail, with a final moderately technical downhill through the Montgomery Reserve and its amazing old trees to finish on the Akaroa Summit Road, and a then short road section to shake down to the pub. Enjoy a beer and a feed and hopefully meet your support to drive you home - unless you want to camp out somewhere around Akaroa or the outer Bays, or else retrace your steps for a 100KM epic (only for the truly committed!)


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Features of interest

Run from Christchurch to the Hilltop Pub, almost entirely on trails if you wish, just a couple of small road connections. You will travel the ridgelines and summits of Banks Peninsula for a wonderful day out - but beware of weather changes. If the weather really craps out there are plenty of exit strategies down to lower elevations. Much of the route has phone reception, but it does drop out in sections from Mt Herbert through the Port Levy Saddle


Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Sealed Road: 10%


Route Data

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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Start at Worseleys Road, Cashmere, near the Christchurch Adventure Park

    Park alongside Worselys Reserve at the bottom of the hill

    6 km

    17 minutes

    No

    No

  • Staying Safe

    Moderate.

    Its pretty well marked at key points, but pay attention that you go the right directions between Mt Herbert and the Port Levy Saddle. For example, the Monument Track is the wrong way!

    Patchy.

    Lightweight fleece top, Short-sleeved thermal top, Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Compass, Map, Headtorch and spare batteries.

    Packhorse Hut and Mt Herbert Shelter

    Beyond Gebbies Pass is closed for lambing in the spring- check DOC website for timings.

  • Post run indulgence

    Hilltop Tavern
    Akaroa Highway
    Great beer and food and a wonderful view to unwind

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