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Tussock Hill Ridge, Canterbury

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Tussock Hill RidgeIntermediate

Submitted by Corey Woodward

Info Info
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Trail Information







Urban fringe

Out and Back

Very hilly

Open ridges/tops


Not Suitable (Slow)
1:00 (Moderate)
0:45 (Fast)



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This track runs through Tussock Hill Farm which was purchased by the Summit Road Society with the intention of making it available as an open reserve space. While they are establishing a development plan this remains a working farm and signage indicates that public are allowed to move about the property, taking extra care around stock and natural hazards. It is very steep, and narrow, in places. Extra care should be taken on the downhill.

Starting from the Duncan Park Reserve, go through the small farm gate, head up the ridge, through the gate into the pony jump area and enter Tussock Hill Farm via the gate at the top, hang an immediate left and through the next gate. Turn right and head straight up the ridge, and keep on the ridge line except for one area near the high rocky outcrop where the trail skirts around the right-hand side and then back up onto the ridge again.

At this point on the downhill there is the only chance to go off the trail you came up, this appears to rejoin slightly further down the hill so you shouldn't get lost. Take some time to soak in the view from the top of Tussock Hill and then head down the other side towards Summit Road, the trail gets a little hard to discern here, but follow the fence line and you'll get to a gate, angle to the left and you'll soon be at the boundary with the Summit Road.

On the other side of this fence is the Crater Rim Trail and the fence appears to have been pushed down and should one wish it would be possible to hop over and join this trail. The electric wire was not working and was hanging on the ground at time of submission.

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Features of interest

Awesome views of the New Brighton coast all the way to Kaikoura, also views over the plains to the Alps and from the top one gets a great view down into Lyttelton harbour.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 5%

Technical Single Track: 50%

Moderate Single Track: 45%

Route Data


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  • Access

    Start from Duncan Park on Port Hills Road, just before it turns and heads to the tunnel.

    There is roadside parking across the road. There is a rather nice carpark at Duncan Park but it is chained closed at time of submission.

    7 km

    13 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Only the one point noted in the description above.

    Generally good.

    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, Gaiters.

    No drinking water available, bring your own.

    Can see this route being very windy in a NW or Southerly. Will also be slippery on the steep downhill after rain.

    Rocky in places

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