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Mount Vernon Park, Christchurch 

Mount Vernon Park, Christchurch 

There are heaps of places to visit in the Port Hills of Christchurch, where the main attraction is seeing the stunning views both of the city as well as Lyttleton Harbour and Banks Peninsula.  Mount Vernon Park is a great option — as you’ll see in the photos below!

Getting to Mount Vernon Park

Mount Vernon Park is located on Summit Road, a short drive from the city centre. Head up Dyers Pass Road and turn left at the Sign of the Kiwi Café — from there it’s a scenic drive past Sugarloaf Scenic Reserve to Mount Vernon Park.

Roadside Views

You don’t even to need to break a sweat to see stunning views. Park up just before Mount Vernon (photo of my car below) and you’ll get sweeping views on either side, and the actual car park isn’t bad either. 

A Short Climb

I parked up on the southern side of Mount Vernon and then walked along the lower track for a little while. Some great photo opportunities up there and even some cute lambs!

I couldn’t find a route to the top from there, so headed back to towards the car. It was then that I saw a track up the hill. A short, sharp climb let to the rocky summit, where 360-degree views unfolded. Definitely one of the better viewpoints in the Port Hills. If you drive to the actual car park you’ll see the main track heading up to the top of Mount Vernon. It looks a little longer than the one I did but should still be pretty easy.

Lamar Track

This short track is wheelchair accessible and very short and easy allowing everybody to enjoy the vistas over Christchurch.  From this track you can see over New Brighton Beach and the coastline north of Christchurch — one of the better beach views in these parts.

Other Tracks

There’s a walk called the Farm Track  — I didn’t get time to do it but it’s on the list (if you’ve done it, let me know what it’s like in the comments below). You can also walk up to Summit Road and Mount Vernon from the bottom of the Port Hills via the Mount Vernon Valley Track.

Other Places to See on Summit Road

Summit Road winds along the Port Hills for most of its length, with dozens of viewpoints and walks. The Crater Rim Walk is 34 km, but you can easily do short sections. Sugarloaf Scenic Reserve (Mitchells Track) is a popular one.

If you turn right instead of left at the Sign of the Kiwi Café you’ll see places like Hoon Hay Scenic Reserve and Kennedys Bush Reserve. Lots of similar views I guess but it’s good to see this beautiful area from as many angles as you can!

Are you planning a trip New Zealand? Check out our South Island travel guide!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.