Mt Richardson

Mt Richardson is located in the Mount Thomas Forest Conservation Area of Canterbury. It’s less than a two hour drive from Christchurch and we headed up there with a friend one sunny day during the summer holiday break.

We linked the Richardson, Blowhard and Bypass tracks to create a nice loop. Hiking this way takes takes you steeply up through the forest to the peak and then heads back down over stunning ridges with open views of the surrounding peaks.

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There’s an additional short track you can follow on the way back to the carpark which takes you via a pretty waterfall and stream – perfect for cooling off hot feet!

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This is another stunning area of Canterbury and one which we look forward to exploring more in future. An additional bonus is that the hike is near the small town of Oxford which is great for snacks on the way home!

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week!

Dog Stream Waterfall

Dog stream falls are found at the end of a short walk in the Hanmer Basin. The winding track climbs up through a beautiful beech forest which gives you lovely glimpses of the valley beyond. There are a few sets of wooden stairs and it’s quite steep at times. There’s also one small stream to cross on the way.

After about an hour you arrive at the stunning 41 meter waterfall.

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We hiked up early to avoid the crowds but counted at least fifteen other people heading up to the falls on our way back. So if you want to enjoy the area in peace then best to head up earlier on!

We made this hike a loop by joining the Spur Track which climbs up to the bush-line (more stunning views!) and then heads back down a pretty nature trail.

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If you enjoy waterfall spotting then this is a short easy track to enjoy. The town, Hanmer Springs is close by and is perfect for a meal or ice-cream afterwards too.

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Wherever you are in the world, enjoy your week!

Lyttelton Coastal Path

Lyttelton is a small port town close to Christchurch. It has a nice farmers’ market each week and is a pretty place to look around. Adam and I heard it had a nice coastal path as well so we went to have a look.

This coastal path is easy walking and takes in a handful of little coves and beaches along the way.

The water looked very inviting and if the weather had been a little warmer, we’d have probably gone for a swim.

The walk goes via Magazine Bay, Corsair Bay and Cass Bay.

The scenery is really lovely on this walk: forest, hills, beaches, sea – beautiful! It takes less than two hours to complete (there and back) and you can create a loop at the far end by circling around Pony Point Scenic Reserve.

Afterwards we headed back into Lyttelton and went to a cute cafe which had more lovely views overlooking the harbour.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week!

Ryde Falls

Ryde falls is found in the Oxford Forest Conservation Area of Canterbury, about an hour’s drive from Christchurch. Adam and I headed out to explore this area on Christmas Day and really enjoyed this easy, half-day hike. We headed in on the Wharefedale track which ¬†starts out with beautiful views over the valley and then heads quickly into a dense, green forest full of vibrant vegetation.

There were a few streams to cross during this hike but as it was hot and incredibly muddy it was always a relief to plunge our feet into the cool water and clean them off again.

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After a while we came to Ryde Falls which is apparently a five-tier waterfall (we could only see four so I guess one tier is higher up and out of sight). The falls are beautiful and you can get really close, and even swim in the lower pool during the really hot months.

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We headed back on a slightly different (even muddier) track to make the hike a loop and enjoyed a picnic lunch back in the open, close to the carpark.

This is a super hike with beautiful forest surroundings. We’ll definitely be going back to this area to explore more in future.

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Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week.

Castle Hill

It was fairly dismal weather last weekend but we decided to jump in the car and drive out west to see the famous Castle Hill rock formations. It’s roughly an hour’s drive from Christchurch but it took us a little longer as we kept stopping to take in the beautiful scenery.

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Castle Hill is a large collection of huge limestone boulders scattered across the hillsides. It attracts climbers and hikers from all over the world and it’s not hard to see why.

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Even on a cloudy, winter’s day, it’s a stunning place to visit and as soon as our rock shoes arrive we’ll be grabbing a crash mat and heading back out there to enjoy it properly.

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If the scenery looks a little familiar it’s probably because this area was used to film parts of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie.

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This is a really lovely place to visit and I’m looking forward to bouldering there in the warmer months.

In other news, we finally managed to ditch the rental cars and buy a car of our own this week. We’re now the proud owners of this lovely lady who we’ve named ‘Mr Kaplan’ – and if this makes no sense to you then I can thoroughly recommend watching The Blacklist!

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I also noticed this week that there is a new cafe opening in Christchurch – a cat cafe!

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We had one of these in Den Haag and I loved it so I can’t wait to go try this one out soon.

Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely week ahead!

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Taylors Mistake Hike

Despite being the middle of winter, today’s weather would rival any summer day, so we decided to make the most of the 20 degree heat and head out for a coastal hike.

We drove out to a place known as Taylors Mistake which is a small bay in the south-east of Christchurch. It was apparently named some 200 years ago after a ship’s captain (Mr Taylor) accidentally mistook it for¬†Lyttelton Harbour.

The coastal walk leading up from the bay is beautifully scenic.

The hike leads out to the breathtaking Godley Head which was a coastal defence site during the second world war. The gun emplacements and military buildings are still in place and were very interesting to explore.

The circular route is an easy hike and took us about three hours to complete. A perfect hike on a gorgeous day!

More Exploring

We’ve now been living in Christchurch, New Zealand for approximately three weeks and are quickly falling in love with the place. The range of shops and food is excellent, we see the snow-capped alps in the distance on a daily basis and we can explore the lovely Port Hills really easily at the weekends as they’re so close.

Last weekend we hiked the Valley Track. This is a pretty track, running alongside a small stream, interspersed with little waterfalls along the way.

At the top we saw an attractive looking outcrop that looked perfect for a picnic so decided to hike up that as well. It was a place called Witch Hill Reserve and the views were stunning!

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On the way down we took a route known as the Farm Track which is a shared pathway for both walkers and bikers. It is another, lovely, grass-covered path which had wonderful views of Christchurch city in the distance.

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Tomorrow we plan to explore the far eastern section of the hills starting at a spot called Taylors Mistake.

In other news, my lovely kitty-cats are settling into their new home really well and are back to their old tricks already. Esme refuses to drink from her water bowl and will only drink from the tap whilst Bella has been enjoying sleeping with her teddy bear and watching TV.

As soon as they’re a little more settled we’ll be letting them out to explore the great outdoors!