There are a variety of tracks available in Mt Vernon Park, passing through sections of native bush, paddocks and tussock. As you climb higher towards Mt Vernon itself there are increasingly good views over Christchurch and of the lumpy crater rim from on the tops. Like many walks in the Port Hills it is far from a wilderness experience, but I was pleasantly surprised how remote some sections felt given you start in the suburbs of Christchurch.
The pictures below are from a couple of occasions. Track notes at the end.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit: The Scenery
Dry Bush Track/Route
The scenery on this alternative valley route was quite like the Valley Track.
Mt Vernon Summit
Farm Track , Dry Ridge Track & Gorge Track
There’s a network of tracks you take in the park, but I can recommend climbing up through the two valley routes – Valley Track (popular) or Dry Bush Track (quieter) – and returning down the Farm Track with views of Christchurch the whole way. Mt Vernon summit is definitely worth a visit. We also did the Dry Ridge Track and Gorge Track to make a circuit and add a bit of variety.