Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch NZ

Pictures from a couple of circuit walks we did in Mt Vernon Park in Christchurch’s Port Hills. Pleasant walking with views over the city.

Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch

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

Valley Track
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Grass trees at the start.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Looking back down towards Christchurch. All of the colours have washed out of this photograph due to the lighting – it was a lot less grey than this.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Making our way up the Valley Track.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Higher up on the valley track.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
At the top of the Valley Track.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Point 421m
Dry Bush Track/Route

The scenery on this alternative valley route was quite like the Valley Track.

Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Off track by now on the Dry Bush Route. We ended up just climbing up the hill to meet the road and then Farm Track as we couldn’t see any markers.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Lots of harakeke / flax higher up on the Dry Bush Route.
Mt Vernon Summit
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Crags on the crater rim.

Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch

Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Misty views as we climbed the last bit to Mt Vernon.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
The clouded in summit of Mt Vernon 462m.
Farm Track , Dry Ridge Track & Gorge Track
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Walking down the Farm Track.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
Views over Christchurch from the Farm Track.
Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
The Gorge Track goes through here.

Track Notes

Mt Vernon Park Circuit, Christchurch
A map of the tracks in Mt Vernon Park.

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.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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