Ohinetahi Reserve Circuit, Governors Bay, Canterbury NZ
A varied circuit walk through a nature reserve in the Port Hills near Christchurch. There are good views of Lyttelton Harbour including Governors Bay.
During our first weeks living in Christchurch we were limited as to where we could hike due to the Covid 19 restrictions. Consequently we did a few walks in the Port Hills and surrounds because they met the definition of ‘local’. This walk was in the Ohinetahi Reserve on the hills above Govenors Bay, only about 20-30 minutes drive from Christchurch. We did a loop around the outer edge of the reserve, through sections of forest but also wide open sections with excellent views of Lyttelton Harbour. We added a short side trip to Cass Peak for lunch.
On the way to the start we stopped at Cashmere Hill Lookout for clear views over Christchurch City, and across the Canterbury Plains all the way to the Southern Alps.
There are numerous tracks in the Ohinetahi Reserve, and you can choose your own adventure, but I’ve mapped out the route we took below. The side trip to Cass Peak requires a short walk up Summit Road and then a side road to the summit (just a few hundred metres). It made for a good lunch spot. There were nice sections of forest on some of the tracks, including the Watlings Track. There were a few steep and potentially slippery sections, but generally easy enough walking. For more walk ideas in the Port Hills check out the Christchurch City Council website, and bankspeninsulawalks.co.nz.