Stacey Banfield

Christchurch Based Makeup Artist & Blogger

10 Scenic Spots To Check Out In Canterbury

Nothing beats getting a little fresh air into the lungs, so why not do that while taking in some pretty epic views and scenery. Below I have put together 10 Scenic Spots that are worth checking out if your ever in the Canterbury area.


First up is Summit Road (Port Hills) – The Summit Road is home to some of the best views over Christchurch across to the Southern Alps. You can literally pull into the side of the road anywhere, and find yourself a sweet spot to shoot from. We often head up here to hangout or have a picnic as it’s so peaceful and there’s just so much to see! Nothing really beats a Summit Road Sunset!

Most of the spots below you will see are near here or walks off from Summit Road itself. You may think it all looks the same, but don’t be fooled this place is a playground of hidden gems!

Godley Heads Walk – One of my all time fave tracks that never gets old. I like to start this track at the top of Summit Road then follow it down to Taylors Mistake beach. With amazing 360 degree views of the City, Lyttelton Harbour and the surrounding Banks Peninsula.You also get to see a little history as you take a stroll past some of the old military buildings, and bunkers.

Track Time: 3hrs Return depending on your pace – mostly an easy track with a little up hill 

Onawe Peninsula – If you haven’t already seen my previous post on Onawe you can check it out here Located in the Banks Peninsula Onawe Peninsula is a spot I’m surprised isn’t more known. Amazing Views surround you from the Car park so you can either continue to adventure onto the track or check it out from afar.

Track Time : 45min to 1hr return , wear good footwear as the ridge and rocks can be slippery. 

Packhorse Hut – Located within the Kaituna Valley, this track is a little more testing on the body than the others above. Starting from private farmland you will make your way up to the top of the saddle, which give you views back towards Christchurch/Lyttelton and if you turn around you get views towards Lake Ellesmere/Akaroa.

At the top of the saddle you will find the Historic Packhorse Hut, which makes a great lunch spot or overnight stay if you are wanting to explore the area further.

Track Time – 2-3 Hours Return depending on Pace. Suitable for Children although there are parts that climb steeply. 


Washpen Falls – The falls can be found roughly 1 hrs Drive from Christchurch. I did this track about 1.5 years ago, and the track condition then was pretty good although quite muddy in parts. Being an ancient Volcanic canyon, you really experience all sorts of nature whilst on this walk.From beautiful landscape views of the Canterbury Plains and even the ocean, to the stunning falls themselves this is a great place for Photography and nature lovers.

On your way out take the dinghy for a spin in the pond, just make sure you don’t fall in!!

Track Time : 2hrs with parts being uphill a good level of fitness is recommended, please also bare in mind this is private land so there is a cost of $10 per Adult and $5 per child. 

John Britten Reserve – Named after the great John Britten innovative designer and inventor of the unbeatable V1000 Motorcycle, you will find the reserve just off Mt Pleasant Road.We love heading up here at night time to watch over the City Lights, but it’s also just as good during the day. A hit with Rock Climbers there are also lots of good tracks within this area.

Glen Tui Loop – Located in the Mt Thomas Forest Conservation Area, it’s a great track for the family with the odd climb here and there, but what I love is that it let’s you get among a more native side to Canterbury. Majority of this track is through the forest although the kids will love the lookout to the waterfall over the Glen Tui River near the end of the track.

Track Time – 1hr 

Birdlings Flat –  If your an Aurora Australis hunter then heading to Birdlings Flat is a great idea! Away from the City Lights this is where you will catch some of the best night time shots. I suggest good footwear and a torch if heading there in the dark of the night, the rocky shoreline provides a not so soft landing if you trip!

Witch Hill Scenic Reserve – If a little free style rock climbing isn’t your idea of fun then this may not be for you, but I can promise you amazing views and the best place to watch the sun rise or set! It can get windy up there so make sure you go prepared. You can follow the Crater Rim Track to get here or use it as your starting point at the top of the Rapaki track.

Barnett Park Sumner – Although this track is technically “closed” since the Earthquakes, there isn’t really anything too similar to this in Christchurch. Head up the hill with your destination at the top being the cave. After climbing a half broken ladder LOL (be careful with that!!) you will have an amazing view of the ocean and afar.

Track Time : About 30mins each way


There you have just a few of my fave spots to hang out, explore and take a few snaps around Canterbury. Check out my Instagram for more imagery!

Happy Adventuring, and don’t forget to tag me in your pics x

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