Bridle Path

There are a number of trails in the vicinity of the historic Bridle Path with gondola, bus and walk combinations possible. Take a picnic and soak in the views of Lyttelton and Christchurch.

Bridle Path 34 1500

COVID-19 update on parks and tracks

The Government is asking for everyone to stay at home. Their advice is that you can go for a walk or exercise outdoors for a short time, and to stick to simple walks or exercise spots close to home. 

When you are out, you must stay two metres away from anyone who is not in your household.

Parks and cemeteries are open for pedestrian access only, and where possible we have closed off park car parks.  Please do not use any play equipment or exercise equipment.

The following are closed:

  • Public toilets
  • Playgrounds, play equipment or exercise equipment in parks
  • The Botanic Gardens
  • Car parks within parks are closed for vehicle access
  • Visitor and information centres, i.e. Bottle Lake Forest and Travis Wetland
  • The Spencer Park animal area
  • Fenced dog parks, including Horseshoe Lake, The Groynes and Styx Mill Reserve. All other parks are available to exercise dogs in
  • All Council-owned sports facilities e.g clubrooms



The main access points to the Bridle Path and nearby tracks are from: the gondola car park in Heathcote, Barnett Park car park, the Summit Road, and Evans Pass Road.

Some car parking is available at either end of the closed section of Summit Road.

Metroinfo(external link) have bus routes connecting with the gondola terminal and Lyttelton.


Facilities at both top and bottom of gondola.


Dogs must be on a leash at all times.


The Bridle Path was the route that the early European settlers took from Lyttelton to Christchurch. The route extends from Lyttelton up to the Summit Road, and then down to the Heathcote Valley. 

A steep track, it was hastily formed in 1850 as path to traverse on horseback (as the name suggests) before the Summit Road was completed in 1857.

Read more about the history of Bridle Path(external link).

Walks and tracks

Bike(external link)walk, drive or combine with bus and gondola(external link) options to reach the crater rim of Lyttelton Harbour.

Mountain biking

Bridle Path is a shared use track with walkers, runners and mountain bikers. Riding downhill is a smooth and fast descent, control your speed and give way to those on foot.

There are also great mountain bike tracks in the area surrounding Bridle Path.

Try Greenwood Park Track with its short but challenging technical sections, or, if you're after something a bit shorter, head to the John Britten Track, Mt Pleasant Track or Castle Rock Track.

Walking tracks

Bridle Path is a wonderful and varied environment for walking. Find your perfect track below: