Descriptions and latest progress for each of the Major Cycle Routes.

People riding on a major cycle route

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The major cycle routes were developed in response to a community desire for more travel choice and safer cycling options after Christchurch's earthquakes. 13 cycle routes were approved by the Council in 2013.

Getting more people cycling is key to addressing climate change, creating healthier communities and reducing congestion. The major cycle routes and other cycleways are designed to encourage people to ride because they can see it's a safe, convenient option to get where they want to go. 

The Government has recently announced funding for five of these cycle routes and the Christchurch Coastal Pathway. You can see more about the funding announcement(external link) and a map of the routes that are to be constructed with the Government's funding. [PNG, 433 KB]

Find out what the cycleways look like and learn how to use them.

Cycle usage data from our automated counters is also available via Smartview.(external link)

Te Ara O-Rakipaoa: Connects Princess Margaret Hospital to the Northern Line near St James Park in Papanu via Spreydon, Middleton, Riccarton and Bryndwr.

NorWest-Arc illistration

Work is getting under way on the first section of the Nor’West Arc cycleway between Cashmere Road and Annex Road, and a further section on Hansons Lane, Suva Street and Ballantyne Avenue.

Read the start work notice. [PDF, 804 KB]

The section of this route from Princess Margaret Hospital to the University of Canterbury was consulted on in 2017 with changes made to modified  improve visibility and add safer road crossing points.

Map of the route between Princess Margaret Hospital and the University of Canterbury. [PNG, 350 KB]

More information on the consultation.(external link)

The route of the northern section (University up to Harewood Road) is not yet determined, and will go to public consultation before it is confirmed.

Once completed, this route is expected to be used primarily by commuters and students from Cashmere High, Our Lady of Assumption, Hoon Hay, Manning Intermediate, Spreydon, Hillmorton High, Middleton Grange, Kirkwood Intermediate, Ilam, Burnside, Cobham Intermediate and Burnside High and Allenvale Schools.

It will connect to the Quarryman’s Trail, Little River Link, South Express, Uni–Cycle and Northern Line cycle routes once complete.


Puari ki Niho-toto: Connects Templeton, Hornby, Sockburn and Middleton to Riccarton, Addington and the central city.

South Express cycleway at 36 Main South Road

South Express cycleway at 36 Main South Road

This cycleway will go from the edge of the city’s western boundary in Templeton to Hagley Park in the central city. Construction will start in 2020 at the Hagley Park end of the route.

Work is getting under way on a section of cycleway where it crosses the Nor’West Arc cycleway on Hansons Lane, Suva Street and Ballantyne Avenue.

Read the start work notice. [PDF, 804 KB]

Christchurch City Council’s Infrastructure, Transport and Environment Committee approved plans for the South Express cycleway on 22 July after seeking community feedback on the route. 75 changes were made to the route as a result of the 642 submissions we received including adjustments to the route, providing more car parking in some places, providing for a connection to Selwyn District Council’s planned shared path, and introducing a slow speed zone along Matipo Street.

The cycleway route will pass nine schools as well as The Hub Hornby, Riccarton Raceway and Market, Upper Riccarton Library and the Wharenui Recreation Centre.

Puari ki Papanui: Connects Northlands Mall and the Northern Line Cycleway to the Central City.

People cycling on the cyclewayIt is a good route to head to the pool or have a work out at the Graham Condon Recreation and Sport Centre and you can also get your retail fix at Northlands Shopping Centre or Edgeware Village.

It connects to the Northern Line Cycleway on Sawyers Arms Road, and will link also with the  shared path that will run along the new Christchurch Northern Corridor, due to open in 2020.

Puari ki Pū-taringa-motu: Connects the University of Canterbury to the Central City.

People cycling on the Uni-Cycle cyclewayA scenic, tree-lined route Uni–Cycle was named the Supreme Winner(external link) at the 2018 national Bike to the Future Awards. 

You can ride to the Saturday market at Riccarton Bush or check out the native forest.

Mona Vale has beautiful grounds and you can book in for high tea on the weekends. At the city end of the route you will pass through Hagley Park and you can visit the Canterbury Museum or the Arts Centre, both in stunning neo-gothic heritage buildings.

The route will link in with the Nor’West Arc cycle path by the University when it is built in 2020 and already connects to the Northern Line Cycleway by Mona Vale

Puari ki Rapanui: Connects Ferrymead Bridge to the Central City via Linwood.

Linwood Avenue

This route is open from the Fitzgerald Avenue and Worcester Street intersection to the end of Linwood Avenue. The final section will connect Linwood Avenue to the Ferrymead Bridge and the start of the Christchurch Coastal Pathway.

Rapanui – Shag Rock cycleway will appeal to people accessing local destinations like the Stanmore Road shops and Tiny Village, Eastgate Mall, Linwood Avenue School and the soon to be built Linwood Pool, as well as weekend recreational cyclists heading to Sumner via the Christchurch Coastal Pathway(external link).

The cycle path takes you through the daffodils down Linwood Ave and by the Charlesworth Reserve which is a tidal wetland home to native birds and over 100,000 trees and shrubs.

Puari ki Wairewa: Connects Prebbleton and Wigram in the south-west to the Central City via Middleton and Addington, and joins the Little River Rail Trail for those wanting to pedal further afield.

People cycling on Little River cycleway

This cycleway runs from Moorhouse Avenue through Church Square to Barrington Street where it connects to the shared path that runs alongside the Southern Motorway. The shared path now links you to the Little River Rail Trail which goes all the way to the Little River township via Prebbleton and Lincoln. 

The Christchurch end of the route is great for anyone looking to get active as it runs through Hagley Park and links to the Ngā Puna Wai Sports Hub. You will also glide through the historic Church Square in Addington.

If you’d like to cycle the Little River Rail Trail, see their website here: link).

Puari ki Otūmatua: Connects Halswell to the Central City via Hoon Hay and Somerfield.

People cycling on Quarrymans Trail cycleway

The route starts at Te Hāpua: Halswell Centre and Halswell Domain and provides a safe route to four schools in the Hoon Hay area. It also connects recreation facilities Pioneer Stadium in Hoon Hay and the Metro Sports Facility that is currently being built on Antigua Street in the central city.

In future, it will connect to the Southern Lights cycleway which takes you further south along Strickland Street, as well as connecting to the Nor’West arc route. 

Puari ki Kahukura: Connects Heathcote to the Central City via Ferrymead, Opawa and Woolston.

The recently completed Ferry Road cycleway section means that this route is now rideable from The Tannery in Woolston all the way to the central city. Read more on Newsline(external link).

The Heathcote Expressway will be both commuter and recreational route with connections to Ōpāwaho River Route and on to the Rapanui – Shag Rock Cycleway and Christchurch Coastal Pathway out to Sumner.

Ara Institute is a key destination at the city end of the cycle path, you will find a boutique shopping experience and cinema at The Tannery and for history lovers, the Ferrymead Heritage Park will hit the spot.

Repair work

Some of the concrete kerb along Charles Street, MacKenzie Avenue, Ensors Road and Sheldon Street is currently being fixed. We tested the concrete and it was below the standard required so the contractor is replacing it. There will be some disruption to the cycleway while this is fixed.

Work on Charles Street and MacKenzie Avenue will start on 18 November, and work on Ensors Road and Sheldon Street will start early next year. There are some temporary road closures needed while this work takes place so keep an eye out for signage on when that will happen.

Puari ki Pū-harakeke-nui: Connects Belfast to South Hagley Park and the Central City.

The off-road path along the railway line between Kilmarnock Street and Tuckers Road is already a popular route for pedestrians and cyclists.

St James Park is a great place to check out monarch butterflies in springtime and at the beautiful Monavale Homestead and Gardens you can choose to turn off towards the University or through Hagley Park to the central city if you wish.

Further work on the Northern Line Cycleway will in future extend this facility at both the southern and northern ends to provide a full shared path along the railway line from Belfast to South Hagley Park.

Puari ki Waimōkihi: Connects the southern suburbs around Beckenham to the Central City.

It will appeal to commuters in the south of the city and will connect the Quarryman’s Trail and Ōpāwaho cycle routes using the existing cycleway along Tennyson Street. 

Puari ki Te Karoro: Connects New Brighton to the Central City via the Avon River corridor.

A natural extension of the central city river pathway, it will primarily provide a high-quality route for recreation and tourists and, in sections, commuter cycling.

Te Ara Ōtākaro Avon River Trail currently provides a path along a similar route using some gravel paths and closed roads that have not been repaired since the earthquakes.

Papanui ki Waiwhetū: Connects the airport to the Northern Line cycleway at Papanui.

This route will help you cycle to the airport as well as connecting schools and shopping centres along the way.

It will utilise the New Zealand Transport Agency’s cycle crossing under Russley Road.

The exact route is not yet determined, and will go to public consultation before it is confirmed.

Ōpāwaho ki Ihutai: Connects Heathcote River near Princess Margaret Hospital to the estuary at Ferrymead.

This scenic route will be popular with recreational riders and connects with Nor’West Arc, Southern Lights and the Rapanui − Shag Rock Cycleway.

It will provide an ideal option for local trips to shops and libraries as well as schools, such as Cashmere High School.

The exact route is not yet determined, and will go to public consultation before it is confirmed.