Walking the Rapaki Track with Kids for the best views in Christchurch

Rapaki Track Walk

Are you looking for a walk that rewards you with beautiful views as well as a wee workout?  Well then, check out Christchurch’s Rapaki Track.  Bring the kids on this walk and have a picnic at one of the best viewpoints in Christchurch.

The Rapaki Track is located in the Port Hills, Christchurch, just 15 minutes drive from the central city.  The best thing about this track, is that you get a great view over the city, but also a view over Banks Peninsula, all from one walk. So its definitely worth the walk.

How long does the Rapaki Track take to walk?

You could probably power walk the track in about 45 minutes one way, but with kids, allow about an hour each way plus a stop at the top.

What is the Rapaki Track like to walk?

  • ⅓ uphill gravel track
  • ⅓ flat ish (some reprieve from the uphill)
  • ⅓ big hill to finish (it looks worse than it is when looking down from the top of the hill)
  • Summit of Rapkai Track: Once you cross the road, there is an area you could have a picnic and look over the view, but no shelter.

Can kids walk the Rapaki Track?

Our 4 year old walked most of the way.  Just have to be careful coming down the hill on the gravel as it’s a bit steep in places.  Our 2 year old walked for a while, but got a little slow, so we just packed him in the backpack

To think I used to run this track when training for netball back in the day…. Ha! It’s been a definite while since I’ve had a hill run.  So see the destination box below for everything you need to know before embarking on this track

 

Mountain Biking the Rapaki Track

When walking up the Rapaki Track, you will see a lot of mountain bikers.  It is an easy way to access the Summit Road and all the tracks up the Port Hills.  The Rapaki Track itself would be better suited for older children, as the trail really is uphill the whole way.  Coming back down, they will need to be confident on steep gravel paths.  The track is great as there is good gravel for traction and the path is wide, so easily shared with walkers and runners.  It is not suitable for young bikers.

 

Other fun things to do in Christchurch

Jennifer and Emilia from Backyard Travel Family enjoy the views over Christchurch City and New Brighton Beach at the top of the Rapaki Track Walk, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand
Christchurch City View from the Rapaki Track, Port Hills, Canterbury, New Zealand, with the snowy southern alps in the backyground
Looking down the hill towards Christchurch City from the Rapaki Track, Canterbury, New Zealand
Jennifer

Jennifer

Founder of Backyard Travel Family

Jen is a super organiser when it comes to travel. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space

Jen has three young children, 5 and under and travels around New Zealand with them.

Backyard Travel Family New Zealand. Lets share these articles and spread the love
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what you need to know

Travel

- Located at the end of Rapaki Road
- 15 minutes drive from the central city
- Parking: on street parking, but it is very limited and it gets very narrow, the closer you get to the end of the road. Turn around area is very tight. Do not even attempt to park up here with a campervan. Campervans should park on Centaurus Road at the base of the hill.

The trail

- Gravel and compacted dirt
- You can do it with a stroller, but I found it to be so difficult due to the gravel and the gradient of the track. I have done it by myself and had a toddler on my back, so if you had help, maybe? But if you had backpacks/frontpacks, I would definitely recommend these instead.

Facilities

- Toilet located at the bottom of Rapaki Road (on the corner of Centaurus Rd and Vernon Terrace)
- It’s very exposed and there is no shade.

What to bring

- Sunscreen, hat, jacket if its windy
- Walking shoes
- A snack for the top or we often take our lunch.
- In winter, hats, gloves and jackets are definitely required.

Food options

- No food options at the track
- Closest Cafe: Corner of Centaurus Road and Albert Terrace
- Closest Supermarket: New World St Martins, Wilsons Road

Further information

Rapaki Track: Christchurch City Council

What the critics thought

"The view from the top was good and then we were allowed to eat our lunch"
Backyard Travel Family / Your go to for practical advice for active families travelling around New Zealand
Nathan
5 year old adventurer
I like this walk for a good workout and you are well rewarded with views on both sides. If you're game you could run it like we used to... not with kids though"
Backyard Travel Family / Your go to for practical advice for active families travelling around New Zealand
Jen
Chief Travel Organiser
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