Walking Notes: Bridle Path
Until the Summit Road over Evans Pass was completed in 1857, the Bridle Path was the only route available to Canterbury settlers travelling from Lyttelton Harbour over the Port Hills.
The path was constructed in 1850 by Captain J Thomas for the settlers due later in the year. It was a steep, rough track then, as it is today.
You can drive or take the #28 Lyttelton/Rapaki bus to the Mount Cavendish Gondola Base Station car park.
Bridle Path: 1 hr, easy
The path begins near the Lyttelton Road Tunnel entrance, by some eucalyptus trees and picnic tables. The wide, gravelled track climbs in a zigzag to the Summit Road, some more picnic tables, and a stone shelter.
This shelter marks the intersection of the Bridle Path with the Crater Rim Walkway. The track is steep and slippery as it drops toward the harbour. Tree fuchsia and mahoe grow alongside the track, with pipits poking around the open spaces. Eventually the Bridle Path becomes a sealed road, dropping past houses toward Cunningham Terrace. A footpath leads down to Simeon Quay, just west of the tunnel. From Lyttelton the #28 Lyttelton/Rapaki bus leads hourly back to the gondola terminus and to the city.
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