Christchurch Coastal Pathway ride

Christchurch Coastal Pathway ride
September 20, 2016 Charlotte

Once completed, the Christchurch Costal Pathway will be a 6.5km long shared pathway connecting the city cycle network along the coastal edge of Christchurch to Sumner beach. When finished not only will the pathway provide a safe link for people travelling along the causeway it will stimulate economic and natural growth for the area.

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We woke up to a beautiful spring day ahead of us and word that a new section of the Coastal Pathway was open so we decided to take a trip down to the beach for lunch, check out the updates and enjoy a few local favourites along the way.

At a casual pace from the ABC headquarters in Central Christchurch it will take you about a meandering 1 hour to get to Sumner Village. We rode down the new Tuam Street cycleway toward the east, cut across Fitzgerald Avenue and into Ferry Road for an easy straight path from then on in.

Our first stop was Woolston Village. One of the older areas of Christchurch and originally a light industrial zone due to its connection with the port and the river. Today Woolston Village is taking on a retro resurgence with a host of vintage shops and Christchurch’s best known breweries. We recommend you save the icy cold Hopback IPA from the Twisted Hop for your return trip.

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Mt Pleasant farmers market runs each Saturday


If you are lucky enough to ride the coastal Pathway on a Saturday be sure to check out the Mt Pleasant farmers market. A feast for any foodie on the hunt for the some of the best local cuisine. We recommend grabbing some of the Volcano Café’s olives, some cheese (feature local business details) from the cheese monger and a loaf of fresh bread. Dinner sorted.

A little further up Mccormacks Bay Road on Soleares Ave is Cloak and Dagger. A bright and breezy design store and studio space run by A Fashion Designer/Leatherworker, a Graphic Artist and a Children’s Goods Designer. We took a little detour to check out their Mo’woof dog collars. How we wish we had a pooch to sport one of these.

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Separated pathway from Ferrymead to Redcliffs


As we continue back down the pathway we spot a few people are out gathering shellfish. The estuary Te Wahapū was once highly valued for mahinga kai (Maori food gathering) with the first Maori settlers living around it. At the end of the pathway we take a left and continue the journey away from the main road to enjoy some of the breathtaking panorama views of the shoreline including the very tip of the spit.

The final part of the pathway taking you through to Sumner Village from is due for completion in 2018. We know we have arrived at our destination when we are greeted with seagulls, dripping ice creams and the smell of “fush and chups”. A kiwi favourite for sure. We parked our bikes by the beach and grabbed a hokey pokey ice-cream cone from The Rock Café to quench our thirst. A quintessential flavor for us Kiwis.

Sumner Esplanade

Sumner Esplanade


We walk with our ice-creams down the esplanade for some surfing action and back down Nayland Street towards the Red Snapper – we have been saving our appetite for a reason! Within the village you will find a range of boutique stores, quirky knick knacks, surfing stores, and cafes.

Like us, if you are feeling the kiwi side coming out in you, take your fish and chips back to the beach and have them out of the newsprint with lashings of tomato sauce. The perfect fuel up before the journey back into town. And don’t forget to stop in at The Twisted Hop for that icy cold brew.


Action Bicycle Club recommends a minimum half day rental to ride the Coastal Pathway and explore the surrounding area. A guide of the route with featured attractions is available with each bike rental. Book your bike hire here.