The third most populated city in New Zealand after Auckland and Wellington, Christchurch features a lovely geographic setting and year-round mild climate, making it a great city for outdoor recreation. Those wanting to run in Christchurch should take full advantage of this city’s river paths (‘tracks’), location near the Pacific Ocean, surrounding mountains, and abundance of trail running (‘bush’) options.
Notes: Christchurch suffered extensive damage in the 2011 earthquakes. Reconstruction could affect some routes. Also, driving is on the LEFT side, so be sure to look RIGHT when crossing! If you’d like to have a guided running experience in Christchurch, we highly recommend our affiliate partner Go! Running Tours.
The ‘planned’ downtown area of Christchurch features extensive paths along the Avon River and the iconic Hagley Parks. We’ve also put together a short run of the Central District’s main sights and squares. It’s worth the short drive to Governors Bay and Taylors Mistake/Boulder Bay for lovely bayside running paths. For beach running, head to New Brighton, with 20+ km of beach. In that area, there are also nice trails for running in Travis Wetlands and Bottle Lake Forest Park. For gentle trail running, there paths along the Waimakariri River and Little River. For scenic, but hilly/challenging trail running, head to the Port Hills area (Victoria Park, Crater Rim Trail, & more). Use the gondola to help save some elevation!
For transport, there’s an extensive local bus system. Bicycle infrastructure is also quite good. The Christchurch Gondola is helpful to get runners/hikers up to the summit paths from Heathcote Valley.