Christchurch City - Local Rides, Bottle Lake Forest.

Local Rides, Bottle Lake Forest.

For my regular Rendlesham/Tunstall fix, I head out to Bottle Lake, just 10km North of Christchurch city and runs adjacent to the East Coastal Beaches of New Brighton.

Like <kiwi>Renders & Tunny</kiwi>, Bottle Lake Forest is a production forest with trees logged in a 30 year rotation. Like home nearly all are pinetrees and covers 800+ hectares of coastal sand dunes. The full MTB loop is around 12km and the best description of this would be…......

Imagine your best 300m metres of Rendlesham wibbly wobbly, add to it your best 300m of Tunstall ups and downs, throw in 200m of the Rendlesham family stunt loop and 100m of the least boring fire track you can think of, remove nearly all the wet bits, dispose of all the litter, prune back all the soft foliage that could hook your bars, add in a few cheeky jumps, a lake with a nice board walk through it, a glimpse of the sand dunes and breaking waves by the surf club, increase the track elevation variations to about 20m, position the odd water tap and free to use electric BBQ, multiply the length of all this to cover 12kms then place a nice CafĂ© at the end of the ride and you’ve pictured my local Renders & Tunny Ride. 

When feeling more like getting high....and I do mean gaining height.

The Port Hills are one of the best-loved landscapes of Christchurch. The rocky out-crops contrast the flatness of the Canterbury Plains and provide 100km views to the Southern Alps as well as down into both the City and the shipping harbour.

It’s massively popular with walkers, runners, rock climbers, paragliders, mountain bikers, road bikers and those out for a scenic sightseeing drive. The whole of the ‘Port Hills’ are basically the crater rim of a super volcano, and it’s gorgeous to explore and with over 55km of purpose made tracks, it’s a real asset to have on your doorstep. It takes me just 4 minutes to cycle to the foot of the most popular all weather track, the Rapaki Track, which climbs up to the vast network, including Victoria Down Hill Park. Some of the tracks remain closed however, due to rock fall and continued rock fall hazards following the 2011 Earthquakes, although recently much work has been done to progress reopening the forgotten tracks.

The tracks are constantly and magnificently maintained by both the Dept of Conservation (DOC, a govt agency that basically look after the natural/nature side of the whole country) and local volunteers.

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