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Mt. Vernon Rapaki Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.3 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A varied loop through Mt. Vernon Farm to Mt. Vernon returning down the Rapaki Track.


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Map Key

6.2

Miles

9.9

KM

82%

Runnable

1,470' 448 m

High

62' 19 m

Low

1,409' 429 m

Up

1,444' 440 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

40%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features -none-

Overview

A great loop with varied terrain and scenery.

Description

Park at Mt. Vernon Park Car Park at the end of Hillsborough Tce. There are several tracks (NZ term for Trails) accessible from here. The Valley Track takes you up through nice patch of native bush along the stream. The day I visited, the ground was still wet from recent flooding so I took a right at the start, run a few 100 meters uphill past a cave and joined the Marette Taylor Track, which parallels the Valley Track before joining it at the gate about one mile up the valley

As always in NZ, leave the gate open or closed as you found it. Beyond the gate, the trail gets a little rougher. You can exit to the Rapaki Track at one point. The track gives every indication of being designed and maintained by the sheep and becomes indistinct as it nears the Summit Road, but it is quite a gentle traverse to the road.

From the Rapaki Saddle on the road, head west towards Mt. Vernon. The Crater Rim Walkway: Eastern Section goes up the fence line. This joint-use mountain bike trail offers an easier climb to the summit. Follow it around to the Bowenvale Saddle, and then it is a short climb up to Mt. Vernon back to the east. The Crater Rim Walkway then descends a series of zig-zags (switchbacks) before following the fence line back to the Rapaki Saddle.

The descent on the Rapaki Track is easier on a wide packed gravel road. You can take the Rapaki Track all the way down to Centaurus Road and loop back on Hillsborough Tce, or drop down the Rogers Track to get directly to the car park. Just use caution, as Rogers Track is a steep descent.

Flora & Fauna

Mostly tussock grass land, but the advantage of taking the Rogers and Valley Tracks is the native bush by the stream. Cabbage trees, Kowhai, and even a Totora.

Contacts

Shared By:

Liam Robb O'Hagan

Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 4 votes

#4395

Overall
  3.3 from 4 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#59

in New Zealand

#4,395

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1,256 Since Jul 31, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

Looking towards Rapaki Saddle and Lyttelton from Summit of Mt. Vernon. Crater Rim Walkway
Aug 1, 2017 near Christc…, NZ
The Upper Mt Vernon Valley track looking toward Witch Hill. The Rapaki Track is visible in the far distance.
Aug 2, 2017 near Christc…, NZ
Mt Vernon Track with views down to Eastern Christchurch and Pagasus Bay
Aug 2, 2017 near Christc…, NZ
Looking down the Rapaki Track
Aug 1, 2017 near Christc…, NZ
Beginning of the Rogers Track from the Rapaki Track
Aug 2, 2017 near Christc…, NZ
Valley Track from Marette Taylor Track. Rapaki Track is in the hillside above.
Aug 1, 2017 near Christc…, NZ

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