Riccarton Bush walk

Riccarton Bush is the only area of podocarp forest remaining in Christchurch. The dense stands of kahikatea and the birdsong, which echoes through the bush, provide a backdrop to the restored early settlers' cottage.

Riccarton Bush, photographer S Mankelow.

Te Ara Kahikatea / Kahikatea Track

Start: Riccarton House, Riccarton Bush

Distance: 900 metres

Time: 30 minutes return

Toilets: Located near Riccarton House

Dogs: Prohibited in order to protect native wildlife

Access: Suitable for prams

Te Ara Taonga Māori / Nature's Treasure Trail

Start: Riccarton House, Riccarton Bush

Distance: 460 metres

Time: 15 minutes return

Dogs: Prohibited in order to protect native wildlife

Access: Wheelchair and pram friendly


This is a good walk for a hot day as it winds through the shade of Riccarton Bush. On wet days the boardwalk through the bush may become slippery although the shorter nature trail is well surfaced.

Starting at Riccarton House, walk around towards Deans Cottage then follow the stone path past the information board and through the wooden gate to begin your walk. The longer Te Ara Kahikatea turn-off is well signposted for those who want to explore the bush on the boardwalk. 

There are plenty of seats located along the track and birdsong echoes through the bush from both native and introduced birds, such as the fantail (piwakawaka), silvereye (tauhou) and grey warbler (riroriro). Riccarton Bush is the main centre of Christchurch's small resident population of wood pigeons (kereru).

Once you have completed the tranquil boardwalk track, follow the signs back to Riccarton House. The many historic exotic trees in the grounds of Riccarton House – oaks, conifers and eucalypts – were planted there during the 1850s.

Kids can earn a Kiwi Guardian(external link) medal here.

Map Listing