Driving south into Christchurch, the Port Hills at the edge of the city are dwarfed by the much bigger hills across the harbour. The rounded profile of Mount Herbert stands above all other. A climb up grassy Mount Herbert affords 360 degrees of views of hillsides and secluded bays to the east, and the broad Canterbury Plains and more distant Southern Alps to the west.

There are several routes to choose from. Note that all the tracks in the area are closed during lambing from August to October or during times of fire risk.

Snow on Mount Herbert, Banks Peninsula's highest point at 920m. Looking across Lyttelton Harbour from beneath Mount Cavendish. • By matthew.

Clockwise from north: