Foreshore Road Walkway

  • 1 hr 10 min – 1 hr 30 min
  • Return by the same track
  • Easy

Follow the closed coastal road between Governors Bay and Allandale in Lyttelton Harbour. Coastal views and easy walking.

Key information
Time
1 hr 10 min – 1 hr 30 min
Distance
4.0km
Type
Return by the same track
Return by the same track
Grade
Easy
Access
Bookings
No bookings — open access
No — open access
Starts
Allandale, 2km south of Governors Bay, Lyttelton Harbour
Distance from you: ()
Ends
Governors Bay
Other
Altitude
Sea level
Maps
NZTopo50-BX24

The walk begins at Allandale Reserve, a smart-looking car park and picnic area about two kilometres south of the Governors Bay settlement by the Governors Bay-Teddington Road. The north end is at the long Governors Bay Wharf by the settlement.

From the car park, a track sets off along the shoreline soon joining the closed road. Constructed by prisoners of the local gaol in 1857, it’s a narrow lane that winds along the water’s edge -- clearly only designed for horse-drawn traffic. Near the start of the walk, look out for a hitching post and horse trough in the shrubbery on the left.

Being near the head of the harbour, the bay is largely mudflats. At low tide, the tracts of mud are alive with crabs scavenging the detritus brought in on the previous tide. Kingfishers are common though shy, perching on the rocks or in nearby trees. Occasionally, gulls may be seen dropping an unfortunate shellfish onto the rocks below, and repeating until it cracks open.

Exotic oak, walnut, gum, pine, and pear trees give way to native ngaio, broadleaf, poroporo, and mahoe as the road meets Church Lane. This narrow lane climbs back up to the main road and is worth a detour to inspect the local gardens. Ohinetahi is nearby but not visible until further along the foreshore road. This historic stone home was built in 1867, and features a renowned formal garden.

Sage Reserve is nearby. This is a small, neglected pocket of native bush occupying the coastal hillside. A pleasantly overgrown track climbs through the reserve, which is dominated by kanuka. The track is soon overtaken by broom and blackberry, but it is worth venturing a few metres in from the road.

Beyond here, the road rounds a point and bends toward the settlement. To the right, the views of the harbour open out, while to the left, are some magnificently patterned rhyolite cliffs. The old Governors Bay Wharf is not far away. This long wharf extends across the shallow mudflats for around 350m. From here the road climbs into the settlement.

A few metres along, a foot track marked unpromisingly as “dog exercise area” drops off to the right. This track continues along the foreshore through mixed bush, coming out onto the road near the Governors Bay Foreshore car park.

Walking time is 35-45 minutes each direction.

Map 
This track needs a photograph.
ID 370

About this track

Added 7 January 2003 by MatthewMatthew. 3 revisions, most recently 21 February 2017 by MatthewMatthew.
67 views in the past year (6 per month).