Brooklands Mouth

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The Brooklands Mouth leg of the Christchurch 360 Trail runs from Seafield Park (adjacent to Spencer Beach Holiday Park) to The Groynes.

The route includes Seafield Park, the Brooklands Lagoon walk, the Te Rauakaaka Reserve, and the small villages of Brooklands, Stewarts Gully, and Kainga.

The leg is 10km long and will take about 4 hours for a walker to complete.

Description of Route

You can find a Google Map of the route here.

Start at Seafield Park, near Adrenaline Forest (this is opposite Spencer Park). Head towards the lookout next to the lagoon, then follow the track along the west side of Brooklands lagoon, all the way to the Brooklands subdivision, now red-zoned since the earthquakes in 2010/2011. You will arrive at a now empty street called Harbour Rd. Turn left, then first right onto Blue Lagoon Drive. Continue on up to the Styx River, then follow the stopbank to the west.

Cyclists on stopbank

Cyclists on stopbank. Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor

Continue along the stopbank towards Stewarts Gully.  Before you get to Stewarts Gully, the track turns off through some forest, heading north-west, to join a track along the bank of the Waimakariri River. Continue along this track between the River and Stewards Gully and Kainga. This track leads under the rail bridge and the Main North Rd bridge, then under the twin lane bridges of the SH1/Christchurch Northern Motorway bridge.

Just west of the motorway bridges, the track gets to a carpark next to a stream. Cross the small bridge here, and you are at Whites Crossing, the end of this leg and the start of the Waimakariri Braids.

Access Points

You need not tackle the entire leg in one go, if you do not have the time or the strength. There are a couple of places on the Brooklands Mouth where you will be able to park up and start the walk at intermediate points.

Here are a couple of natural segments for the walk, with approximate walking times between these points.

Start: Spencer Park/Seafield Park. There is car parking at both Spencer Park and Seafield Park.

 

Harbour Rd, Brooklands:

 

Seddon St, Kainga:

 

End: Whites Crossing

Hazards

Traffic: The Christchurch 360 Trail passes alongside some narrow rural roads. Cars may be moving at high speed. Please exercise extreme caution at all times around traffic.

Cycles: The Christchurch City Council will not allow us to promote the Christchurch 360 as a cycling route, because a route promoted as a cycling route might be perceived by some users as having an implied suitability for cycling that could reduce their level of safety awareness, and as the Christchurch 360 Trail does not follow streets that meet standards required for cycleways, cyclists may be exposed to unacceptable risks. Because of that, we are not permitted to mark or recommend a cycle route option for the Christchurch 360. If you choose of your own initiative to follow the Christchurch 360 on your bike, please ride safely and responsibly, and follow the road rules.

Track flooding: The track goes alongside Brooklands lagoon close to the high tide mark, and at times the track can flood, and it may be wet and muddy underfoot.

Swimming: The Waimakariri River can be dangerous, especially where the river may carry a swimmer under over-hanging willows. If you decide to cool off with a dip in the river, please use caution.

Things to see

Adrenaline Forest

Lookout over Brooklands Lagoon

Bird hide next to Brooklands Lagoon

There is a proper bird hide building, in addition to this rustic one.  Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor

There is a proper bird hide building, in addition to this rustic one. Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor

Brooklands Red Zone

Stewarts Gully & Kainga

Flora & Fauna

Flora

Fauna

Fantail/Piwakawaka Rhipidura fuliginosa

Fantail

Fantail (Black morph). Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor

This friendly native is recognised by its long tail, acrobatic flight and tinny cheep. Fantails feed on insects in bush and shrub and are found in many different habitats. If you walk through bush and there are fantails nearby, they will come and check you out. Photos are difficult, however, as fantails seldom stay in one place for more than a moment.

There are two morphs. The most well-known, the pied morph, is dark brown, with a cream-coloured belly and black and white bands. The black morph is dark brown all over, with no banding and a white spot behind each eye. About a quarter of South Island fantails are black.

Black-backed Gull/Karoro Larus dominicanus dominicanus:

The black-backed gull is New Zealand’s largest gull. It has a white body with black upperparts, yellow legs and a yellow bill. Chicks peck at the red spot at the tip of the parent’s bill to stimulate regurgitation. Fledged offspring are mottled brown.

Black-backed gulls scavenge from human populations and are more aggressive than the red-billed gulls they are often seen with.

Black swan Cygnus atratus:

The black swan is an Australian swan that was introduced to New Zealand in the 1860s. It is thought that black swans have also flown from Australia and that most of the current population are descended from self-introduced birds rather than arising from the birds acclimatised in the 1860s.

Grey duck/Parera and Mallard Anas superciliosa (grey) and Anas platyrhynchos (mallard)

Grey ducks and mallards are found on many New Zealand lakes and rivers. Both male and female grey ducks are similar in appearance to mallard females. Because the two species interbreed, the plumage of male mallards varies considerably.

Mallards are larger and more dominant, and as a result grey ducks are critically endangered.

Black-backed Gull/Karoro Larus dominicanus dominicanus:

The black-backed gull is New Zealand’s largest gull. It has a white body with black upperparts, yellow legs and a yellow bill. Chicks peck at the red spot at the tip of the parent’s bill to stimulate regurgitation. Fledged offspring are mottled brown.

Black-backed gulls scavenge from human populations and are more aggressive than the red-billed gulls they are often seen with.

White-faced Heron, Egretta novaehollandiae.

White-faced Heron

White-faced Heron. Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor

White heron/Kotuku (native) Ardea alba modesta:

The kotuku, or white heron, is treasured by Maori due to its rarity. It breeds at Okarito Lagoon on the West Coast, but is occasionally seen on the Avon-Heathcote estuary or in the Linwood Avenue canal. With a nationwide population of only 100-200, the kotuku is endangered in New Zealand, although the species is common elsewhere.

The kotuku’s bright white plumage and black bill and legs distinguish it from other birds in the waterways. Kotuku feed in shallow waters on small vertebrates and invertebrates.

The kotuku features on New Zealand’s $2 coin.

New Zealand scaup Aythya novaeseelandiae:

This small diving duck can be found in waterways around Christchurch. The male has bright yellow eyes and both male and female have dark brown plumage.

New Zealand shoveler Anas rhynchotis variegata:

This duck is similar in size and shape to the grey duck and mallard, but has a longer bill with a rounder tip. Like the grey duck and mallard, shovelers are dabbling ducks, feeding from the surface rather than diving.

The New Zealand population is about 30,000 and shovelers are occasionally seen on Christchurch waterways.

Paradise shelduck/Putakitaki Tadorna variegata:

The Paradise shelduck is large and goose-like and can be found in parks and along waterways throughout Christchurch. Often found in pairs, the female is the more striking bird, with a white head and chestnut-coloured body. The male is darker, with a black head.

In flight, the male gives a low honk, while the female answers with a higher-pitched call.

Ducklings are brown and white-striped, and fledged young resemble the male.

Little Shag.

Little Shag

Little Shag. Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor

Pukeko Porphyrio porphyria:

Pukeko are often seen alongside waterways and in paddocks. It has blue and black plumage, a red bill and shield and long red legs. Pukeko eat mostly vegetation, but will eat eggs, invertebrates and other small animals.

Pukeko chicks are black and fluffy, with their parents’ large feet.

Pied Stilt.

Pied Stilt.

Pied Stilt. Photo credit: Jeremy Taylor

Services

Public Toilets

At the start of the Brooklands Mouth leg, there are toilets at Spencer Park.

Food & Refreshments

 

Accommodation

Spencer Park Camping Ground

Belfast Tavern, cnr Main North Road and Dickeys Rd

Public Transport

Visit metroinfo.co.nz for bus trip planning, route maps, and timetables.

Bus 150 gets the closest to the start of the Brooklands Mouth leg; the stop is on Lower Styx Rd at the end of Heyders Rd, about 750m away. This is only a short bi-directional route between Spencerville and The Palms mall in Shirley. It could be used to link up to Bus 40 which returns to the central bus exchange, Bus 60 described below, Bus 100 which runs between Shirley and Halswell via Wigram, or the Orange Line described below. The green Orbiter buses also turn at the Marshlands Rd/Shirley Rd intersection. This route encircles the city linking up many other bus routes, and buses run continually in both directions.

The Orange O-Line buses run along Mairehau Rd along the top of the Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park. The O-Line is a bi-directional route between Halswell and Queenspark, via the central bus exchange.

Bus 60 is a bi-directional route that cuts diagonally south-west/north-east across the city between Hillmorton and New Brighton, then it drops south parallel with the coast to Southshore. It’s route includes the central bus exchange. The bus passes along Travis Road below the Travis Wetland Nature Heritage Park.

There are no buses to Whites Crossing. The nearest bus stops are on Main North Rd just south of Dickeys Rd. The buses using these stops are 95 and the blue B-Line buses.

Bus 95 runs bi-directionally between the central bus exchange and small towns north of the city – Woodend, Pegasus, and Waikuku.

The B-Line bus runs bi-directionally between Princess Margaret Hospital in the south of Christchurch, through the central bus exchange, and on up to Belfast and sometimes Rangiora. Not all services run as far as Rangiora. At times when the service does not extend out to Rangiora, the bus also turns back before the bus stops near Dickeys Rd, and you may need to use bus stops further south on Main North Rd, south of Richill St for the return to the city, or when heading north, where the bus turns around at the intersection of Factory and Tyrone Streets.

Nearby Points of Interest

Otukaikino Reserve