When you are in the South Island of New Zealand, one mustn’t go too far before stumbling across some breathtaking piece of nature. In particular, Canterbury is the gateway to some of the most diverse landscape in the world; I mean, where else can you wake up for a surf, go for an afternoon hike with the Alps as your backdrop and then relax with a Sauvignon Blanc in the vineyards?
Since moving to New Zealand last year I have become slightly obsessed with hiking (or in Kiwi lingo: tramping). Nothing quite beats the adrenaline rush of reaching the peak of a hike and being rewarded with a birds eye view of your surroundings.
And with the vast amount of hikes with world famous views that the South Island offers, it isn’t really a trip to New Zealand without experiencing one of these for yourself. While there are the options to do world famous hikes in Milford Sound or Wanaka, Canterbury also has a repertoire of hikes that are nothing short of spectacular.
One of the most underrated hikes in Canterbury is Peak Hill, located on the outskirts of Lake Coledridge.
Peak Hill is only an hour and a half outside of Christchurch and can easily be reached on your way to (or from) Arthur’s Pass. The route to get to Peak Hill is just as scenic as the actual hike.
Driving the majority of the way on unpaved roads, you will be treated to stunning views of Mount Hutt and the surrounding mountain ranges, as well as the rustic farmland (and endless amounts of sheep) throughout the area.
Finding your way to Peak Hill is fairly straightforward, as there is only one road and one turnoff to get to the bottom of the hill.
The steep climb up to the 1204m peak is no easy feat, but here are five reasons why you should give it a try and, more importantly, why Peak Hill just might be Canterbury’s best kept secret.
1. You will be treated to epic views of the Canterbury plains, Lake Coledridge and the Southern Alps
2. Because the hike is fairly unknown among tourists, chances are you will get to have these views all to yourself (with the addition of accompanying friends of course!)
3. If you are lucky, the lake is reflective. And when it is, it is epic.
4. When you reach the peak, there is no cooler place to celebrate!
5. And if you plan it right, you will be treated to a pretty pink paradise during sunset during your descent.