Southeast of Christchurch, the Port Hills Reserve encompasses a long volcanic range running east-west above Lyttelton Harbour. The Port Hills is managed by the Christchurch City Council and has an extensive trail network. There are numerous MTB-only singletrack and many multi-use shared tracks along the ancient volcanic crater rim. The trails are mainly packed dirt, but you can expect to find plenty of lava rocks on the climbs and descents.
There are two popular riding areas in the Port Hills: Bowenvale Reserve near Victoria Park and Godley Head in the far eastern edge above the South Pacific Ocean.
To reach mountain biking at the Victoria Park trailhead for the Bowenvale Reserve from Christchurch, head south on Colombo Street. In Cashmere, Colombo Street turns into Dyers Pass Road. Continue south on Dyers Pass Road for 2km. Turn left on Longhurst Terrace Road and then immediately right into Victoria Park. Continue up for 1.1km and park near the Visitor Centre. The MTB tracks start another 0.5km further up the road on the left. The trails from here either head up to Thomson Carpark or down to Bowenvale Avenue.
Note, as of December 2009, there was a MTB shuttle service Bowenvale to the top of Victoria Park. Southstar Bike Shuttle operates on weekends and some weekday evenings from Bowenvale Avenue near Wedgewood Avenue at the bottom to the Thomsons Carpark at the top (02-7654-3038).
Overall, Port Hills - Victoria Park is the 11th most popular mountain bike trail of all 41 mountain biking rides in New Zealand.