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Halswell Quarry & Findlay picnic reserve things to do

  • 3 minutes

Christchurch, New Zealand

Enjoy family friendly free access to Christchurch public reserves gives visitors plenty of opportunities to explore Christchurch’s green spaces. Halswell Quarry Reserve is a great place to explore a historic quarry site, now regenerating natural spaces with walks to picnic areas, views of the quarry lake and sister city gardens. Halswell Quarry is one 11 Christchurch public parks & gardens to visit, trip guide: Best Bits recommended by our senior editor for lovers of outdoor activities.

Quarry Rim Track, Halswell is one of the Best short walks in Christchurch.

It is fascinating to visit a quarry where the land is reclaimed and reimagined as a public space. Explore the Quarry Rim Track with family and friends. You will get stunning views of the Southern Alps. There are historic tracks explaining what happened to the area and the results of reclamation. Bring your furry friend as dogs on a leash are allowed on some trails. Information panels depict the workings and historic features of the quarry and viewing platforms and seating provide ideal resting points along the route. The track descends to Findlay’s picnic area and back to the main car park. There are linkages to both kennedy’s Bush Road and kennedy’s Bush Track from here.

  • Length: 5.3 km
  • Duration: 1 – ½ hours


Halswell Quarry Park @Christchurch City Council
Halswell Quarry Park @Christchurch City Council

Canterbury Wetlands Walk, Halswell Quarry Christchurch

A short easy walk through regenerating wetlands with native plantings encouraging the revitalisation of the original wetlands providing safe harbour for native flora and fauna.

The walk starts at the main entrance to Halswell Quarry Reserve, kennedy’s Bush Road.

Length 800 metres

Findlay’s Walk, Halswell Quarry Reserve, Christchurch

A very popular very short, but steep walk to an extensive picnic area with tables sheltered by mature plantings. Duration 10 minutes one way.

Halswell Quarry Rim view lookout walk

Enjoy sweeping views on this very short walk (250 metres) to a lookout platform overlooking the reserve and beyond.

The walk starts at the main entrance car park. From here you can look down on the inner quarry. You can continue the walk to view the sister city gardens on the other side of the hill you get a good view of the park including all the Sister City Gardens.

Sister City walks

A choice of easy, accessible walks connect small botanical collections representing six of Christchurch’s sister cities: Adelaide (South Australia), Christchurch (England), Gansu Province (China), Kurashiki (Japan), Seattle (USA), and Songpa-Gu (Korea).

Halswell Quarry Park Japanese section Christchurch, New Zealand
Halswell Quarry Park Japanese section Christchurch, New Zealand
Halswell Quarry Park @Christchurch City Council
Halswell Quarry Park @Christchurch City Council

Sister City Gardens

The Sister City gardens project has seen the development of botanical collections reflecting the garden styles of Christchurch sister cities. Individual sister city gardens have been allocated a 1,000 square metres of land suiting the diverse plant types from around each Sister City region. The plants are native to the designed sister city region.

Adelaide, Australia; Christchurch, United Kingdom, Gansu Province, People’s Republic China, Karashiki, Japan; Seattle, United States; Songpa-Gu, South Korea; Wuhan, People’s Republic of China

Halswell Quarry Reserve, Christchurch has limited mobility access to tracks due to the steep terrain. Some tracks are suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.



Halswell Quarry Reserve 60.4 hectares walks are readily accessible from the main entrance off Kennedy’s Bush Road. 

Nearby Halswell Quarry Reserve Christchurch is Christchurch Adventure Park and Cashmere Hills. Kennedy’s Bush Reserve is 6.1 km away. For mountain bike enthusiasts Crocodile XC single track mountain bike club.

Crocodile xc single track mountain bike trail

Start: Accessed via Halswell Quarry Park, Cashmere Road entrance.

Finish: Kennedy’s Bush track, Kennedy’s Bush Road.

Overview: Built by Dan van Asch and located on his property. This track is managed by the Christchurch Singletrack Club.

Access: From the car park at Halswell Quarry or from Kennedy’s Bush Track.

Signage: Clearly marked at both ends.

Travel pack information


Halswell is named after Edmund Storr Halswell, a colonial government officer and part of the management commission of the Canterbury Association. Halswell Quarry operated for over 130 years producing the distinctive blue-grey stone.

‘Fine-grained, dense black basalt from the western slopes of the Port Hills has been the dominant stone used in walls, steps and paving of Christchurch buildings since the mid-1860s, when a tramway was built to carry it into the city. Its source was a small volcanic cone, now quarried away’. Igneous rocks – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand. The distinctive stone can be seen in the Canterbury Museum, Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, Durham Street Methodist Church and Cranmer Court. Source Halswell Quarry Park.


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