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Canterbury inland scenic route: Christchurch to Lake Tekapo

Peel Forest

Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve waterfall @Matt Searles Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve waterfall @Matt Searles

Discover an ancient native bush named after the colonial premier, Sir Robert Peel (who incidentally established the modern police force in England). Peel Forest Park Scenic Reserve: Places to go in Canterbury are managed by the Department of Conservation. There are several excellent walks for kids and families, a camping ground and waterfall. For serious trampers consider climbing the summit of Little Mt Peel (1311 metres) towering above the scenic reserve.

Peel Forest Horse @Peel Forest Horse Trekking


Big Tree Walk is a family favourite walk

There are large mataī, kahikatea and lowland tōtara along the track, some of which are thought to be 1000 years old. The largest tree, a huge lowland tōtara, is almost three metres across. Look out for the remains of a bush tramway route running alongside this track. At the top of the embankment you can see the original width of the tramway, marked by wooden edging.

  • Length: 870 m
  • Grade: Easy
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