Canterbury Classic

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Route Overview

General Overview
The Canterbury Classic is a FULL day expedition starting off in Christchurch, heading east through the Canterbury Plains, venturing through the foothills of the Main Divide, into the Canterbury High Country and then returns to Christchurch. For a single day expedition, this route takes you through a high number of landscape changes including lakes, rivers and valleys. This route is structured around tarmac and gravel roads that focus on scenic value rather than technical off road driving.
Whilst this can be driven in a FULL day, there are lots things to see and places to stop along the route. A detour to a campsite, close to the shore of one of the many lakes, is included which allows you to make it a two day expedition.
Start/Finish Point
This route is package has a natural start/finish point at Christchurch however the full route is a loop so it can be started and finished with minimal detour from any one of these places: Belfast, Kaiapoi, Rangiora, Oxford, Springfield, Darfield, Rolleston.
Terrain includes
The terrain on this route chops and changes between tarmac roads and gravel roads up to Grade 2 . The route poses no real challenging terrain however there are half a dozen small stream fords and one small river crossing. At normal flow rates, the stream fords and small river crossing normally run at just over axle deep and poses no real challenge however it is important to check the weather forecast before departing to ensure river levels will be fordable.

There is an additional GPS route included in this route package that offers a detour to the river crossing should unexpected weather force you to take a detour.
315 km total distance.
Max Fuel Leg
163 km.
Drive time
Conservative drive time is 7.5 hours however this will vary depending on how fast you drive and how often you stop. There are a number of spots to stop for lunch or have a look around so to get the most out of the route, ideally allow a full day to give you plenty of time without rushing.
If you decide to make a two day expedition, there is camping available at a campsite close to one of the many lakes.
The campsite has easy access to the lake for launching boats and areas for lake and river fishing. There is a simple toilet and water (untreated well water). There are no other facilities, so you will need to be self sufficient.
No booking or registration is needed if you intend to stay for one night only.
Access Permission
No permission is needed for this route, all the tarmac and gravel roads are legally accessible to the public.
Access Limitations
With regard to the one river crossing and the high altitude you will be driving at, this route is not recommended (and highly likely to be inaccessible) at times of heavy rain or snow. Information within the route package will allow you to check conditions and river flows before you depart.

Legs in this Expedition

Leg 1 <span>(19 photos)</span>
Leg 1 (19 photos)
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