Christchurch 360 Trail, an environmental discovery adventure

Christchurch 360 Trail

The Christchurch 360 Trail offers a unique opportunity for visitors to decode the diverse environment that makes up Christchurch city and its surrounds.

The brain child of Dr Colin Meurk, noted ecologist, and exponent of applied conservation work,  the Christchurch 360 Trail is the culmination of more than 25 years of work by Dr Meurk , translating a concept into a unique experience that highlights what makes Christchurch such a unique place in the South Island, in both a Maori and early European settlers context.

Broken into 8 individual and easily walked trails, the various routes provide a showcase for discovery  of the extensive diversity in ecology, history, culture, and architecture,  that the city has on offer. The average walk being about 7 hours in duration.

The trails also provide a showcase for the diversity of recreational and outdoor activities that Christchurch offers. It’s open season for rock climbers, paragliders and mountain bikers on the hills surrounding the city, while the coastal areas provide for bird watching, surfing and all manner of sailing craft.

Newly created cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways within the city are now increasingly popular with both residents and visitors alike.

However for visitors staying in and around the city, a walk can be selected to suit your particular location. Suggested accommodation options can also be chosen from a list :

Le Petit Hotel , Sumner, is ideally located to cater for walkers who would like to walk both the Godley Cliffs and Estuary Marshes legs of the Christchurch 360 Trail.


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Dog Friendly Hotel

Le Petit Hotel Sumner, Christchurch, couldn’t be anything but dog friendly !  In fact the hotel since its inception back in 2005/2006, has always been the home of a beloved Scottish Terrier.

Currently resident in house is Kara, who will be 10 years this October . Maggie her predecessor was also well known , and before that was Hamish, 

Lately, many Sumner locals will have been surprised to see Martine & Bruce, Le Petit Hotel’s owners, giving Kara a ride in a 3 wheeled buggy.

Sadly we are giving her lots of TLC as she now cannot walk very far. However she absolutely enjoys being “pushed around”.

Dog friendly Le Petit Hotel's beloved Kara
I really like my taxi!


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Sumner’s Tram Track Archaeological Discovery

Sumner’s tram track

In the early 1900’s , the first of several important city tram services were inaugurated. Sumner’s tram track was one of the first to be completed.

Recently, as work progressed on the upgrade of Sumner’s roading and infrastructure, archaeologists working with the contractors uncovered historical evidence of Sumner’s old tram track.

Some of the original wooden sleepers used to support the tramway which originally linked the suburb to Christchurch Central, were exposed during the road excavations.

The extremely popular city to seaside tramway initially used horse drawn carriages in the late 1800’s , with the service being upgraded to electric trams in the 1900’s.

Uncovered during road reconstruction, wooden sleepers, that originally supported Sumner's tram track
Well preserved late 1800’s wooden tram line sleepers .
The old railway sleepers were discovered  close to the corner of Marriner Street and Burgess Street.
On the north western corner of this intersection, one of Sumner’s early Hotels, The Sumner Hotel , still stands, but it is rather derelict. 
Sumner's tram track ran past Geo Vincent's hotel establishment in its prime.
A well dressed gathering outside the old Sumner Hotel. Photo attributed to Steffano Webb, circa 1909.


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Dog Friendly Sumner Hotel Stay

Dog Friendly  Sumner Hotel is located in a community where many of the residents enjoy having a well loved dog in their family.  The  beach, and its esplanade perimeter walkway provide a great place for dog walking.  The coastal walkway currently under construction, will be connected with the Sumner Esplanade. Early morning risers in Sumner will also spot a lot of dogs accompanying their owners on their brisk pre-work exercise runs.

Nearby are several parks with loads of green space, suitable for exercising dogs. Barnett Park in Redcliffs and the Ferrymead Park at Heathcote being favourites for both Sumner, Redcliffs and city dog lovers.

Le Petit Hotel itself is the home of Kara, our 3rd “generational” Scottish Terrier, friendly and gentle with anyone. Hamish and Maggie came before her.

Kara ensures Le Petit Hotel maintains its dog friendly status
Just a couple of months old in this photo, Kara is now almost 10 .



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Le Petit Hotel, Ford Cars, and the Temuka Connection

Ford cars and the passing of Lee Iacocca…the noted designer of the American Mustang, was at the fore-front of the world automobile news this past week.

It reminded me of the reality that almost 100 years  ago…the USA was  exporting Model T cars in a knocked – down fashion to New Zealand.  My father, Bill Whitfield worked for Hally Motors in Temuka, and Model T’s in wooden boxes were shipped to NZ, some of which eventually ended up in the Temuka Railway Station yard, where a manual crank winch ( see photo) was used to unload the boxes off the railway flat – wagons, for unpacking and assembly by garage staff on the spot.

The photo is interesting for the fact that while the location of Hally Motors ( Corner of King and Wood Streets), was not very far from the railway station, it was clearly seen easier to assemble the Ford Cars right there in the Railway yard, than try and remove the box to the Hally premises.

It’s worth noting, given the current stress about the perceived fairness of global trading, that one of the main issues surrounding trade to & from the USA now , is simply one of the shipping costs, which even allowing for inflation over the years, place America at a disadvantage , compared to say shipping products to and from Asia.

W. Hally Temuka: Agency for Ford Cars
Early 1900’s , a genuine Ford Service Station, Temuka
Ford Cars (Model T's) railway yard assembly
Hally Motors Model T Ford car assembly line
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Le Petit Hotel management & Chinese Connections

Campanile Hotel Petit Déjeuner
Delicious Shanghai Croissants

Le Petit Hotel management are regular visitors to China.

China and France are connected by substantial trade ties. The effects of the historical political concession that resulted in an area of Shanghai being administered by France are still apparent. It is well worth the time doing the research to discover how this concession and others in Shanghai came about. While the French have long departed from the concession, with very little effort , any visitor can quickly recognise the influence they left behind .

Croissants, fresh breads, brioche and small delicate cakes are evidenced in hotel breakfasts, especially those that share a European breakfast menu with standard Chinese fare.


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