A real treasure for Christchurch is the 653 hectare Orton Bradley Park, on the southern side of Lyttelton Harbour. It is a working sheep and cattle farm, but there are also picnic and barbeque facilities, extensive walking tracks through protected and regenerating bush, agricultural relics, an outdoor education area, heritage buildings, rhododendron gardens and powered campervan sites. Some photographs of the rhododendron gardens are here.
The owner, Orton Bradley, left his entire estate in trust when he died in 1943, to eventually be used as a park. In 1981 it was opened to the public. It is run by a registered charitable trust that relies on donations and entry fees to maintain and develop the park.
The water falls 20 metres, fed by a natural spring.
Volunteers built this replica home in 1998, constructed out of timber milled from the farm. The fence is made of stones from the creek.
The shepherd’s cottage, built in 1848, is one of the oldest remaining stone buildings in Canterbury.
Orton Bradley showed a great interest in technology. Amongst the restored relics is this waterwheel, which he devised to drive a generator that provided power for his house and workshop.
See Orton Bradley Park at rhododendron time here.
See Mt Herbert Track through Orton Bradley Park here.