Mt Herbert via Port Levy Saddle

The highest point on Banks Peninsula is Mt Herbert, at 919 metres above sea level.  There are several ways to walk to Mt Herbert, but the shortest way is via the Port Levy Saddle.

The track marked 11 is the Port Levy Saddle Track to Mt Herbert.  Other tracks to Mt Herbert include via the Monument Track (12), via Diamond Harbour (13), via Orton Bradley Park (14) and via Packhorse Hut (16). Click on the map to enlarge.

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It is a scenic walk over farm land, with some steep sections but mostly gentle slopes. Access from Christchurch is about an hour, turning left onto Western Valley Road at Little River, on the highway from Christchurch to Akaroa.  The carpark is about 9km along this narrow gravel road.

Views of Port Levy early on the track

Views of Port Levy early on the track

 

Remnants of native mountain totara trees

Remnants of native mountain totara trees

The original forests of native totara trees on Banks Peninsula were logged in the 19th century by early European settlers. The remains are littered on the slopes. In the distance some parts of the old forest can be seen, and in the foreground there is some regeneration evident.

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Track over tussock farmland

 

Approaching the summit of Mt Herbert

Approaching the summit of Mt Herbert

The summit of Mt Herbert is essentially flat, which affords a magnificent 360 degree view of the surrounding area. The next four photos were taken from the summit area.

Looking   toLyttelton Harbour, the Port Hills and beyond to the foothills of  Southern Alps

Looking north  to Lyttelton Harbour, the Port Hills and beyond to the foothills of the Southern Alps

 

Looking  to Lake Ellesmere and Kaitorete Spit

Looking south west to Lake Ellesmere and Kaitorete Spit

 

Also looking south west but showing the green roof of Mt Herbert Shelter

Also looking south west but showing the green roof of Mt Herbert Shelter, a 15 minute walk below the summit on the track to Orton Bradley

 

Looking  to Mt Bradley ( ), the second highest point on Banks Peninsula

Looking north west to Mt Bradley (855 metres), covered in flowering gorse, the second highest point on Banks Peninsula

 

Port Levy on the return trip

Purau from the Port Levy Saddle Track, on the return journey

 

While descending the are views of Purau and over the Port Hills to New Brighton and

Views of Purau and over the Port Hills to New Brighton and Pegasus Bay

 

Kaituna Valley and Kaitorete Spit from a lower altitude

Kaituna Valley, Lake Ellesmere and Kaitorete Spit from a lower on the track

 

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Looking south east

Port Levy Saddle is in the valley over the ridge, beyond the plantation.  Behind that are the hills between Little River and Akaroa.  In the far distance are the hills beyond Akaroa Harbour.  Port Levy is to the left, out of sight.

 

Port Levy with remains of totara tree logging on the slopes

Port Levy with remains of totara tree logging on the slopes

 

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Anisotome aromatica (common name aromatic aniseed) a small native herb in the carrot family that grows in the mountains and higher cooler areas on Banks Peninsula

 

Port Levy through felled trunk of a mountain totara

Port Levy through felled trunk of a mountain totara, some regeneration on the left

 

Kaituna Valley through some totaras

Kaituna Valley through some totaras, low on the track

 

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