The Coastal Path connects Magazine Bay, Corsair and Cass Bay beaches, with spectacular views of Whakaraupō/Lyttelton Harbour, Ōtamahua/Quail Island and Charteris Bay opposite.
Start: 7 Park Terrace
Finish: Pony Point Reserve
Time: 1 hour one way
Toilets: Located at Corsair Bay and Cass Bay
Dogs: Must be on leash on the tracks and under effective control on the beaches, except in summer. Between 9am and 7pm, November to end of February, dogs must be kept on a short leash while walking through the beaches.
Access: Suitable for all-terrain buggies as far as Corsair Bay only.
The Coastal Path starts at the white gate at 7 Park Tce. This wide, well-formed track follows the coastline well above the shore. You can take a connecting path (5 minutes) to drop down to explore Magazine Bay, a small sandy beach perfect for picnics, which is home to the Thornycroft Torpedo Boat Museum (limited open hours).
The track passes through regenerating forest and pine trees before dropping down to the shore at Corsair Bay, a popular swimming and picnic spot. There are toilets and drinking fountains here, and a pirate-themed playground beside the car park.
Pick up the track again on the far side of Corsair Bay beach where it climbs into the pine trees. This second part of the track is longer, narrower and steep in a few places with some steps; it follows the coastline. Cass Bay also has a playground with a flying fox, toilets and a grey sands beach.
Drop down to Cass beach and walk to the far end. Walk a few metres up Bay View Place to pick up the well-formed track just above the playground and toilets. The track through Pony Point Scenic Reserve is a circuit track – a 30-minute round trip.
The left-hand route sidles around above the boat sheds following the water edge before zig-zagging up to reach the summit of the point, where there is a grassy area with picnic tables and benches. There are native plantings and a pou, and great harbour views.
The return track to Cass Bay follows the fence then descends through the gum trees. You can also exit the reserve to Governors Bay Road from the top picnic area – there is a small pull-off for parking.