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Sign of the Takahe

Home  »  South Island Walks  »  Christchurch  »  Sign of the Takahe – Walk detail

The Sign of the Takahe is an historic building, planned by Harry H.G. Ell in 1918. Walking around in side the castle is like steeping back in time to King Arthur and the round table, watch out for his knights. If you are looking for the best view of Christchurch the sign of the Takahe is the place to be.

Quick Facts

        • Location: South Island NZ
        • Distance: 0.20 kms
        • Time needed: 1 Hour
        • Difficulty: Very Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 197m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    You have to call in and see in side this Historic castle

  • Track Quality


  • Hazards


  • Transport

    10 Harewood / Cashmere.
    For further information check out the Christchurch City Bus Services at metro info.

  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    The quickest way is from Cathedral SQ, drive south a long Colombo St for 4 Km this is a very long RD, you will cross over a lots of streets, lights and roundabout.
    At 4Km you will arrive at the major intersection of Cashmere Rd and Centaurus Rd.
    Drive straight ahead though the intersection and in to Cashmere suburb.
    This is a very tight Intersection; all you need to do is take the road that goes up the hill.
    From here it is up hill all the way for 2.2Km.
    You will see the building before the turn off on the left.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    This is cafe and Restaurant so stay for Morning or Afternoon tea and enjoy the fantastic view of Christchurch

  • Area & Track History

    Sign of the Takahe is an historic building, planned by Harry (H.G.) Ell in 1918.
    The wooden beams were from demolished bridges and the stone was quarry from Hilmorton
    Takahe was not completed until 1948 – more than a decade after Harry Ell’s death in 1934. Takahe opened for business in 1920 and was known as the Tram Terminus Rest house.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Sign of the Takahe

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Takahe

Situated on Cracroft Reserve, the Sign of the Takahe is an historic building, planned by Harry H.G. Ell in 1918. The buildings, envisaged as a series of staging points along an unbroken route to the Akaroa Summit, include the Victoria Park stone rotunda, the Sign of the Kiwi, the Sign of the Bellbird 1914 and the Sign of the Packhorse 1916, a stone hut lying on Crown land to the south of Mt. Bradley.
Harry Ell started his battle to create a unique hillside chain of buildings and reserves in 1908, but it was not until the first stone was laid in what was to become known as The Sign of the Takahe.
Originally intended to be a Dickensian inn, Ell eventually settled on a Gothic/Tudor baronial style after extensive research in the UK.
The building was not completed to its present state until 1948.
A masterpiece of improvisation and economic necessity, materials and tools were salvaged and scrounged from all over Canterbury, the stone was quarried from various sites along the Summit Road, some of the wood came from local sources of kauri and totara, and perhaps the best example, the huge kauri beams which span the lounge were salvaged from a former bridge across the Hurunui River

Point 2: Takahe Look Out

Take a walk out to the point, as you can see the view of Christchurch is fantastic.
On a clear day there is no better place to sit in the warm sun and enjoy the view, take a flat white with you.
You could try the restaurant for lunch or take a pick nick lunch with you and walk out to the point.
After visiting Takahe we drove up the road another five minutes to Victoria Park for another good walk up to the summit.

All walks in Christchurch…

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Contact info

Sign Of The Takahe 200 Hackthorne Road, Cashmere, Christchurch 8022, New Zealand

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