The First Four Ships carried the Canterbury Association’s first settlers.
The Charlotte Jane anchored at Lyttelton at 10am on Monday, December 16, 1850, with 154 passengers on board. The Randolph arrived at 3.30pm, with 217 passengers. The Sir George Seymour anchored at 10am the following day,with 227 passengers and finally the Cressy arrived on December 27, with 155 passengers.
The Bridle Path was cut during September and October 1850 by Captain J. Thomas on behalf of the Canterbury Association.
Settlers made constant use of the Bridle Path until the opening of the Sumner Road to Lyttelton via Evans Pass in 1857 and the Lyttelton rail tunnel in 1867.
The early settlers carried most of their belongings over the hill, the horses had to be led on the bridle up the track to the summit hence the name, Bridle Path.
Heavy goods were transported by boat down Lyttelton harbour, across the notorious shallow bar of the Sumner Estuary and then up the Avon River.
As per usual I walked the Bridle Path backwards leaving from the Heathcote Valley end and finished in Lyttelton. This is the route map just above the Gondola terminus showing the landmarks left by the early settlers to commemorate various parts of their life. Below are photos of most of these. Yep I missed a couple I must have been head down and sweating as I trudged past.....A couple of negative points on the photojournalist card there..!