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Go Travel New Zealand - - Christ church -

If you have a pen­chant to per­am­bu­late then Lit­tle River is your mecca.

Be it a leisurely stroll around the his­toric Pa Road with its foun­da­tions stead­fastly grounded in its Maori his­tory, the pa site, the ceme­tery and the me­an­der­ing Okana stream with its rarely seen en­dan­gered wildlife, or check out the eastern most ter­mi­nus of the Lit­tle River Rail Trail. Stop off at the Forsyth Arms, guardian of the River for a quick ‘n’ quiet ale, with mag­nif­i­cent vis­tas over­look­ing Lake Wairewa and south to Antarc­tica. Hike on and be as­tounded at the in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned bird colonies; hot chicks of many feath­ers, do­ing fly-bys, duck pad­dling and swan div­ing.

Con­tinue on the trail to the his­toric set­tle­ment of Birdlings Flat and its in­ter­na­tion­ally famed Kaitorete Spit with God­wits, Pied Stilts and the odd great white Al­ba­tross, ma­rooned from its South­ern Ocean haunts. In sea­son watch the cen­turies old tra­di­tion of eel­ing. Visit the Birdlings Cathe­dral and its ar­chi­tec­turally chal­leng­ing de­sign, now a hum­ble com­mu­nity cen­tre where fam­i­lies of all race and

creed, re­li­gions from the four cor­ners of our planet co-ex­ist in har­mony and en­light­en­ment.

Should you be brazen, with stead­fast in­tent and a packed lunch, turn right at the River Catholic Church, ram­ble up the ad­ja­cent Okuti Val­ley, walk up through the an­cient forests of the Okuti Re­serve, and up­wards on the marked track to the heav­enly hill­tops, a mere 3-4 hours be­yond the val­ley floor, with its eye pop­ping panorama of Akaroa Har­bour.

Head west from the River up Western Val­ley, fol­low­ing the age-old route used by Whisky smug­glers dur­ing pro­hi­bi­tion. Upon crest­ing the sad­dle fol­low the new ‘Te Ara Pā­taka’ trail north to­wards civil­i­sa­tion or south to­wards the Hill­top Tav­ern for a cold one, a hot meal and a life chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence ab­sorb­ing trés mag­nifique views of the sunken Akaroa vol­cano and tow­er­ing cliffs where the great tides of the South­ern oceans have mil­len­nia ago flooded.

Walks a plenty, lo­cal fauna, flora, daisies and long for­got­ten ves­tiges of past civil­i­sa­tions… all within a days walk.

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