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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.