Little River Rail Trail


A scenic trail suitable for all abilities that is rich in history, geology and birdlife.

The Christchurch to Little River Rail Trail is a cycleway and walkway that mostly follows the route of an old 19th century railway line between Hornby and Little River via Prebbleton, Lincoln, Motukarara and Birdlings Flat.

It passes through rural areas and settlements on the Canterbury plains, loops around hills and borders Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, and Te Roto o Wairewa/Lake Forsyth.

The full trail is 45km one-way, but is split into six sections. For more details visit

SECTION 1: Hornby–Prebbleton 20 minutes, 4km

SECTION 2: Prebbleton–Lincoln 35 minutes, 7km 

SECTION 3: Lincoln–Ahuriri Reserve 50 minutes, 10km

SECTION 4: Ahuriri reserve–Motukarara 25 minutes, 4km

SECTION 5: Motukarara–Birdlings Flat 70 minutes, 13 km

SECTION 6: Birdlings Flat–Little River 40 minutes, 7km

Dogs are not permitted on the Motukarara–Birdlings Flat and Birdlings Flat–Little River sections. On other parts of the trail, dogs are permitted but must be on leash.

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