The 44 km-long Christchurch to Little River Railtrail runs from Hornby in Christchurch to Little River on Banks Peninsula. This route follows much of the old railway line that was last used in the 1960s and has gentle easy grades. See updates on the Little River Railtrail website.
The 20 km section of the walkway/cycleway that runs between Motukarara and Little River travels on the old preserved railway embankment.
The section between Prebbleton and Lincoln (7 km) is an offroad track adjacent to the old railway line that runs alongside Birchs Road.
The Hornby (Christchurch) to Prebbleton section (3.5 km) is an offroad track that runs alongside Shands and Marshes Rds before following the railway corridor into Prebbleton.
There are a number of entry points into the railtrail, accessed off the Christchurch to Akaroa highway.
Toilets and parking are available at Prebbleton, Lincoln, Motukarara, Ataahua, Birdlings Flat, Cantons Bay, and Little River.
This is a shared-use track. Follow the mountain bikers code: respect others, respect the rules, respect the track.
Know before you go
- As much of the trail passes through farmland and important wildlife areas, horses are strictly forbidden on the Railtrail, and dogs are not allowed on the Motukarara to Little River section.
- The railtrail is very exposed to bad weather. Be prepared.
- Some sections still involve cycling on roads.
- In summer clouds of lake flies can be an issue. Riders are advised to protect their eyes with sun glasses.
- Carry drinking water with you as none is available on this track.
- The easy grade makes this walk or ride suitable for young children and family groups.
- Public toilets are available at Motukarara, Ataahua, Birdlings Flat, Cantons Bay, and Little River.