Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere has a range of walks suitable for every ability. There are short walks around Lakeside Domain, Yarrs Flat Wildlife Reserve (Ararira Wetland), and at the mouth of the Waikirikiri/Selwyn River and, when the lake levels are low, the Greenpark sands are accessible for walkers, birdwatchers and photographers.
WaitatariHarts Creek Track is a leisurely walk along the creekside to a bird hide overlooking Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. The track is very easy and suitable for all ages and abilities, but there are a couple of boardwalks to navigate. The track is completely flat and takes about 20 minutes each way depending on how fast you walk.
Walkers will enjoy spotting several bird species on Waitatari/Harts Creek and from the hide itself. There is a small sheltered area near the car park that is ideal for a picnic. To get there, follow the signs towards the Lakeside Domain on Timber Yard Road and follow the yellow signpost from the road marked “Bird Hide”.
To find out more about the development of this track and the restoration of Waitatari/Harts Creek by the local community, watch this video.
A short video from Waihora Ellesmere Trust, celebrating the work of the Harts Creek and Birdlings Brook Streamcare Group and their success at cleaning the waterway which flows into Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. Thanks to WWF and ECan for supporting the making of this video.
Little River Rail Trail
The Little River Rail Trail is a combined cycleway and walkway between Christchurch and Little River.
From Hornby to Little River the route follows much of the Little River Branch railway line which operated from 1875 until 1967 providing a vital means for farmers to get stock and produce to market.
The trail winds along the Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere shoreline and Te Roto o Wairewa/lake Forsyth.