Blink and you will miss this hidden gem. Well hidden in plain sight that you will drive right on by on the road from Christchurch to Akaroa. There’s a small, delightful town called Little River. Which hosts no river and is of questionable size. If you’ve driven down that way you’ve most likely stopped to use the bathroom here or obeyed the road rules and slowed down as you drive on by. Perhaps on your way back to Christchurch you’ll notice the huge silver, shiny silos and start cursing yourself that you didn’t stop by here earlier.
You are doing yourself and your adventure a really big disservice by not staying at least one night here on your New Zealand road trip.
Where is Little River?
Little River is nestled in a deep valley surrounded by streams and springs, between Christchurch and Akaroa. The streams and springs join to form the Okana and Okuti Rivers. It’s a small town on the Banks Peninsula located approximately 30 minutes drive from Akaroa or 45 minutes drive from Christchurch. Hidden away on State Highway 75, which links Christchurch and Akaroa.
Clearly well and truly on the beaten path, Little River is a spot you don’t want to drive by.
What’s here to amuse you?
Well in all honesty not a whole heap unless you get off your backside and go exploring. Which is 100% why I loved staying here. There’s no big pub, bars, night clubs or the like. It’s a stunning, small town home to a strong farming community. Like most small towns within an hour drive of a major city there’s a small, ever growing community of commuters that travel to Christchurch for work.
If you are into mountain biking or bike riding in general than the Railtrail is a perfect place for you to start. With the opening of ECan’s Ahuriri section it is now possible to ride the entire length of the Rail Trail from Christchurch through to Little River. A leisurely 49km ride.
Little River currently boasts an interesting mix of cafes, craft shops and the stunning Art Gallery.
Truly unique accommodation- Sleeping in a silo
This is by far my number one reason for falling in love with Little River. After arriving at 5am, a day’s drive and exploring Akaroa and the first family commitment of this trip all I wanted was some peace and quiet. The weather was horrid. Windy, rain, cold. Urgh. Even my favourite sleeping bag jacket couldn’t make me happy.
From the moment we pulled up into the car park I was mesmerised by the artist sentiment and the details of the silo and their surrounds. I hadn’t even stepped into our private silo yet. The first thing that catches the eye is well the 9 big shiny silver silos. You really can’t miss these and I’m not sure how anyone actually drives by and doesn’t stop in.
It was such a relief to me to walk up to the kiosk lock box, enter my code and grab a key to our silo. As you walk along the wooden planks you can’t help but laugh at the little oddities. This place is full of character and charm. Firstly we were welcomed by the Little Green Dog. Who I unfortunately forgot to take a selfie with. There’s a large fridge full of books, magazines and games if you feel like a little bit of light entertainment. As I approached our silo I was surprised to see a Private sign across the stairs. Unbeknown to me this is because a lot of people can’t drive by and not stop in for a peekaboo.
Once I stopped giggling and made my way up to our silo, the first thing that hits me in the face is warmth. Soft, delicious like a marshmallow hugging warmth. The staff have been in earlier in the day and turned on the heater. Thank you Silo Stay ninja staff for that little warm perk.
The silos are two story, fully self contained. The bottom floor offers a teeny tiny uber cute kitchenette, a toilet and chocolate. The kitchenette hosts a tiny fridge, stove top, kettle adn the usual kitchen necessities. As I mentioned above there’s little to do in the township, so do as we did and BYO foodies. If you’re not as keen as cooking pantless in the kitchen like I am then you can pre-order meals from the Silo Stay team or pop down to the local pub.
So let’s not skip over that previous little mention of free chocolate. On the kitchen table waiting for us was a few bars of Whitlam chocolate. Again showing us that it’s the little things that are really thought out and actioned here.
As if I wasn’t in love enough with the silo space and design I almost feel into the bed. Part exhaustion, part amazement. Upstairs is a large bed with all the lovely fluffy pillows. Accompanied by a seriously smooth shower and basin for all your personal cleaning needs.
It wasn’t until we had a full night, toasty warm sleep that we got to experience how wonderful this part of the silo is. The bathroom space may be small and curvaceous but it packs a punch with happy hot water and a few extras that I’m not going to tell you. I’d hate to spoil this experience of exploration for you.
In all honesty I was blown away with the spacious interior and the stylist interior design work. From the trimmings to the light switches it was all mesmerising. I won’t spoil the local guide book that is there for you. Just trust me that it’s worth sitting down with a cup of tea and reading.
The next morning we popped next door to the cafe, next to the gallery for a coffee fix. Before spending the day exploring the area around Little River and the Art Gallery.
Isn’t it time that you booked in a hidden SiloStay?
SiloStay offers guests an opportunity to embrace a sustainable stay somewhere that offers a truly unique luxury. All whilst not destroying our environment.
In total there are 9 silos, including a family friendly/accessible silo. There are a lot of stairs to climb into the silo and within the silo itself, so be sure to request the accessible silo if you need it. The staff here are incredibly helpful and oh so very knowledgeable about the area. Feel free to drop them a hello and help email when you go to book your next visit.
Don’t delay book in your SiloStay today!
Don’t forget your hiking and adventure gear.
Seriously it was be remise of me to not advise you to go out and explore the small hills that surround SiloStay. There’s so much beautiful areas to explore. Which really is a reflection on the beauty that is New Zealand. It’s an adventure lover’s dream destination.
Shop the Traveling Honeybird Amazon store for some great hiking gear.
Will we see you at the SiloStay sometime soon?
Founder, Principal Blogger & Coffee Drinker
Coffee Lover | Travel Blogger | Horse Rider | Adventure Racer | Donut Dame. Generally nice lady-enjoys wine, indie movies & random dance parties in my tent.
Just a little FYI- this article was written in partnership with the team at SiloStay, who generously gifted us our stay. Any and all views and opinions expressed are entirely my own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.
Just a teeny tiny note on affiliate links – We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We’re also a member of a few others and may make a bit of coin on the side, this is at no extra cost to you.
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Sleeping in a silo sounds interesting. I wanna do that! Haha. No doubt I’d fall in love with Little River too, it seems like a place I would want to stay at.
Little River does look like a relaxing town to visit! The Silo accommodation seems very unique and cozy. New Zealand has so many interesting things to explore, I hope I can visit soon!
What a quirky visit to Little River! I love he name even though there was no big river and it’s great to find hidden gems when you least expect to
Such a cute tiny town, we live in Queenstown and have never heard of River. Your Silo Stay looked incredible and so cosy. Loved all the photos too.
You really should go for a visit to Little River.
What a cute place! Surprised that I’ve never heard about it, I lived in NZ for 12 years haha. Sleeping in a silo looks interesting! Hehe
This town looks gorgeous and never heard about little river before.Would like to check out this place.your pictures are beautiful.
I’m headed to New Zealand this summer, so I will have to see if I drive by Little River. It looks like a great coffee stop and staying in a silo is SO unique.
Make it a priority to stop by.
My fiance and I are considering New Zealand for our honeymoon. I’ll have to make sure to save this for planning purposes.
New Zealand is a dream destination! Our friends just moved back there, and hopefully, we’d be able to visit them in the next two years. The farming community you mentioned appeals to us, I wonder how possible it is to engage with them and see their farm practices.
Sometimes I like to go, go, go when I travel; this little community looks better for the times I want to slow the pace of life a bit. Thank you for sharing! `
I love seeing posts about NZ. There is soooo much more for us to see! I blooming need to go back. This looks like a looovely place to visit!
New Zealand always been that heavenly place for tourists because it combines several ideas for spending time. On the one hand you feel yourself as a part of nature on the other these colourful , tiny houses make you feel better for a while
NZ is my home and I didn’t know this place existed! Will definitely have to check it out!
I love real places like this. You feel you can really get under the skin of what it’s like to live there. And the silos: just beautiful. What a brilliant stay!
Those exploring places are perfect for me. I need no pub or fancy eatery or stuff to do. I like FINDING stuff to do through exploring the local lands, and when nature presents me with a place like this I dive in and enjoy the ride. This spot gives off the NZ feel, big-time. After seeing your first snap I thought Frodo may run out with his hairy little feet – and precious ring – to grab his second breakfast 😉 Really fun share and NZ is on the travel list. I will add Little River even if the name does not necessarily reflect the setting 🙂
Thanks for sharing Jean.
The stay looks really sweet and welcoming 🙂 Nice pictures!
I would love to visit NZ someday! Absolutely gorgeous photos – so cosy! I also love that coffee cup. My local coffee shop always uses coffee cups with gorgeous artwork on them and it brightens up my day 🙂
Fabulous run down of the silo experience and great pics – thanks so much 🙂
So cool! We live in CHCH and visit LR quite often, enjoy the rest of your travels!
Make sure you go for a romantic weekend to Silo!
This sounds so unique! I’ll definitely have to pop in on my new zealand trip next year! X Isabella http://fawnjournal.blogspot.com.au/
I’m heading to NZ in November but to the North Island. Shame I won’t make it here it looks lovely 🙂
Such a lovely and calm place. I would like to visit sometime.
Lovely. Hoping to get there next March with friends in a campervan. Fun!
Make sure you drop by here. We had a campervan too but loved staying here. It was nice not sleeping ontop of our kitchen
I’ve never heard of Little River and gutted I missed it and the silos! They probably pip the post to the All Time Most Fantastic Accommodation award – how fun do they look?!
They are as much fun as they look
We stopped by Little River on our last NZ trip – it’s a gorgeous place! I’ve always wondered what those Silos were like to stay in – very unique – great post ?
Next time don’t wonder stop in and stay the night!
How cool! Looks amazing. If we get over there will definitely check it out. Love the silo stays so different.
I so need to visit here.
Oh my goodness! What a cute little town and I would love to visit just to stay in one of those silos! Fun!
These silos were amazing to stay in. You should go and stay in one. You won’t regret it.
It’s an amazing place to visit Jelena. Really easy to get around. Little bit expensive but it’s worth it!
It looks beautiful!
Would like to visit New Zeland one day, everyone is telling me good things about it. 🙂