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Opihi River Stop Bank - #TimaruCycleTrails

Grade: All Abilities

Time: 1 hr 15 Minutes 

Users: Walkers/Runners


Fun for riders of all abilities and only a few minutes drive from the Orari township, the River Flat Tracks are at their most beautiful from spring to autumn due to the large number of trees. And while it would be at least 50 years since the Orari River flowed continuously from the mountains to the sea, nowadays almost the entire middle section flows underground, the flat and tracks are a bikers' heaven. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the peace of this very special part of the country.

The Orari River rises to the northwest of the Four Peaks Range, flowing north then east to circumnavigate the range before flowing southwest across the Canterbury Plains. It is 74 kilometres long and reaches the Pacific Ocean eight kilometres east of Temuka. The towns of Geraldine and Orari are both located close to its banks. The river has been identified as an important bird area by BirdLife International because it supports breeding colonies of the endangered Black-billed Gull

Black-billed Gulls, also known as Buller's Gulls, are a species of gull in the Laridae family and are only found in New Zealand. Natural habitats for the gulls are rivers, freshwater lakes, freshwater marshes, sandy shores, pastureland, and urban areas. It is threatened by habitat losss and the species has shown a marked decline in numbers since about 1980.

Farming - The agricultural sector is the base of South Canterbury’s economy and the region is widely considered New Zealand’s food bowl. Producers grow essential food crops, in addition to the significant amount of dairy farms and forestry. Increasing irrigation offers farmers a greater range of options for production – including intensive cropping, meat, wool and dairy.


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