For one of the most successful 'must stops' in an otherwise 'drive through' village, you can't beat the Little River Gallery http://www.littlerivergallery.com/. For most of my life Little River represented a toilet stop on the way to Akaroa. Now it is a 'go to' destination in its own right. The combination of local grocery shop, cafe (with excellent food) and gallery with both art/craft shop and exhibition space, is a winning one. You can buy a newspaper (or some excellent local produce), peruse it over a coffee and then support local artists with a purchase.
Yesterday Elaine and I drove from Governors Bay, over Gebbies Pass, skirted around Te Waihora and Lake Forsyth to Little River and spent a good three hours on a cold, cloudy day enjoying coffee, conversation, gallery browsing and lunch. The cafe was buzzing, the gallery busy and it was a truly satisfying weekend excursion. Congratulations to the owners for their vision, commitment and success over what is now an extended period.