Field trips

All field trips are taking place on Friday 15 October.

Minimum numbers apply in order for the field trip to go ahead.

Each field trip costs $105 which includes day catering, transport and a tour guide.

Repo of the Waimakariri River and the Coastal Strip

Alpine-fed braided rivers such as the Waimakariri are capable of wreaking great havoc, and history provides good evidence of this. Consequently, works to tame the lower reaches commenced at the beginning of the 20th century, resulting in the river we see today. This trip will visit some of the wetlands that were created as a result of these works.

Other major work in the 19th century drained a 5000ha wetland that occupied the land between Rangiora and Kaiapoi. We will stop briefly to view the drain that carries this water to the Waimakariri River. You will cruise on the Waimakariri to observe the lower reaches and wetlands created by earthquakes, and human tinkering.

INTECOL Repo of the Waimakariri River and the Coastal Strip

Te Pataka o Rakaihautū - Volcano Tour

Lyttelton and Akaroa Harbours are the hearts of two long extinct volcanoes that formed the island off the east coast of Canterbury that was to become Banks Peninsula. The Storehouse of Rakaihautū is one of the names given to Banks Peninsula. It is a reference to a revered tupuna (ancestor) and the resources that the forests, streams, wetlands and coasts held. A tiny percentage of the forest cover of Banks Peninsula remained following conversion to European methods of production, while for centuries the land and adjacent seas provided all that was required for successive waves of Māori migrants.

INTECOL Te Pataka o Rakaihautū Volcano Tour 1

Te Kete Ika o Rākaihautū

The western shores of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere are part of one of the largest wetland complexes left on the Canterbury Plains. The bed of Waihora was returned to Ngai Tahu as part of the Ngai Tahu Claims Settlements Act 1998 and resulted in the development of a Joint Management Plan between Ngai Tahu and the Department of Conservation. Waihora and its smaller neighbour, Muriwai/Coopers Lagoon have suffered significant degradation since the mid 19th century, brought about by forest clearance, land use, lake level management and invasive species. Lake management includes artificial openings to protect land use, not just adjacent to the lake, but in the wider district. Efforts to restore the health, biodiversity and mauri of Waihora have been increasing since the lake bed was returned to Ngai Tahu.

INTECOL Te Kete Ika o Rākaihautū TO USE

Wetlands of Te Waihora

Te Waihora is an internationally recognised site of significance for birdlife. Before it was thus recognised it was prized by the rūnanga of Ngaī Tahu as an important mahinga kai (place to gather life sustaining resources). Efforts to drain the land to provide for farm production have seen the peak lake area reduced from an estimated 80,000ha prior to any human intervention to 20,000ha, this is primarily achieved by opening the lake to the sea. This trip will take you from the Wairewa Marae in the settlement of Little River to the marae at Taumutu while taking in traditions of food gathering (tuna) at Birdlings Flat, the efforts to drain the lake and commercial fishing at Timberyard Point. It will also look at the efforts underway to move this internationally significant waterbody from its current degraded state back into its more healthy natural stable state. These efforts include work to reestablish the vast beds of aquatic plants that once thrived and helped maintain lake health.

INTECOL Wetlands of Te Waihora

Stormwater wetlands

Kindly sponsored by Christchurch City Council

Christchurch City Council has constructed a number of wetlands for stormwater management, arguably leading the way nationally in this space. In the past, much of Christchurch consisted of raupō swamp, deep peat swamps, and deep gullies that held water following rainfall. The subsequent issues with drainage and sewage resulted in these lowland wetland areas being drained, and waterways channelised, for many years following settlement, with little knowledge of the subsequent effects on ecological values.

Now the Christchurch City Council works towards a six-values approach to waterbody management, considering not just drainage, but ecology, culture, heritage, landscape, and recreation. To date, over 100 hectares of wetlands have been constructed or restored, with associated vegetation planted and waterways enhanced. The Council is also involved in research to better understand the success of wetland creation, predominantly around water quality treatment efficiency.

INTECOL Stormwater wetlands

History of Repo of Ōtautahi

Ōtautahi is a city built on the bones of repo. Survey maps from the mid 19th century show the city as a mosaic of wetland and dryland with just a handful of forest remnants scattered across the Canterbury plains. Most of these wetlands were drained to make way for farming activities and latterly this farmland was converted to urban development. Remnants of repo in Christchurch City include Riccarton Bush/Pūtaringamotu, Styx Mill Basin, Otukaikino Living Memorial and two wetlands of the lower Waimakariri – Te Rauakaaka and Brooklands Lagoon. All wetlands were of great importance to mana whenua for mahinga kai purposes and as a source of mana. Activities would have included gathering of food, building materials, medicines and the preparation of bodies of the deceased for burial.

INTECOL History of Repo of Otautahi 1

O Tu Wharekai - Repo of Hakatere

Kindly sponsored by Arawai Kākāriki Wetland Restoration Programme

A unique trip to the high-country of the South Island, near the Southern Alps, to explore Ō Tū Wharekai an inter-montane basin that supports 10 glacially-formed lakes, extensive braided rivers, rare ephemeral wetlands (kettleholes) and sedge-dominated swamps.

A landscape characterised by high-country sheep and cattle farming, indigenous ecosystems and climate extremes that is significant for freshwater biodiversity, to local hapu and iwi (Māori) and for recreation - but which has also been subject to land use change.

The >20,000 ha site is part of a national wetland restoration initiative to protect outstanding freshwater ecosystems guided by science – Arawai Kākāriki.

INTECOL O Tu Wharekai Repo of Hakatere 3

Travis Swamp/Avon-Heathcote Estuary Tour - a "Wetland of International Significance"

Full day guided tour to view Christchurch based tidal wetland of "International Significance" the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai Your visit will provide an opportunity to view bird life and attend photographic exhibition of estuary birds.

Plus Travis Wetland The Christchurch lowland wetlands tour will encompass natural remnants, and micro- to landscape scale restoration, of coastal tidal marshes, and associated international migratory flyway, and NZ’s largest urban freshwater wetland complex comprising pond, swamp and fen peat habitats.

INTECOL Travis Swamp Avon Heathcote Estuary Tour 3

Ki uta ki tai – From the Mountains to the Sea

The alpine braided rivers of Canterbury are a characteristic feature of the region. Broad, dynamic and immensely powerful, the plain that stretches from the toe of the Southern Alps to the former island of Banks Peninsula owes its existence to the power of these rivers. They also support unique and highly adapted species such as the wrybill – a small wading bird with an unusually bent bill. Much like an iceberg only a small proportion of a braided river’s flow is seen above the surface, most of the water that falls between the mountain and the sea flows underground through aquifers.

INTECOL Ki uta ki tai From the Mountains to the Sea TO USE