Ōtukaikino is a 13 ha freshwater wetland reserve within Christchurch that is being restored as a living memorial. The flat track is suitable for strollers.
From the car park the track crosses a bridge over a stream, which is a great spot to look for water life, such as eels/tuna. From there the track passes through the wetland on a raised boardwalk then loops around the outside of the wetland, with interpretation panels to look at and pleasant places to sit along the way. There is a raised lookout point for a view over the area.
The wetland is a 'Wāi Tapu' site. Picnicking is allowed only in the paddock next to the car park, where there is also a toilet. This area is suitable for wheelchairs.
Ōtukaikino wetland is on the outskirts of Christchurch City, by the northern suburb of Belfast. The entrance is off Main North Road, between Chaneys Corner and the Belfast end of the Northern Motorway.
The gate to the reserve will close at 6 pm.
As the track goes across ponds and there is a nearby stream. Young children must be supervised at all times.
The boardwalk is closed due to land changes caused by the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes. Use the available track instead.
There are lots of interesting things to see as you make your way along the track.
Wetland plant life is dominated by:
- toe toe
- tall tussock sedges (pukio)
- blechnum fern (kiokio)
Birds sometimes seen in the reserve are:
- mallard ducks
- shoveller (kuruwhengu)
- grey teal (tete)
- marsh crake (koitareke)
- bittern (matuku)
- fantails (pīwakawaka)
- scaup (papango)
The spring fed waters of the wetland support a variety of aquatic life including common bullies, native snails (pūpū), short and long-finned eels (tuna), juvenile native fish and various aquatic insects.