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.
Due to land changes caused by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake sequence, the boardwalk is often closed due to flooding. However, there is an alternative track around the wetland that can still be walked.
There are lots of interesting things to see as you make your way along the track.
Wetland plant life is dominated by:
Birds sometimes seen in the reserve are:
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.
Come and explore this beautifully restored wetland that many birds call home. This reserve gives us a small glimpse into what our many wetlands once looked like long ago.
These interesting short and overnight walks are great options for getting outdoors with children.