Harts Creek boardwalk
Image: Michael Smeaton | DOC
1.46 km return via same track
Starting at the reserve car park, there is a copse of trees to walk through before the track takes you parallel to Harts Creek where swans, ducks and trout can be seen.
Here you walk along a flat track along a stop bank in the open for about 10-15 minutes. The track leads into Harts Creek Wildlife Management Reserve, a densely wooded swamp area. Take care to keep to the board walkway.
The walkway ends at the bird hide, a camouflaged hut set out on the lake for easy viewing of birdlife. The reserve entrance has a pleasant and sheltered spot for picnics.
The bird hide and boardwalk were built by the Ellesmere Lions Club.
Note: there are predator traps located in the area and can be seen from the walkway. These traps help reduce the predation of bird species that nest in the area.
Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is approximaely 54 km south of Christchurch city. Travel south east of Christchurch on SH76 and Springs Rd to Lincoln, then follow Ellesmere Junction Road to Springston. At Springston, turn right onto Leeston Rd to Leeston (42 km).
At Leeston turn left at Leeston Lake Rd. Follow this road to the end (10 km) then turn left onto Harts Rd for 1.5 km, then sharp left onto a shingle road to reach the car park. This point is sign posted.
Harts Creek Wildlife Management Reserve lies on the western margins of Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere. The reserve provides an excellent habitat for wildlife and is also a wildlife refuge.
Birdlife includes: white swans, black swans, pukeko, parekareka/spotted shag, Canada geese, several species of duck, kōtuku/white heron, kakī/pied stilts, kamana/crested grebe and more, with possible sightings of the elusive matuku/Australasian bittern.