Harts Creek boardwalk

Image: Michael Smeaton | DOC

Introduction

This walkway to a bird hide, where you can easily view birdlife, is a great walk for children and families.

Track overview

1.46 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

40 min Easiest: Easy access short walk

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

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.

Getting there

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.

Nature and conservation

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.

Read about the Harts Creek restoration.

Know before you go

  • The boardwalk can sometimes be submerged during high lake levels. 
  • Keep to the track as access crosses private land.
  • As this is a wildlife area, no dogs, even on leashes, are allowed.
  • Remain on the boardwalk or the marked track at all times.
  • Dress for the weather. Hats and sunscreen are recommended. 
  • As the walk crosses areas of water and a stream is nearby young children must be supervised at all times.
  • No drinking water available on site.
  • No toilets on site.

Contacts

Ōtautahi / Christchurch Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 379 4082
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   christchurchvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   28 Worcester Boulevard
Christchurch 8013
Postal Address:   Private Bag 11089
Christchurch 8443
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