Ōtamahua/Quail Island Harbour


Ōtamahua/Quail Island is an inner harbour island, reached via a short ferry ride from Lyttelton. It's Canterbury’s largest island but is easily explored in a day.

Easy grades make the walks on this island suitable for small children and family groups.



Find things to do and places to stay Ōtamahua/Quail Island Recreation Reserve

At the northern point of the island there is a bird observation barricade.

Birds such as black-backed/karoro and red-billed gulls/tarāpunga, white-flippered penguins/kororā, terns, shags and oystercatchers are often seen from the observation point. Fantails/pīwakawaka and grey warblers/riroriro are present on the island.

Banks Peninsula tree weta have recently been transferred to the island. You may see custom-built weta homes attached to the trunks of manuka trees.

Check you are pest-free

Check, clean, and seal your gear to ensure you don't bring pests, soil, and seeds.

See island biosecurity requirements.


Mahaanui / Sockburn Office
Phone:   +64 3 341 9100
Fax:   +64 03 341 9101
Email:   esienquiries@doc.govt.nz
Address:   31 Nga Mahi Road
Postal Address:   PO Box 11089
Sockburn 8443
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