Children walking on Quail Island
Image: DOC


This isolated island in Lyttelton Harbour is the ultimate day trip! Rich in history; sea birds; Hector’s dolphins; skinks, fascinating geology; beach swimming and shady picnic spots; plus a magic harbour boat trip.
  • Visit sites from the early 1900s where lepers were quarantined and Antartctic explorers trained their sled dogs and ponies.
  • Look out kororä /white-flippered penguins, tara/ white-fronted terns, parekareka/spotted shags, black backed gulls, variable oystercatchers, pïwakawaka/fantails, kotare/kingfisher and riroriro/grey warblers as well as introduced quail and pheasant.
  • Check out custom-built weta homes attached to the trunks of manuka trees.
  • Swim, comb the beach, expore the shipwreck, picnic and have a full day out.

Get ready

Download the adventure map (PDF, 1,122K) and check out what you can do.

Go and explore

Look out for the Guardian Post when you get there. On it you'll find a special code word - write it down.

Getting there: Ōtamahua/Quail Island lies within Lyttelton Harbour/Te Whakaraupō. A regular bus service runs between Christchurch city and Lyttelton (No. 28) and includes a stop at B jetty. Further information about bus services is available from BUSinfophone + 64 3 366 8855. Black Cat Cruises operate a regular seven-day ferry service to the island during summer and a weekend service during winter.

Claim your reward

Tell us the Ōtamahua/Quail Island code word to receive a Kiwi Guardians certificate and medal for this adventure.

Put the medal on your back pack or pencil case to show everyone the adventure you've had.

Each Kiwi Guardians place has a different medal - see how many you can collect.

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