covers 116 hectares of land surrounded by urban subdivision, and was purchased by the Christchurch City Council in 1996 in response to public demand led by the Travis Wetland Trust. Previously farmed and drained, the area is now being managed as a Nature Heritage Park.
Travis wetland is a lowland freshwater wetland, located in the midst of an urban environment. It is one of the few surviving fragments of the once extensive wetland habitat that covered much of Christchurch prior to European settlement.
Travis wetland is an inspiration example of an urban wildnerness being restored for its conservation, recreational, and educational values. Volunteers help out with planting and weeding on monthly working bees. If you live in the area, you are most welcome to join us there.
You can join us and learn more at traviswetland.org.nz
News and Events
Native nature at Travis wetland
Travis is the most important freshwater wetland for birds in Christchurch, supporting about half of Christchurch’s pukeko (Porphyrio porphyrio
) population. Fifty-five species of birds, including 35 natives, have been recorded at the wetland. New Zealand’s threatened, endemic brown teal/pateke (Anas aucklandica
) was recently reintroduced. An indigenous skink, the native short-fined eel and possibly the Canterbury mudfish are present in the wetland. Travis also supports healthy populations of a diverse variety of insects (an estimated 700-900 species, about 10% of which are yet to be named).
Remarkably, nearly 80% of pre-European native wetland plant species are still present in the wetland, including a number of species now rare on the Canterbury Plains. These include the only substantial stand of manuka (Leptospermum scoparium
, Myrtaceae), a species of spider orchid (Corybas macranthus
, Orchidaceae) and a native sundew (Drosera binata
, Droseraceae), which are regionally vulnerable. Pollen and macrofossils show that much of the swamp was originally native woodland and tall kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides,
Podocarpaceae) swamp forest, although all of the forest had been burned off by Maori before European settlement. less ↑