Eco Tourism in the Canterbury Region, South Island, New Zealand

Eco Tourism Day Trips are accessible from Riverfields Cottage. Ashburton has an abundance of natural attractions including rivers and lakes, forests, fishing, bird watching, and adventure sports.

Eco Self-Drive Activities around Riverfields Cottage

Around the Asburton area a small drive from Riverfields Cottage you will find, New Zealand Conservation Parks, legendary Nature Walks and Trekking, Lakes and Forests for Bird Watching, Alpine Bike Trails for Mountain Biking, Lakes and Rivers like the Rakaia and Rangitata for Trout and Salmon Fishing Water Rafting Plus the ever popular Ecological Tours around the sets of Film “Lord of the Rings”.

Inland lakes of Lake Heron
Inland lakes of Lake Heron are known for it’s walking tracks of wetlands and wildlife habitats. Both Lake Heron and Lake Clearwater are fishing lakes allowing sail craft only.

Lord of the Rings
The notable landscaped of the head waters of the Rangitata featured in the Lord of the Rings. A four wheel drive tour to the outback country can be taken with

Peel Forest Conservation Park
Peel Forest Conservation Park is another conservation park on the southern banks of the Rangitata River. With remnants of once a forest covering much of Canterbury there are plenty of walks. The area also attracts fishermen, canoeists and water rafters.

Walk Ways and Bike Trails
Walkways and biking trails allow access to experiencing the natural beauty of lakes tussock grasslands and riverbeds and wetland with their ecosystems along with bird watching.

Sharplin Water Falls
Located in the foothills beyond the Mt Sommers township is the walk track up to this waterfall and further onwards to rugged bush and open alpine tussock lands to the historic coal mine and impressive volcanic formations. The Mt Somers track offers a two night stay it high-country huts is also available.

Power Boating, Fishing at Lake Camp
Lake Camp is available for power boating, fishing and water sports.

Eco Tourism Day Trips

Mid Canterbury High-country Conservation Parks are the natural habitat for protected vegetation and birdlife.

Visit the outstanding landscapes of the Heron Basin, the Ashburton Lakes and Upper Rangitata are an hours drive away from the Riverfields Cottage.

The Hakatere Conservation Park
The Hakatere Conservation Park is one of New Zealand’s largest parks covering some 67000ha extending from the Rangitata headwaters in the east to include Mt Hutt and Mt Somers and the Rakaia River in the north.

Rakaia, Rangitata and Ashburton Braided Rivers
Upper reaches of the Canterbury rivers tend to be free of exotic weeds and support special and threatened native bird life with a habitat of low growing plants and insects as native pollinators. Braided rivers of the Rakaia and Rangitata have conservation orders placed on them these are renowned trout and salmon fishing rivers.

Inland Lakes – Bird Watching
These lakes provide the largest habitat for aquatic birds featuring the Australian crested Grebe, the endemic Wrybril and White Fronted Tern, the New Zealand Scarp and Black Billed Gull. Lake Heron. The habitat of many bird species including the Wigbrill, black fronted fern, banded dotterl and Caspian tern are of natural importance here.

Landscape of Glacial History
Glacial Features of U shapes valleys, moraines, deep gorges, glacial terraces and greywacke screes are examples of glacial erosion and deposited landforms.

Natural Habitats
High above the bush line in the open country the native Kea can be seen seen. Wetland areas known as kettle holes support rare habitats of complex vegetation and bird life both under protection in the park.

Day Trip to Akaroa Banks Peninsula
A two hours drive around the base of the peninsula then climbing up to the summit looking down into the Akaroa Harbour an extinct volcanic crater is a great days outing. Settled by the French and Germans in 1840 with the French hoping to make it a French colony though arriving after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed deciding to stay establishing themselves around the harbour giving it French names. Visit a 1880 light house a museum along with cheese factories and wineries. Enjoy the cafes and food.