Sports and Outdoors

Nature Spotting

Plenty of time to "stop and stare.” There are no snakes or nasties that can eat you here – so you can stop, sit down and be a bird-spotter.

Birds of different species that are common on the trail include those that prefer a wetland/open pasture habitat. Look out for… paradise shelducks, white-faced herons, pied oystercatchers, pied Stilts, pukeko, spur-winged plovers.

Other birds prefer drier shrub-land or the hills, such as the Australasian harrier (the hawk), the New Zealand falcon (our fastest bird of prey) and California quail.

Skylarks prefers open pasture – you will hear rather than see this small brown bird, as they rise vertically in the air until out of sight, singing constantly for up to 15 minutes. Watch out for the Australian magpie too – it’s a good idea to cycle quickly past their trees in nesting time – and keep your helmet on.

You may spot some of the various finches that were introduced in the 1860s by homesick settlers… greenfinches, goldfinches, chaffinches, yellowhammers, redpolls… they all provide a flash of colour that is not common amongst our native birds.

And you may also see a few rabbits and hares.