Things to do  |  23 Apr 2024

Dig for wild plants, spot animals and search for fungi as part of the City Nature Challenge.

The global challenge is underway from 26 – 29 April, helping put Ōtautahi Christchurch’s biodiversity on the map.

The goal of the event is to encourage Cantabrians to explore our biodiversity with events from city to sea and mountain-top to estuary edge.

People are encouraged to submit pictures of wild plants, animals and fungi from anywhere across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula using the iNaturalistNZ app.

On day one of the challenge, explore the Te Riu-o-Te-Aika-Kawa-Brooklands Lagoon with Council Head Ranger Robbie Hewson, meet the scientists behind the iNaturalistNZ app and explore our night-time nature, put a spotlight on nighttime critters and explore the biodiversity of NCF Park.

On the second day, join Dr Mike Dickison in the red zone to find night flyers and cryptic critters, get up close to aquatic invertebrates with Selwyn District Council’s biodiversity expert Denise and Enviroschools’ Matt, spot a spinifex or find a ficinia on a guided walk through New Brighton’s dunes and discover biodiversity along the Pūharakekenui Styx River.

On the challenge’s third day, explore our city's urban biodiversity on a walk from the Sign of the Takahe to Christchurch Botanic Gardens and be a citizen scientist by helping to log some records of nature while exploring the biodiversity of Northbrook Wetlands.

Join rangers and experts on the Roving Through the Red Zone series on all four days of the challenge. Uncover the hidden biodiversity of invertebrates along the Ōtakaro Avon River on 26 April, explore the diversity surrounding Dallington Landing and Waikakariki Horseshoe Lake on 27 April, take a look around the proposed Waitākiri Eco-Sanctuary and Green Lab's new nature play-space on 28 April, and join bird expert Andrew Crossland to celebrate our wetlands through the estuaries and coastal edges of Bexley, South New Brighton and Southshore on 29 April.

Find more information about each of the Nature Challenge events here.