For group bookings and school groups please call (03) 328 9078 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Quail Island Ferry runs from October to April. Group bookings only in the winter months to Quail Island.

Bookings on the ferry during the main season are NOT required.  Make your way to B Jetty on Lyttelton Harbour.  Departure times are 10.20am and returning at 3.30pm.  Additional departure of 12.20pm during December and January.



Quail Island is an affordable option for Outdoor Education pursuits or EOTC - Education Outside The Classroom. To Download a teacher resource document click Quail_Island_teacher_resource_document.pdf.

We can cater for large groups of over 100 people at a time.

We believe we can offer your students many options to extend their knowledge base of nature, wildlife and geography while having fun, excercising through walking and team building at the same time.

For more on Quail Island and for a walking map click HERE 

An information sheet and map of the island will be given to you on board the ferry.

We find the best times which seem to suit most schools are as follows:-

Depart Lyttelton: 9.15am arrive Quail Island at 9.30am

Depart Quail: 2.15pm arrive Lyttelton 2.30pm.

This usually gives enough time for the buses to get back to school by 3pm depending of course on how far away your school is.  The ferry journey is approximately 15 minutes.

BOOKINGS: 03 328 9078  

PHONES:  There is reasonable cell phone coverage on the island and an emergency phone is available

TOILET FACILITIES: These are available and are situated near the beach/picnic area.

CAMPING: You will need to contact the Department of Conservation to get permission for this

NO BIKES OR DOGS:  unless a guide dog is necessary

BBQ:  You will have to supply your own equipment

WATER:  The water on the island is drinkable but we advise people to take their own refreshments

SHELTER:  A shelter is situated near the jetty.

WALKS:  There are 2 walkways available, one offers a walk of the circumference of the island and takes around 2 hours to complete and a shorter one hour option which also takes in a view of the shipwrecks, leprosy graves and the kennels used for Scott's quarantined dogs.

VISITORS CENTRE:  situated near to the telephone, here you will find information and displays featuring the island fascinating past.

Suggested Activities

•   Follow the walkway around the island.  En route discuss the historic features, interpretive panels, native plants, geological features and the uniqueness of ötamahua/Quail Island.  Get students to sit/lie on their own.  What can they hear/see/feel/smell?  Students could compare their responses to a city environment and record the results as a poem, or a story.

•   Create a picture. Use cardboard/ice cream container lids/coat hangers to form frames.  In pairs students select an area to sit in.  They sit back to back and as one describes the scene they see through their frame the other draws it.  The first person gets 5-10mins then the pairs swap roles.  Equipment required for this activity could be made before your trip or borrowed from your local DOC office.

•   Conduct transect plant studies.  Estimate the number of plants required to re-vegetate a section of the island.

•   Survey visitor profiles and numbers or native/exotic plant and animal sightings.  Why are these numbers important?  What do they mean?

•   Explore the variety of shapes and objects found in nature, by touching, observing and talking about them.

•   Draw a sketch map of the island as you walk around it.  Include all the animal and plant species you see.  Why are they on the island?  How did they get here?  This sketch could be compared with the school environment, examining the different habitats, land formations, wildlife etc.

•   Make a sea creature. Using sand, seaweed, shells, rocks etc students could create a natural, historical or mythical sea creature.  They could emerge from the water as that sea creature and tell a story about how it relates to Ötamahua/Quail Island

Book Now by phoning: 03 328 9078