Adults Cruise at Kids Prices for the April School Holiday Big Beautiful Bird Trail

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April School Holiday Fun – Quail Island’s Big Beautiful Bird Trail

april school holiday activity for kids

School holiday fun is here on Quail Island!

If you are looking for a school holiday activity in Christchurch then look no further….
Best of all adults cruise at kids prices throughout the April school holidays ($15 return per person).
So what’s it all about?
Well, six native New Zealand birds are hiding around Quail Island.
These Big Beautiful Birds have been painted in watercolour by a local Lyttelton artist. Each piece of art has been blown up and printed on very large boards, so they look amazing and will be hard to miss. You will also be given a map to help you locate all of the birds. Each bird is accompanied by some facts to help teach our younger generation about our native wildlife.
So we invite you to come and explore Quail island and find them all, whilst learning about each bird.
Complete our fun fact sheet and we’ll reward you with surprise treats on your boat ride back to Lyttelton.
A boat ride, fresh air, education, exercise, nature and fun all rolled into one!
The April school holiday starts on Saturday April 17th and goes through to Sunday May 2nd, 2021
Boat departs twice daily from B Jetty in Lyttleton harbour.
Departures:
10.15am and 12.15pm
Return:
12.30pm and 3.30pm
Online booking is recommended which you can do right here

Tree Planting on Quail Island

On a stunning, sunny winter’s day in Ōtautahi (Christchurch), Black Cat hosted a group of delegates from the TECNZ (Tourism Export Council) 2019 Conference over on Quail Island for a day of native tree planting.

Conference delegates from TECNZ 19

This group of keen gardeners assisted the Quail Island Restoration Trust by planting 100 trees and had a fantastic day exploring this hidden Christchurch gem, soaking up the warm sun and giving back. Thanks so much to everyone that took part!

Quail Island looking towards Lyttelton

2019 Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt

Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt

Our annual Easter Egg Hunt hosted on beautiful Quail Island is back once again!

Take the family or gather up some friends this Easter for a fun-filled day on Quail Island. Search the island for coloured tokens and exchange for scrumptious Easter eggs*.  On your journey discover along the way old shipwrecks, cheeky native birds, volcanic cliffs and hidden caves!

The Easter Bunny is getting prepared to leave thousands (yes thousands!) of delicious chocolate eggs with us.

Tickets are limited! Making this the hottest and tastiest Easter activity in town!

Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt

When is it?

The Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt will happen from Friday 19 April through to Monday 22 April 2019.

What time?

There are 3 times you can head out to Quail Island on the Easter Egg Hunt:

10:30am – 1:00pm
11:30am – 2:00pm
12:30pm – 3:00pm

Please note you must depart and return at the times stated on your ticket.

Who can go?

Our Quail Island Easter Egg Hunt is designed for absolutely any age! Quail Island is a wonderful place for families and friends of all ages.

How much is it?

Children under 5 years: Free
Children 5-15 years: $15.00
Adults: $30.00

How can I book?

Firstly, you must book your tickets with us. This can be done by calling 0800 436 574 or jumping online at www.blackcat.co.nz.   We highly recommend booking in advance because we sell out on every day, every year

How does it work?

Come down to B Jetty in Lyttelton at least 15 minutes before your departure time. Our skipper will be there to welcome you on board the Canterbury Cat as you then cruise across Lyttelton Harbour to disembark at the wharf on Quail Island. Our Black Cat Cruises crew (along with the Easter Bunny of course) will have hidden coloured tokens around the island. Every guest on our Easter Egg Hunt is encouraged to collect a maximum of three coloured tokens which we then swap for your chocolate eggs on your ferry ride back.

Don’t forget!

Find the golden egg to win a GIANT CHOCOLATE BUNNY. There will be one golden egg hidden every day over the long weekend.

The Quail Island Ferry now operates all year round.

Exploring Quail Island
Exploring Quail Island

Teddy Bear’s Picnic on Quail Island

plunket picnic quail island

plunket picnic quail island

Quail Island Fun

Bring your very best teds and join us at the inaugural Plunket Teddy Bear’s Picnic on Quail Island!

We are proud to support Plunket and the amazing work and services they provide for mum’s, babies and families in New Zealand.

When?

quail island ferryBlack Cat Cruises have donated a special charter departing from Lyttelton Harbour to Quail Island on the 9th of February (rain day 10 February) at 11:15am and returning 2:30pm.

All proceeds from this event go back to Plunket to support the free services they provide to the Christchurch community such as Parenting Education, Coffee Groups, Playgroups and Music and Movement Groups.

What’s Included?

These discounted ticket prices includes return boat ride and sausage, and a goody bag for each child (0 – 12 years).

Adults are normally $30 each and children $15 each.

Prices

Family Pass (2 adults, 2 children) $75 + eventbrite fees
Adult and Child Pass (1 Adult and 1 child) $40 + eventbrite fees
Adult Pass (1 Adult) $25 + eventbrite fees
Child Pass (1 Child) $12.50 + eventbrite fees

The fine print: For safety reasons, there must be at least one adult available for every 3 children. There are only 80 seats on the charter. Under 2’s will be counted as 1 Child for the purposes of this trip.

Purchase Tickets Here

https://www.facebook.com/events

 

Quail Island Information

Quail Island in one of the best Christchurch day trips out there. Just a short 10 / 15 minute ferry ride from Lyttelton wharf, Quail Island is a wonderful destination for a family day out. There’s a walking track, old shipwrecks, and a lovely swimming beach close to the jetty so pack some drinks and snacks and of course your swimming costumes for a great family day out.

For more information about Quail Island and Black Cat Cruises please visit: https://blackcat.co.nz/quail-island-adventures

We hope to see you over there!

Mena The Penguin Dog

penguin dog lyttleton

Penguins in Christchurch?

Yep, we have penguins in Christchurch peeps.

Whilst you are probably aware that we have an abundance of wildlife around Banks Peninsula…did you know White-Flippered Little Blue penguins inhabit Otamahua / Quail Island….

A sub-species of the Little Blue penguin, the White-Flippered Little Blues are only found around Canterbury. How special is that!

A Penguin Dog?

That’s right a penguin dog! Well that is what we have lovingly named her. And just what is a penguin dog, you ask?

Well let us explain…but first we’ll fill you in on why we came to meet her.

The White-Flippered Little Blue penguins are ‘acutely-threatened’ and as such Black Cat Cruises sponsored Mena The Penguin Dog to make a visit over to Quail Island to locate and record the penguins.

penguin dog lyttleton
Mena and her handler waiting to catch the ferry to Quail Island

Meet Mena…

Mena is a trained penguin detection dog! Mena was accompanied by her handler Alistair Judkins of the Kaikoura Ocean Research Institute.

They arrived in Lyttelton harbour and took the 10 minute boat ride over on the Quail Island ferry to start their detective work.

quail island
On the look out for penguins on Quail Island

She visited Quail Island for two days on the 23rd and the 24th of October.

Mena covered lots of ground in order to try and locate the penguins’ nests.

Once a nest was located Mena would also locate the route the penguins would take from the sea to their nests.

quail island penguin nest
Bingo! One of the penguin nests Mena located

Mena managed to locate 6 active nests and was able to find the routes that the penguins traveled from sea.

This now means that they can keep an eye out for the penguins and help to assist their progression.

penguin nest
Mena doing her job well!

Far From Where We Need To Be…

The finding of six nests was an improvement on 2017 with 2 more nests then last years result when only 4 were found.

Whilst its a small improvement we are still well below the peak of 41 nests just in 2007.

Do Not Disturb

It is imperative that if you visit Quail Island and notice or discover a penguin nest..or even a penguin itself that you respect their space and do not come into contact with them or their home.

Enjoy the natural interaction of simply seeing a rare species in it’s natural habitat. Remember our latest post of the #tiakipromise? Lets help to protect the environment we all live in.

little blue penguins
A pair of White-flippered little blue penguins

A Rare Species…

 IUCN (The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) and Birdlife International classified White-flippered penguin as “Endangered”, and D.O.C. (Department of Conservation, New Zealand) as “Acutely-Threatened”. There are only approximately 4,000 pairs with around 2,200 of those found around Banks Peninsula…the rest on Motunau Island.

We were so pleased to be able to sponsor Mena’s visit and we will continue to make efforts to protect our surroundings and it’s inhabitants.

Find Out More And Visit Quail Island

If you would like to learn more about the White-Flippered penguin click here

If you would like to find our more about Otamahua / Quail Island click here .

Did you know you can now book your ferry tickets online with us…and you can spend the night on the Island in Otamahua hut!

Quail Island Christchurch