Riccarton House & Bush

Riccarton Bush

Stroll for 10 minutes to a tranquil grove of tall kahikatea trees at the heart of this ancient native forest.

As Canterbury's sole remnant of kahikatea floodplain forest, Riccarton Bush has national significance. For 300,000 years, the shifting gravels of the Waimakariri River triggered a changing mosaic of podocarp forests across the Canterbury Plains. In response to a continual cycle of flooding, forests established wherever suitable conditions were created, only to be destroyed in their turn. These 600-year-old kahikatea trees are the latest generation of a forest that established on this site 3000 years ago. They have survived through two cultural periods, Maori then European, that saw widespread fires sweep the Plains and native vegetation give way to pastoralism and cropping.

Guided Bush Walks

Guided eco tours through the ancient native forest of Riccarton Bush are available for groups of 10 or more visitors. Bookings are essential. Please contact our Ranger, John Moore, for further details and your requirements.

* Telephone (03) 348 4277
* Mobile 027 412 4944
* Fax (03) 341 6839

Map - Click for larger view