Exploring an Estuary

A Field Guide to the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai Christchurch

Third Edition 2019

Estuaries are one of the most productive habitats in the world and one of the most heavily populated.  the sheltered waters of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary/Ihutai are not only home to countless birds and animals, but have also played a significant role in the lives of people for hundreds of years.

Designed to be taken with you as you explore one of Christchurch’s greatest treasures, this field guide will introduce you to the abundant wildlife, sites of historical interest, and favoured recreation spots of Te Ihutai.


“This book is a wonderful guide to a beautiful place within our Christchurch community, showing us the past with all its treasures as well as the present with all its changes.  The future of this brilliant estuary is, however, dependent on you and me.”  Ruud Kleinpaste