A group of 9 tramps set off on Saturday morning to go and combat the CUTC’s carbon emissions by doing some restoration planting on Quail Island in Lyttelton harbour. We arrived just before the ferry was set to depart, only to be texted that the ferry was late and there was no rush. We had to find something to do until the ferry was ready to leave in an hour’s time…
Lucky for us, Lyttelton had its Saturday morning market to peruse. We were quite successful at the market with Melissa acquiring 4kg of honey and a meat clever, Travis sinking his teeth into a New Zealand delicacy – the whitebait patty, Carla buying a recyclable toothbrush (which to recycle you have to send to the U.S…), others getting hot drinks and I picked up a scrumptious gluten free carrot cake (!!!!).
Finally, we caught the ferry, which took us a quick 5 minutes to Quail Island, where our first challenge was to disembark the boat without falling into the ocean. Ian, the volunteer organiser for the Quail Island Ecological Research Trust, led us to the exposed planting location and introduced us to the Department of Conservation staff. The island was already covered in successful restoration plantings that we would hopefully add too.
Planting was a bit harder than expected with quite a few steps to ensure the plants didn’t get overgrown by weeds. We also managed to dig up a few native spiders on the way. Our group worked tirelessly, in the end planting 73 shrubs altogether.
Exploring the island was next on the agenda where we managed to walk around a majority of the island visiting shipwrecks, the summit of the island (at 86m!) and a replica Leper cottage. We even saw some quails. However, drama seemed to surround the ferry as it came to pick us up but we were missing two people from our group. Crap! That’s more than the 10% we can lose… Fortunately, the guys ran down the path to the ferry as we were embarking.
Good job everyone we planted many trees and reduced the CUTC’s carbon footprint for a little while!
Date: 1st August 2015
Trampers: Carla Gomez, Melissa Broussard, Mikaere Henderson, Travis Foster, Sarah van Eyndhoven, Fleur van Eyndhoven, Nikhil Varik, Simon Chhabra and Michelle Lambert
Words: Michelle Lambert
Images: Carla Gomez and Michelle Lamber