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Lyttelton - Quail Island Escape - Half or Full Day


Experience a fascinating full or half-day exploring Quail Island


  • Explore the beautiful Quail Island at your own pace!
  • Choose between a half or full-day experience.
  • Great activity for the whole family!

Enjoy a day at Quail Island by taking our Quail Island Ferry, it’s easily accessible - only 10 minutes from Lyttelton!

Named after the now extinct native Quail bird (koreke), the island was originally used as a quarantine station and as a small leprosy colony by the early European settles. At the same time as the lepers were confined to their one small bay, Antarctic explorers, Scott and Shackleton took advantage of the island to train their sled dogs and ponies before setting off on their ill-fated voyages.

Today the island is a nature reserve and the focus is on restoring native vegetation. The island is home to many native flora and fauna as well as native birds including the fantail, kingfisher, and many sea birds including the rare white flippered little blue penguins. There is a stunning loop track offering magnificent views of Lyttelton harbour, the Port Hills and Banks Peninsula.

Walks: There are 2 walkways available, one offers a walk of the circumference of the island and takes around 2-3 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.

Explore this awesome island escape, perfect for the whole family!

Adult $30.00
Child $15.00 (5-15 years old)
Pre-School $0.00 (Under 5 years old)


  • Allow approximately 5 hours for the whole experience


  • We are located at B Jetty, Lyttelton Harbour.

  • At the end of the Lyttelton tunnel turn left onto Norwich Quay. The 2nd turning to the right is the Oxford Street overbridge, you will need to park on Norwich Quay and walk over the bridge. Follow the footprints on the pavement and signs to Black Cat ferries and Quail Island.

Child Friendly

  • This experience welcomes families with children.


  • 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.

    A warm jacket and appropriate footwear is recommended, along with swimwear and towel for the swimming beach.

    No Bikes or Dogs allowed.

    BBQ facilities available: you will have to supply your own equipment.

    Prams or buggy's are allowed on this experience.

    There are no shops on the island but you can purchase snacks and drinks on the ferry.

    Half day option dependant on time of year.

Available Bookings from 14 Aug to 20 Aug 2022

Change Dates

All prices are shown in NZD ($)

Sun 14 Aug
Mon 15 Aug
Tue 16 Aug
Wed 17 Aug
Thu 18 Aug
Fri 19 Aug
Sat 20 Aug

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme


43 reviews

Showing all 43 authenticated Bookme reviews

giannac from New Zealand wrote on 04 February 2021


Great place to stay the night or just go for the day! Loved the hut, I am so glad there is now this option. Black Cat Cruises as always, friendly, professional and the ferry got even bigger now and its separate from Quial Island. So glad to see Quail Island is becoming more known and popular. Can't wait to be back.

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aaronk9 from New Zealand wrote on 20 January 2021

Quail Island - a fantastic day out

This was my first time to Quail Island and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The staff aboard the Black Cat boat were friendly and easy to talk to. The island itself was clean from rubbish and easy to explore. Lots to see and learn about some history. Highly recommend for a cheap day out.

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Rober Greer from New Zealand wrote on 07 January 2021

Rest or Explore

A full day is recommended if your an explorer, you know that person that likes to read everything, as this Island has a lot of history. We had a beautiful day which made it all the better. Did the full Island walk along with the summit, and enjoyed some chill time down at the beach which has toilets and fresh water. Tip- don't forget to take a rubbish bag

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Sharlene from New Zealand wrote on 01 January 2021

Relax with stunning view

Fantastic family day out. Awesome way to spend some family time adults and kids both enjoyed our day on the island

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Ceyda from New Zealand wrote on 04 February 2021

Worth a visit

Great day out for something and somewhere different. Easy walks and beautiful scenery. Awesome day out for a family.

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10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

Spaces Left


    Child 5-15 years old

      Pre-School Under 5 years old

        *This option must be made together with another price type.

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