Meetings | Field Trips


Monday 3 December at 7:30 pm. Upper Riccarton Library meeting room, 71 Main South Road, Riccarton. Speaker: Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls (Department of Conservation, Hokitika).Topic: Endemism in the Fiordland flora.


SPRING CAMP. Friday 16 November – Sunday 18 November. Conway River, North Canterbury. This year’s spring camp will be based around the Conway River about 7km west (inland) from Ferniehurst, North Canterbury. We intend to look at the 89 ha Ngaroma Scenic Reserve (mixed podocarps, beech and kanuka), the 14 ha Waingaro QEII covenant (mixed podocarps and beech), a 25 ha limestone outcrop (who knows?), and (for those who missed it in 2015) the 20 ha remnant of mature podocarp forest on Ferniehurst (near-primary podocarp forest on a river terrace). Accommodation (booked for the nights of Thursday 15, Friday 16 and Saturday 17 Nov) will be based at the Waingaro Farm cottage. All our botanical venues involve old-growth bush, growing on fertile soils under the abundant Hundalee Hills rainfall. Further details will be included in newsletters to follow. If you wish to attend, please contact Miles or Gillian Giller on (03) 313-5315.

NOVEMBER FIELD TRIP: Saturday 17th November: Ferniehurst Bush, Conway River, North Canterbury (note that this trip is later in the month than usual).
We will join spring camp participants for the day, to botanise Ferniehurst Bush, a 20 ha remnant of near-primary podocarp forest growing on an alluvial terrace (somewhat akin to Christchurch’s Riccarton Bush). Bot Soc last visited this area in the spring camp of 2015, but was constrained by wet weather, so this will provide an opportunity to delve further into what many regard as the most intact area of podocarp forest in the North Canterbury and South Marlborough areas.
Those from Christchurch meet for carpooling at The Peg Tavern (Belfast Hotel) carpark (895 Main North Road, on the northern outskirts of Belfast) at 8:00 am. Drive northward on SH1, right through to just before the Conway River (about 125 km, see map below), turn left into Ferniehurst Road (just after descending the Hawkswood cutting), follow this (cross the railway line) for 2.5 km until reaching a single-lane bridge across the Conway River, cross this and proceed a further 2.5 km to the Ferniehurst homestead (where you will meet the spring camp contingent). Bring food and drink for a full day, warm clothes and sunhats. Most is untracked, so stout footwear is advised. Car-poolers will owe their drivers $25 ex Belfast.
Given the coordination logistics, please contact Miles or Gillian Giller (03 313 5315, in advance before November 12 to let us know your intentions, and contact Fay Farrant (03) 337-2622, 027 332 7482, to join the day-trip car-pooling contingent or if you have a late change of plans.


Saturday 8 December. Coringa limestone and earthflow, Motunau, North Canterbury. We will botanise a limestone scarp and earthflow on Coringa farm, the visually dramatic Tertiary landform visible just north of the road a short distance inland from Motunau Beach settlement. This area was assessed by DSIR botanists some years ago, but to the best of our knowledge has not been seriously botanised since. There are also reputed to be interesting fossils.
Where to meet: Those from Christchurch meet for carpooling at The Peg Tavern (Belfast Hotel) carpark (895 Main North Road, on the northern outskirts of Belfast) at 9:00am, to leave no later than 9.05 am. Drive northward following SH1, and 800 m past Greta Valley (33 km beyond Amberley) turn right into Motunau Beach Road, follow this for a further 10 km (heading towards Motunau Beach) until reaching the Coringa Farm property at 1007 Motunau Beach Road (on northern side of road). We will park inside the gate, beside the cattle yards. From there we will walk across farmland to the limestone area (c. 10 minutes across farm tracks).
Suitability: Moderate. The terrain is mostly hilly open farmland, so stout footwear is essential.
Cost: $16 petrol reimbursement to drivers (10c/km paid to drivers).
What to bring: Lunch, drink, warm clothes, hat, raincoat, stout footwear, petrol money. Be prepared for the usual range of weather at this time of year.
Trip leader/s: Please contact Miles and Gillian Giller at (03) 313-5315 or, if you intend to come along so that we can let you know if any arrangements are altered.


SUMMER CAMP: Saturday 12 to Saturday 19 January 2019. Murchison District.
Summer Camp for 2019 is to be based at Riverside Camp Ground in Murchison. During this time we will be visiting a variety of valleys, rivers and mountain tops that surround the Murchison Plains. Accommodation: The camp has a range of accommodation from motel units to tent sites. There are four basic cabins initially booked two with a double bed and bunks, two with single beds/bunks ($30 per person/night). Trip Leader: Paula Greer. If you would like to come please contact Paula on 021 2336794 or If you would prefer to book your own accommodation, please do so but please let Paula know so we can make arrangements for meeting up.

MEETING: Monday 4 February. Speaker: Dr David Glenny (Researcher – Systematics, Manaaki Whenua/Landcare Research, Lincoln). Topic: The willow flora of New Zealand.

MEETING: Monday 4 March. Speaker: Dr Pieter Pelser (Lecturer, University of Canterbury). Topic: New research on herbaceous Brachyglottis leads to one species.


The Society holds monthly evening meetings, usually on the first Monday of each month. Meetings start at 7.30 pm. We organise a speaker and follow the meeting with an informal supper and chat.

Upper Riccarton libraryClick here to open larger mapEvening meetings are held in a community meeting room at the Upper Riccarton Library, 71 Main South Road, Upper Riccarton. The meeting room is just through the main library doors (on your left). Entry to the library closes at 8 pm but you can exit after this time by pushing the green button next to the door. Parking is available in front of the library.

Information for speakers
The meeting room has a data projector (and cable) but you need to bring your own laptop or advise the meeting organiser that they need to bring one. Please check that your laptop is able to connect to an external projector.

Field trips are usually held on the Saturday following the evening meeting. Trips in the winter months are to places closer to Christchurch and in the warmer months we take advantage of the longer daylight hours to venture further afield.

In January we have a week-long summer camp and visit places which are too far to access from Christchurch for a day trip. We book affordable accommodation and make daily excursions from this point.

In spring we often have a long weekend camp over Show Weekend in November.

Occasionally we hold workshops on specific topics.

The AGM is held on the first Saturday after Queen’s Birthday weekend. After the AGM we have a speaker, followed by a shared finger food lunch.