Wildlife around New Brighton

Wildlife Around New Brighton

We’ve got a lot of varied terrain around New Brighton. There’s the Pacific Ocean, full of sea life. Our estuary and beachfront are home to all manner of animals and invertebrate species. Travis Wetland provides shelter to a lot of birdlife. The local area has plenty of wildlife for animal-watching enthusiasts, as well.


There are as many as 141 different bird species that flock to the areas around New Brighton. Most famous are the godwits, who migrate all the way to Alaska in breeding season.

two Godwits in water


With the Pacific Ocean and our estuary right on the doorstep, we occasionally get some marine visitors. We’ve had seals, sea leopards, dolphins and even whales pay a visit. While we can’t guarantee it, you might spot something exciting if you’re lucky. Just be sure to give them their space if you do see something. The shore is also home to crabs, pipi, and other shellfish. We also get the occasional jellyfish washed up, like the blue bottle – avoid those, as they can sting you.


The locals of New Brighton, and the wider Canterbury area, are very proud of our environment. We have several trusts and conservation areas, as well as national parks and reserves to protect the local land and species. It’s important to be mindful of how we affect and interact with wild animals. 

For instance, some of our birds can only feed during low tide or daylight hours, and if disturbed – like being chased by a dog off the lead – they won’t feed at all, which can have dire consequences. So here are some tips on how to protect our wildlife.