Community Groups

Steamwharf Stream Restoration Group

What we do

Steam Wharf Stream Reserve (SWSR) is a spring-fed stream that runs parallel to Ferry Road from Alports Place and joins the Opawaho Heathcote River after Kotuku Reserve

Steam Wharf Stream Reserve underwent restoration in 1997 by the CCC and is now a mature riparian habitat. In 2018 the SWSR Community Group undertook to maintain the existing plants and habitat.

Since 2020, the SWSR Community Group has been participating in the Whitebait Watch project which is a national citizen science project that supports and holds workshops to train community members to identify and record whitebait spawning sites in their local streams and rivers. Community volunteers meet during the summer and autumn spawning season to perform spawning surveys.


If you are interested in participating in the Whitebait Watch project, please contact us on or visit us on

Who are we?

We are a group of local residents caring for Steamwharf Stream, is a small spring-fed tributary in Woolston, whose source is near Thistledown Reserve. It enters the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River next to Steamwharf Reserve and the Tunnel Rd.

It is a significant īnanga (whitebait) spawning area which was damaged during the earthquakes.


Maori developed a close relationship with the Avon-Heathcote Estuary and its tributaries.  Streams and rivers provided an abundance of tuna (eels), as well as seasonal harvests of inanga (adult whitebait).  Steam Wharf Stream’s proximity to the intertidal area of the estuary meant that it was an area of mahinka kai (food gathering place).

The Heathcote Wharf was opened in 1852 between the estuary and Christchurch Quay. The Heathcote Wharf became popularly known as the Steam Wharf as it was the upper limit of the river accessible to steamers of the day (Dew, 1991).  Dyers Creek now called Steam Wharf Stream, emptied into the Heathcote River at the site of old wharf.

From ‘Restoring Steam Wharf Stream’ 1997, Christchurch City Council


Community Groups