Arrowtown Choppers - A Community Led Volunteer Environmental Movement & We are Part of It.

arrowtown choppers

The Arrowtown Choppers are a volunteer group dedicated to the removing of wilding pines above Arrowtown, and replanting with New Zealand native Beech, Ribbonwood and Totara, to enhance the biodiversity of the area and we love them! To Date 17,000 trees have been planted over 7 years and volunteer numbers as high as ever, it is making a huge difference to the region - and we are part of it!

Arrowtown Choppers

The Plan

The long-term goal of the Arrowtown Choppers is to see natural forest regeneration behind Arrowtown. This includes the introduction of key missing native forest species that were once present. This in turn will help increase the habitat for a range of native birds, lizards, and insects, enriching our biodiversity.

The hills behind Arrowtown have some of the highest densities of falcon in the country due to our mosaic of shrubland, tussock grassland, and beech forest. Small bird species like miromiro/tomtits, piwakawaka/fantails, and korimako/bellbirds help provide a food source for karearea/falcon parents and chicks. In combination with Predator Free Arrowtown, we hope to eventually establish enough forest so that other birds like kea, kaka, and robin can eventually be reintroduced to the area.

arrowtown choppers

Funding and Donations

Arrowtown Choppers offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to provide funding to the Arrowtown Choppers. If you’d like more information about supporting the Arrowtown Choppers in this way, or how to make a donation, please email them at [email protected] If you are interested in seriously helping natural forest regeneration then you can't get a better organisation than this. They can plant a tree for less than NZ$5 (US$3).

This is a charity and 100 percent of monies donated goes to tree planting, all works undertaken is by volunteers.

Tree Planting

Where are they planting?


In 2015, Robert Lange, (a South African record producer and in earlier years married to Canadian country-pop singer Shania Twain) in an extraordinary act of generosity, placed four QEII National Trust protective covenants, over 90% of his land, which comprises four former high-country sheep stations between Wanaka and Arrowtown this is now collectively known as Mahu Whenua. Covering a staggering 53,000 hectares (130,965 acres), Mahu Whenua is the largest conservation effort on private land in New Zealand, with Arrowtown as the only residential area bordering it - and the Arrowtown Choppers can plant trees on it - what a dude!

The Hundred Year Forest

So there is enough land to plant trees for 100 years creating a native forest running from Arrowtown to Lake Wanaka!

Join us on the journey of reducing our environmental footprint.

First Light Travel and our sister company New Zealand Trails acknowledge that we need to reduce our environmental footprint. Our carbon measurement and offset program to date has allowed us to plant over 3000 native beach trees.

Beech trees (Nothofagus species) can sequester a significant amount of carbon over their lifetimes. A mature tree can store about 22 kg of CO2 per year on average.

You can opt-in and help for as little as $NZ5pp (US$3) - or not, it's ok, we are going to do it anyway. This year we donated $NZ10.000 (that's 3,333 trees) and volunteered a lot of labor - and we intend to do better next and every other year.

Read more about our carbon offset program here.

Interested to find out more about First Light Travels Sustainability focus?

We are proud to be the major sponsor of the  Arrowtown Community Tree Nursery

Congratulations Danielle! First Light Travel Appoints Sustainability Manager Danielle

Its time to improve our environmental footprint Find Out How to Offset Your Carbon

Check out our article explaining the concept of the QEII Covenant Land Donation: Mahu Whenua Land Donation

Read about our Tree Planting Event in April 2024: First Light Travel Tree Planting April 2024

Learn more about our Tree Planting Event in October 2023: First Light Travel Tree Planting October 2023

Discover more about the 2024 Global Sustainability Conference: 2024 Global Sustainability Conference


Brent Narbey
Brent Narbey
: 17 Jan 2023 (Last updated: 17 Jul 2024)

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