Before European settlement in the Canterbury area, the site on which Bottle Lake Forest Park is now situated contained flax swamps, coastal bush and an eeling lagoon.
This lagoon was a mahinga kai (food gathering area) for the early Waitaha people. There were no dunes, just a gentle rising sand plain. Behind this were wetlands that were periodically inundated by high seas.
The area was cleared, drained and farmed by European colonists.
- Walk Christchurch : 60 short walks that explore your city; edited by Mark Pickering, compiled by Kjesten Nilsson, Karen Theobald and Lesley Symington. Published: [Christchurch, N.Z.] Leisure Unit, Christchurch City Council, 1998