Rakatu Wetlands


Rakatu Wetland. Photo: Mark Sutton.
Rakatu Wetlands

Spring-fed remnant wetlands in old channels of the Waiau River have been complemented with 50 ha of open water, created for the benefit of fish (both native and introduced trout) and waterfowl as well as protected birds species, to mitigate and remedy the adverse effects of the Manapouri Hydroelectric Power Scheme.

The Takatimu Mountains and Fiordland National Park provide an impressive backdrop to the high terraces of the Waiau Valley with its wetlands nestled on the valley floor.

The wetland is managed by the Waiau Fisheries and Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Trust.


Abundance of waterfowl.


  • Toilets
  • Information panels
  • Lookout/viewpoint


Located south of Manapouri.

Getting there

You'll find Rakatu Wetlands on the Blackmount-Redcliff Road (Southern Scenic Route) 15 min south of Manapouri.


Bird and wildlife watching Bird and wildlife watching

Bird and wildlife watching

Keep a look out for a great variety of waterfowl such as scaups/pāpango, grey teals/tētē and paradise shelducks/pūtangitangi.

Tracks and walks

From the car park, 10 km of walking track offer four different walk options.

For a good overview of the wetland, take the 10 min uphill track to a lookout.

An alternative 10 min track leads to the Waiau River.

There are two loop tracks to choose from:

  • Speight Wetland Loop, 1 hr
  • Rakatu Wetland Loop, 2-3 hr

Stiles, bridges, shelters and information panels are provided.

Plan and prepare

Other places to visit

Home Creek Wetland - meandering creek and wetlands with loop walk.

Related links


Find out more


Learn more

Check, Clean, Dry between waterways and stop the spread of didymo.

Didymo controls in Fiordland National Park


Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:
1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Fiordland places


Te Rua-o-te-moko / Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:      +64 3 249 7924
Address:   Fiordland National Park
Visitor Centre
Lakefront Drive
Te Anau 9600
Email:   fiordlandvc@doc.govt.nz
Full office details