Learn about wetlands in the Manawatu/Whanganui region including Pukepuke Lagoon, Manawatu Estuary and Lake Waiwiri at Papaitonga Scenic Reserve.

Lake Waiwiri, Papaitonga Scenic Reserve

Papaitonga Scenic Reserve in the Horowhenua coastal plain is an important refuge for wetland and forest birds. 

Within the reserve is Lake Waiwiri, a dune lake that contains two islands, Motukiwi (Papaitonga) and Motungarara (Papawhaerangi). The latter is an artificial island constructed by Muaupoko residents in 1820 to extend their village.

Visit Papaitonga Scenic Reserve

Manawatu Estuary

This is an important feeding ground for migratory birds such as wrybill, Caspian tern, banded dotterel and shore plover. The Manawatu Estuary is listed under the Ramsar Convention on wetlands as a Wetland of International Importance.

Visit Manawatu Estuary

Pukepuke Lagoon

Pukepuke Lagoon is a dune lake resulting from the formation of sand dunes along the coast near Tangimoana which prevented inland water run-off escaping out to sea.

It is a shallow lake up to 2m deep, drying out occasionally in summer droughts, but still an important wetland habitat for native and introduced birds

Visit Pukepuke Lagoon

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