Find out more about wetlands in the Nelson/Tasman region.

Waimea Inlet

Waimea Inlet is an extensive shallow bar-built estuary open to the sea at the western (Mapua) and eastern (Nelson) ends of Moturoa/Rabbit Island. Fifty species of waterfowl have been recorded at the inlet. There are 10 islands within the estuary with Moturoa/Rabbit Island catering for day visitors.

Mangarakau Swamp

This is a large, relatively pristine freshwater swamp at the southern end of the Whanganui Inlet, south of Farewell Spit, on the west coast.

Visit Mangarakau Swamp

Te Waikoropupū Springs

Te Waikoropupū Springs, discharging 14,000 litres of water per second, are the largest freshwater springs in New Zealand, the largest cold water springs in the Southern Hemisphere, and contain some of the clearest water ever measured.

Visit Te Waikoropupū Springs

Farewell Spit

Recognised as a wetland of international importance, Farewell Spit features saltmarsh, open mudflats, freshwater and brackish lakes, along with sand beaches and dunes.  

Visit Farewell Spit - New Zealand's longest sandspit


New Zealand’s largest relatively intact river catchment is the Buller which has a water conservation order over it. It has a diversity of sub-catchments, gorges, lakes and tarns supporting a nationally significant native fishery and sports fishery.

The Buller is a premier white-water kayaking river, while gold-fossicking and hunting are also popular. The Kawatiri and Six Mile walkways are the best known walks.

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