Manawatū River Estuary

The Manawatū River Estuary is a UNESCO protected international wetland, famed for its birdlife. The largest estuary in the southern half of the North Island, every year it welcomes and farewells migratory guests from all around the world, including a flock of godwits in summer.

Visit the largest estuary in the lower North Island. It's home to a diverse range of birds and is popular for fishing and whitebaiting too! The diversity and number of wading and shore birds that visit the Manawatu Estuary make it one of the best bird watching spots in the country; a total of 95 species have been identified at the estuary. It is a significant area of salt marsh and mudflat and a prized feeding ground for many birds including the migratory Eastern bar-tailed Godwit, which flies all the way from Siberia to New Zealand to escape the harsh northern winter.

The estuary is also a permanent home to 13 species of birds, six species of fish and four plants species, all of which are threatened. It regularly supports about one percent of the world population of wrybills.

A number of organisations, including the Manawatu Estuary Trust, local iwi, Horizons Regional Council, Horowhenua District Council, and Landcare Trust all play a significant part in looking after the site and are part of a management group with DOC. A new management plan was produced in May 2015. Under this plan, the vision for the Manawatū Estuary Ramsar site is that it be sustained, known, respected, and enjoyed as a regional treasure and estuarine ecosystem of international significance.

Details Taipitopito Whakapā

  • Hartley Street, Foxton Beach, 4815