See & Do  >  Walks  >  Wairau Lagoons Walkway

Wairau Lagoons Walkway

This flat loop track, ideal for kids, follows the lagoon shoreline with good bird watching to the rusting remains of the Waverley ship.

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  • DM S F Wairau Lagoon Sunset

This easy flat walk is a great way to explore the habitat of the Wairau Lagoons, as well as the rusting hulk of the Waverley wreck, which sits in the mud.

Take a short walk, or do the full 3 hour loop.

Productivity of Wairau Lagoons: The productivity of the Wairau Lagoons refers to the abundant natural resources found in this area. These lagoons, which are located at the top of New Zealand's South Island, have long been known for their rich biodiversity, particularly in terms of birdlife and aquatic species. The availability of food resources in the lagoons made them attractive to the Maori people, who settled in the region.

Channels for Trapping Moulting Birds or Eels: It is believed that the Maori people modified or extended some of the natural channels in the Wairau Lagoons to aid in trapping moulting birds or eels. This indicates their ingenuity in utilizing the landscape to optimize their hunting and gathering activities. Trapping birds during their moulting period when they couldn't fly and capturing eels in the waterways were likely important strategies for securing food.

Evidence from the Boulder Bank: The mention of the boulder bank suggests that archaeological evidence has been found in this area, confirming the presence of very early Maori camps. These camps served as the base for hunting and gathering activities. Additionally, the evidence indicates that the now-extinct moa, which were large flightless birds native to New Zealand, were hunted and consumed by the Maori people. Moa were a valuable source of food, and their extinction is thought to have been caused by overhunting and habitat loss.

Overall, this information underscores the deep connection between the Maori people and the natural environment of the Wairau Lagoons. The lagoons provided a rich source of sustenance and played a crucial role in the survival and subsistence of the early Maori settlers in the region.


Up to 3 hours for the full loop




The main access point is from the end of Hardings Road, which leaves State Highway 1, 5 km south of Blenheim. There is a carpark and information.

Conditions & closures