Whatipu Wetlands Field Trip

It was a lucky change of dates for CoastCare’s Whatipu Wetlands Walk – the revised date provided a perfect day for walking.

The group set off through the Pohutukawa Glade to Karekare Beach and headed south to inspect the extensive wetlands that have been developing and expanding along the coastline.

This field trip was a promised follow-up from the Wetland Workshop we held earlier in the year under the guidance of ecologist Shona Myers and local plant guru Jeff McCauley.

For those who had participated in the same walk held by CoastCare several years ago, it was truly amazing to see the major changes taking place as the huge underwater sand island that has been slowly moving north from Taranaki has  dramatically modified the coastal landscape .

One of the major side-effects of this incursion is that the build-up of sand has left large back dune areas,  where expansive wetlands have been able to develop and expand, giving wetland flora and fauna an ideal environment in which to flourish.

Thanks are due to Jeff and Shona who were on hand to help us identify the wetland plants and to understand the processes taking place in this outstanding environment so close to the city.

After walking the extent of the main wetland area, the group climbed to the highest point on the dune overlooking the Pararaha Valley and took a well earned lunch break, after which the fittest group took off to walk back to KareKare over Zion Track.  The rest of the party headed back in two groups, some returning along the edge of the wetland and through the tunnel, and others over the vastly increased distance to the beach and past Panatahi Island, where they were treated to a close-up view of seals basking on the rocks and frolicking in the waves.

A thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable day, appreciated by all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.