Waituna Lagoon
Image: Karen Denyer | ©



Awarua-Waituna Wetlands is one of the largest remaining wetland complexes in New Zealand and is important for its biological diversity and cultural values.

Find things to do and places to stay Awarua-Waituna Wetlands

Some of the birds that visit, like the Eastern bar-tailed godwit/kuaka, are international migrants, making an annual journey from their Siberian breeding grounds for the southern summer feast. The wetlands also provide a vital refuge for rare residents, including the southern New Zealand dotterel/tūturiwhatu, marsh crake/koitareke, fernbird/mātātā and Australasian bittern/matuku.

Review the list of birds at Awarua Bay

At high tide or when the outlet is closed kayaks or small power boats can be used to explore the margins of Waituna Lagoon.

Situated within the Awarua-Waituna Wetlands complex, Waituna Lagoon is easily accessed and only 40 minutes (by car) from Invercargill city. The Waituna wetland can be accessed via walking tracks off the Southern Scenic Route via Waituna Lagoon Road and Waghorns Road. Access to the spectacular, white quartz beach is on an unmarked track off Waituna Lagoon Road.

Basic boat ramps are available at Moffat Road end and corner of Waituna Lagoon Road and Waghorn Road.


Murihiku / Invercargill Office
Phone:   0800 275 362
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   invercargill@doc.govt.nz
Address:   7th Floor
CUE on Don
33 Don Street
Invercargill 9810
Postal Address:   PO Box 743
Invercargill 9840
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