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Kāpiti Coast

Kāpiti Coast

35. Nicky Nga Manu
Nga Manu Nature Reserve


Nga Manu Nature Reserve (PDF, 1.5MB)

Nga Manu Nature Reserve contains the largest remnant of original lowland coastal swamp forest on the Kāpiti Coast. The reserve offers a unique hands on experience with educational facilities. Over 56 different bird species live in and around the wetlands, bush and surroundings including kiwi, kaka, morepork, tui, kereru and other birds. There is also a healthy reptile community, and a huge range of plant species, many of which are on the threatened species list. Please see the Nga Manu Nature Reserve website for further information.

Kāpiti Island (PDF, 1.9MB)

Kāpiti Island is one of NZ's most valuable nature reserves and an internationally renowned conservation icon. The island is the site of the Kāpiti Island Nature Reserve and adjoins the Kāpiti Marine Reserve. It is a sanctuary for kiwi, kaka, takahe, and saddleback and is the focus of a programme to save a threatened colony of short-tailed bats from possible extinction. Also see the Department of Conservation's website for further information about Kāpiti Island.

Waikanae Estuary (PDF, 1.6MB)

More species of coastal and aquatic birds, including a large number of migratory species, visit Waikanae Estuary than any other site on the Wellington coast. The estuary is home to vulnerable plants and provides an important habitat for birds, aquatic plants and is an important breeding ground and nursery for both fresh water and marine fish species.

Hemi Matenga (PDF, 1.4MB)

Hemi Matenga is one of the largest remaining areas of kohekohe forest in the Wellington region, and is one of the largest areas of this forest type in the North Island. The reserve overlooks Waikanae and is on the western edge of the Tararua Ranges. It hosts gecko, skink and native birds such as the falcon.

Nikau Reserve (PDF, 2MB)

Pillar-like Nikau Palms, the most southern palm tree species in the world, line the track like Greek columns and once you climb above them you are treated to panoramic views across the coastal plains, Waikanae township, Kāpiti Island, and north up coast to Mount Taranaki. Nikau Reserve is a regionally significant kohekohe/nikau forest remnant, and also contains a good population of large leaved milk tree, a regionally endangered species.

Queen Elizabeth Park - podocarp forest remnant (PDF, 790KB)

Queen Elizabeth Park is a popular recreational area for swimming, fishing, walking, mountain biking, horse riding and picnicking and it even has a tramway museum. The park encompasses the last remaining area of natural sand dunes on the Kāpiti Coast, a working farm, wetlands and a one-hectare kahikatea remnant (one of only two remaining examples of this type of lowland forest on the Kāpiti Coast). This forest remnant is dominated by kahikatea and pukatea, with some tawa, swamp maire and matai. Forest, wetland and shore birds can all be found at the park.

Mangaone Walkway(PDF, 1.8MB)

This walkway is located in the Kaitawa Scenic Reserve which features spires of rewarewa trees that will eventually be replaced by the original tall canopy trees including rimu, rata, kahikatea, matai and miro. Five species of tree fern line the track including katote, wheki, wheki-ponga, ponga and mamaku. Ground ferns and delicate filmy ferns on tree trunks are also prominent along the track.

Ōtaki Forks (PDF, 1.4MB)

Ōtaki Forks is characterised by herbfield and tussock grasslands. The area is the habitat of regionally critical species including streamside daisy, leek orchid, and scarlet mistletoe. There are totara remnants along the river terraces, and much of the surrounding forest consists of kamahi, tawa, hinau, toro, rewarewa, matai, miro and rimu. Field Hut  is one of the first purpose-built tramping huts in the country and the oldest surviving recreational hut in the Tararua Ranges, being an important recreational and historic attraction.

Waitohu Dunes (PDF, 1.5MB)

Here is a unique opportunity to see an easily accessible dune, estuarine and wetland ecosystem all in one. Waitohu Stream contains a small estuary with salt marsh wetlands and dunes and hosts a valuable floral community and abundant local wildlife including birds and whitebait.  Waitohu Dunes support a number of important threatened plants. Bird watchers can be treated to sightings of caspian turn, white heron and banded dotterel.

Related Links:

Greater Wellington's cycling and walking journey planner website will automatically map the shortest route from your starting address to your destination address while avoiding unnecessary hills. You can use this website to plan your route to the biodiversity site you wish to check out.

New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy website. This website provides information about NZ's native biodiversity, what is being done to help conserve and manage it, and who is involved. It also explains what actions are being taken within NZ to implement the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Greater Wellington Regional Council's biodiversity pages

Wellington Regional Native Plant Guide This guide provides advice on how to use native plants to help our native ecosystems survive and flourish, while beautifying your garden or rural property.

Department of Conservation

Ministry for the Environment's biodiversity page

Maritime New Zealand