The Wetland

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Satelite view of the wetland area Mature kahikitea on fringe of wetland Indiginous Brown mudfish Kahikitea growing on the fringe of the wetland Native orcchids on the track Little carnivorous plants on the depleted soils

Mangarakau swamp

The Mangarakau swamp is the largest remaining wetland in the Marlborough / Nelson area ...

Absolutely pristine

With no urban or agricultural land draining into it, It is arguably the most pristine wetland in New Zealand

Even some of the fish are unique

The little brown mudfish are indiginous to the area

A huge range of fauna and flora

A stand of native kahikitea growing on the edge of the wetland

Forever changing flowers

There is a lovely range of native orchids that appear in summer...

Where nothing else will grow:

Even on the really depleted soils, the little carnivorous plants flourish


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The Mangarakau Wetland

The Mangarakau swamp covers approximately 400 hectares and is the largest remaining wetland in the Nelson / Marlborough area and one of the largest in the South Island. It stretches from the Southern end of Westhaven Inlet almost through to the West Coast. It is unique because there are no urban areas or farmland in it's catchment. The entire catchment for the swamp is the native bush of Kahurangi National Park. The huge variety of bird life, fish and flora in the wetland is truly amazing and the surrounding area is breathtaking in its diversity and scenic beauty. We have tracks that allow you to explore a wide variety of different aspects of the wetland and enjoy the birdlife first hand.

The Mangarakau swamp has survived many attempts to drain it over the years. The area has been the centre of flax milling, gold mining, coal mining, timber milling industries followed by farming and fishing since it was first settled by the maori.

60 km of tram-lines (wooden rails on sleepers) were used for horse drawn carts to stop the wheels sinking in the mud. The old logging roads, and tram-lines have been ideal for us to open up interesting walks for guests to explore the history and appreciate the peace and beauty of the area.
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