A site of significant conservation value, the estuary is easily accessible in Porirua. A 30-minute drive from the capital, the Pāuatahanui Inlet is a large estuary surrounded by a wildlife reserve.
  • Location

    Pāuatahanui, Porirua

  • Location ID

    85

A 30-minute drive from the capital, the Pāuatahanui Inlet is a large estuary surrounded by a wildlife reserve.

The relatively unmodified area has been inhabited for at least the last 600 years. It is rich with rare species and habitats, along with some archaeological sites and historic places.

Fed by four main streams, the coastal wetland contains a mosaic of tidal flats and indigenous marsh vegetation. It is a popular spot for bird and wildlife watching.

The east-west running arm of Porirua Harbour is accessible to the public via the Forest and Bird Reserve at Pāuatahanui village. There are walking tracks and areas to picnic.

To drive around the estuary, turn off State Highway 59 at the Paremata roundabout or at Grays Road in Plimmerton. Parking is available.

Surrounded by urban development and bisected by Grays Road, the Department of Conservation is working with community groups to advocate for better management to protect the estuary’s resources.

Location details

Jurisdiction Porirua City Council, Department of Conservation
Permits required Yes, apply for a Department of Conservation film permit
Location descriptors

Bays, beaches, boardwalks, estuaries, harbours, sea, ocean, rivers, streams, swamps, marshes, wetlands, marine life, coastal walks, nature, wildlife, conservation areas, picnic areas.