Wairarapa walking festival – Wairio Wetland walk

November 12, 2023

On Sunday 12 November, Mountains to Sea Wellington hosted people from across the region for a day of wonder in partnership with the Wairarapa Walking Festival. Set against the backdrop of these lush wetlands, folks strolled through winding tracks, soaking up tales of the region's storied past and unearthing its hidden treasures.

Attendees rubbed shoulders with some of nature’s VIPs! Tōtara, raupō, kawau (little black shags), toitoi (bullies), and the elusive kotuku ngutupapa (royal spoonbills) graced the scene.

Exploring the Wairio Wetland

The Wairio/Boggy Pond wetland is a 132ha complex along the eastern shores of Lake Wairarapa. It was significantly changed in the 1970’s when the lower valley drainage scheme began. However, in the 1980’s the impacts of draining the eastern wetlands were recognised.  Meaningful restoration efforts began by mana whenua, community organisations, and local government, and have continued since. The vision for the Wairarapa Moana wetlands restoration is:  Whakaora te repo, ka ora te taonga wai – Restoring our wetland treasure. It is incredible to see the wetlands teeming with life again thanks to these restoration efforts and kaitiakitanga. 

Maddy releasing the fish from the gee minnow trap

Massive kudos to the volunteer crew who run the Wairarapa Walking Festival and to Tranzit Group & Metlink for generously ferrying everyone! This festival aims to highlight the culture, heritage, and biodiversity that the Wairarapa has on offer.  As the festival gains momentum, the board seeks new walks and helping hands. Want to be part of the excitement? Reach out at info@wairarapawalkingfestival.com to jump aboard the volunteer bandwagon!

Wairio Wetland

Catchment Restoration and Science Coordinator - Wairarapa
Happiest in/on/around/under the water Maddy has a passion for all things wai. She is excited to have the opportunity to foster love for te taiao and work with communities to expand the restoration work that is already being done around Wairarapa waterways.
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