GO NZ: Where and how to visit New Zealand’s wetlands

We all have our favourite bushwalk, mountain hike, or beach, but New Zealand’s wetlands haven’t been so easy to visit.

Things are changing though, and the spotlight is being turned on our squishy sites, with an increasing number of boardwalks, bird hides and info panels bringing wetlands out of the back blocks and on to our tourist trails. And for those who baulk at the thought of a steep bush slog, the best thing about wetland walks is they are generally flat.

To help people find these hidden gems the National Wetland Trust is developing an online directory of wetlands open to the public. Here are a dozen of our favourite sites from the Cape to the Bluff.

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Lake Ohia, Northland

Lake Ohia is a Lord of the Rings-type place – a bizarre landscape of charred stumps, sun-baked clay crusts and stunted native shrubs in a drained lakebed. Not your typical “wetland” site – the lake is a fleeting feature present for only a couple of months each year – it’s classified as a gumland wetland. A short loop track passes a series of holes excavated by last-century gum diggers seeking fossilised resin left by a long-gone kauri forest.
Gumhole Walkway starts off Inland Rd on the Karikari Peninsula.

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