Whataroa, The West Coast, New Zealand

Wetlands West Coast

Whataroa, a peaceful, tranquil place located midway between  the Franz Josef Glacier and Ross
at the gateway to the glacier region and the Westland Tai Poutini National Park.

From Whataroa you can take trips to the White Heron Sanctuary at
the Waitangi Roto Nature Reserve this is the only breeding location
of the rare white heron (Kotuku)  in New Zealand.
From September to late February/March, breeding pairs stay in the colony
and raise their chicks on precarious nesting platforms.

The only way to visit the White Heron Sanctuary is on a
permitted guide tour from Whataroa, which includes a jet boat ride to the sanctuary, this is a wonderful way to observe these most
regal and elegant birds tend to their young.

White Heron photo kindly supplied by Paul Rongo (Copyright)

Westland Forest.
Whataroa is predominantly a dairy farming area is located on the western bank of the Whataroa River, on which  you can take  adventurous heli-rafting trips
The Whataroa River is one of the best one-day
whitewater experiences in New Zealand
Deep green water has carved its way through three stunning gorges,
with canyons set amongst amazing river scenery.

Bush and Wetland walkways are also nearby.

The Kotuku Gallery in the main street has a fine collection of Maori artefacts, craft and artworks.
Here you will find a certificated 3497-year-old whale bone,  as well as wood, bone and  greenstone carvings.

Kotuku Gallery Whale Bone.Kotuku Gallery

Nearby Okarito Lagoon is New Zealand's largest unmodified wetland covering 3,240 hectares of shallow water
 and is a major feeding area for birds with more than 70 species being recorded.

White HeronWhite HeronWhite Heron

White Heron photo’s kindly supplied by Paul Rongo (Copyright)

Royal Spoonbill

Photo kindly supplied by Paul Rongo (Copyright)