Mr and Mrs Walking with Kids
Wairarapa Moana Wetlands, Boggy Pond - South Wairarapa
Updated: May 3, 2022
Monday 25th April 2022
Location: 94 Parera Road, Kahutara 5772 (on the eastern side of Lake Wairarapa, 22 kilometres out of Featherston)
On the DOC website it says that this is the largest wetland complex in the southern North Island, supporting native plants and animals of national and international importance. Wairarapa Moana is made up of the beds of Lake Wairarapa and Lake Onoke and the publicly owned reserves around them. It must have been an epic restoration project!
With a few walks going through the wetlands there are several ways you can approach this. We parked on Parera Road (it had a large sign at the entrance - it's on your left) and started towards the Boggy Pond Brid Viewing Hide.
We had some friends and family join us including Master 9mths & 3yr and Miss 3yr & Miss 5yr.
The wetlands are exposed from all directions so come prepared for the weather (sunhats, jackets etc).
The path is wide and extremely well maintained - it would be great for a sturdy buggy (it's grassy though so the less sturdy umbrella pram might struggle). We didn't bring a buggy, just a backpack for Master 9mths so ended up offering a few piggy-back and shoulder rides for the tiny feet.
There are a number of interesting trees along the walk, but the main attraction was of course the bird life. If you're lucky you might be able to spot some endangered species such as the elusive matuku (Australasian bittern) and pūweto (spotless crake). We didn't ...but with the noise that we seem to consistently exuberate, it's unlikely any wise bird would hang around to say hi (this comment was not meant to offed any fantails :))
The kids loved spotting the different birds and this was the favoured game, right until we saw our first blind. Made by some industrious individual not afraid of getting wet, we all thought this was outstanding and wondered if they had waders. Spotting these marvellous structures was now the thing to do, but then we found a DOC one we could get in to - Miss 3 was ecstatic!
The world sure does look spectacular from a blind. I think if you were here alone without the rambunctious noise it would be serene.
Having taken a respite from the sun in the blind it was time to carry on.
The path continued to wind across the marsh until we hit farmland again and circled the southern end before turning northeast and strolling between the wetlands and fields.
The track then popped us back out onto the road. The little ones were tired, so a couple of the adults walked back along the road (following the Link Track Sign) to the cars and returned to pick the littlies up.
Such a beautiful walk and completely different from so many other walks that are around. This is a real wetland - quite superb.
Below is a link to a website about Boggy Pond and Wairio Wetlands.
Boggy Pond and Wairio Wetlands — Wairarapa Moana Wetlands Project (waiwetlands.org.nz)
Age of Kids: Miss 7 and Master 9 (and Master 9mth & 3yr and Miss 3yr and Miss 5yr)
Walking Time: 1-2 hours
Length: Approx 4-5km
Difficulty: Easy (but it is exposed)
Wet Feet: No. unless the kids deviate off the track. We did have to watch for this especially with the little ones as there is often water on each side of the track.
Amenities: There are no amenities except the one DOC Blind which you could use as a shelter
Cellphone Reception: Yes