Pekapeka Regional Park
About Pekapeka Regional Park
Pekapeka Regional Park is a great place to discover wetland wildlife. Some rare bird species, such as bittern, are found here. This 4.5km long and 800m wide wetland covers 98 hectares and is the the focus of a joint HBRC-community biodiversity enhancement programme. Pekapeka is thought to be named after the bats that inhabit nearby caves (Pekapeka is Maori for 'bat')
Public access is to a central area of the wetland where you can explore pathways and boardwalks, and walk up to the lookout for a panoramic view of the valley. An ideal park to explore with the family.
Where is Pekapeka Regional Park?
12km drive south of Hastings on SH2, 26km from Napier and 36.5km from Waipukurau. Please take care when entering and leaving as this is a busy highway. See the Google map below.
- Picnic Areas and Tables
- Information signs
Before you go
- There are no toilets at Pekapeka
- Please take your rubbish away with you
- Lock your vehicle and take valuables with you
- Pekapeka is also closed to the public in the first weekend of May each year for game bird shooting
Want to know more about Pekapeka Regional Park?
Pekapeka is one of the few remaining large wetlands of its type (palustrine) in Hawke’s Bay. It has a high biodiversity value and was ranked by the Department of Conservation as the second most valuable wetland, ecologically, in Hawke’s Bay. The wetland has substantial cultural significance and since 1997, Pekapeka Wetland has had waahi tapu status under the Historic Places Act 1993.
Pekapeka is a remnant of a much larger wetland complex and today covers 98 ha. Tree roots have been found beneath the peat that suggests the wetland was once forested – more than 10,000 years ago.
Protected bird species that you might look for are - NZ Dabchick, Little Black Shag, Little Shag, White Faced Heron, Australasian Bittern, Mute Swan, Grey Teal, Marsh Crake, Spotless Crake, Pied Stilt, Shining Cuckoo, Morepork, Kingfisher, Welcome Swallow, North Island fantail, Silvereye, Black Shag and Australian Harrier.
There are over 82 species of plants within the wetland (both native and introduced, including weed species).
For many years Pekapeka was used as an illegal dump and amongst other things the site has the remains of the demolished Pacific and Mayfair Hotels! Some of the rubble and reinforcing rods have been purposely left exposed to serve as a stark reminder of how badly we have treated wetlands in the past.