Waitangi Regional Park
Along the coast between Awatoto and Haumoana, Waitangi is a haven for wildlife and sportspeople alike. The Park links a significant chain of river and coastal reserve areas which have ecological and biodiversity values.
Resident and migratory bird species include white heron, royal spoonbill, godwits, and gannets. Seals often come inshore. Visitors are asked to take care stepping off tracks and trails or on the gravel banks as birds are roosting or nesting.
The lower reaches of the rivers are popular for fishing, whitebaiting, rowing, waka ama, kayaking, jetboating, jetskiing and kite surfing.
The estuary is in a stunning public location but unfortunately the site has also suffered from long term inappropriate vehicle activity, rubbish dumping and camping.This new project will transform Waitangi Estuary to a worthy gateway between the cities of Napier and Hastings. Vehicle access will be limited while the entrance road is formed, the car park and celestial compass constructed, garden beds and platforms laid for the first four carved pou. See more about the enhancement project here in our video here.
Where is Waitangi Regional Park?
Waitangi Regional Park is a long coastal park between Napier and Hastings that covers an area of 300 ha where numerous streams and rivers - Muddy Creek, Karamu-Clive, Ngaruroro, Tutaekuri, Grange Creek and Tukituki River meet the sea. State Highway 2 runs through part of the wetland estuary, approximately 10 minutes drive from both Hastings and Napier. There are various access points; north of the park from SH2, at Clive - access through the Evers-Swindell Reserve, and there is vehicle access at East Clive and at Tukituki at Haumoana. See google map below.
A great way to see the park is on one of the many Hawke's Bay Trails that run right through it.
- Historic Site
Before you go
- There are no toilets within the park itself
- Please take your rubbish away with you
- Lock your vehicle and take valuables with you
- We want to ensure people can enjoy their water sports and fishing in safety so Navigation Safety Bylaws apply in the rivers restricting activities to specific zone - check out the bylaws. We also want to protect the nesting areas of birds and the protective beach crest from erosion, so public vehicle access is not permitted along the coast at East Clive between the Tukituki Estuary and the Ngaruroro River mouth at Awatoto
Want to know more about Waitangi Regional Park?
Waitangi Regional Park is due to be transformed into a gateway icon for Napier and Hastings communities to enjoy. Check out this video to see more about what we are doing in this lovely space.
Waitangi ranks within the top 10 wetlands in the region that require protection and enhancement as determined by Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. This area provides a variety of wetland and coastal habitats that support a significant population of bird species. It connects with the nearby Tukituki Estuary.
Because of the presence of rich natural resources (birds, fish and plants) the area has always been important to Maori and was the site of a Pa in the 1800’s. This was washed away in 1897. At the reserve by the Waitangi Estuary entrance you can see the memorial marking the site of William Colenso’s Mission Station.
The estuary initially linked the Ngaruroro and Tukituki river mouths and in the late 1800’s was where a small ferry boat was needed to transport people and goods across the rivers. Significant changes have occurred since then as a result of storms and coastal erosion.
The construction of the Heretaunga Plains Flood Control Scheme in the 1960 and 70s further altered the wetlands. Numerous stopbanks and pump stations were constructed along these rivers and Muddy Creek south to the Tukituki River to provide flood protection and drainage to extensive areas of land between Napier and Hastings. While this was important for the economic development of Hawke’s Bay, it did help to destroy an extensive wetland system over this area.
The restoration of some of the wetland areas now is helping to provide habitats for seabirds, water fowl, fish, insects and plants along this coastline.