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Waikawa Estuary at Footbridge

The Waikawa Estuary is at the very South of the Horizons Region, just North of Otaki. To get there you turn towards the coast on SH1 at Waikawa Beach Road. 

Water quality at Waikawa Estuary depends on the tides and whether it has rained recently. That means it is almost always safe for swimming when the tide floods into the estuary and is generally safe for swimming on an outgoing tide, except during and after a river fresh.

Rain washes bacteria and sediment off streets, roads, plants and land into water which increases health-risk and makes it look murky. It is best to wait for the water to clear before using it for swimming.

Water quality in the Waikawa Estuary is a result of what happens upstream. Horizons works to improve water quality by:

  • Ensuring waste that has to go into water is properly treated to meet water quality standards
  • Monitoring water that is taken out of the river so there is enough for everyone, including the fish
  • Helping to fence off rivers and streams so stock do not get into water and contaminate it
  • Helping rural land users to stop soil eroding from hills and into water
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