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Manawatu at Foxton

This popular recreational area is found on the Main stem of the Manawatu River at Foxton Beach township.  It is used more for boating and fishing than swimming.  You will see jet skis, power boats, kayaks and sailing boats.

The Manawatu River Estuary is also recognised internationally as one of the most important estuarine ecosystems in New Zealand and is of interest for bird watchers, photographers, artists and ecologists.

Facilities include a boat launching ramp and wharf on Hartley Street.  The wharf is a popular fishing spot for youngsters.

Foxton Beach is a holiday town, so there are excellent facilities close to the estuary.  Foxton swimming beach is just 5 minutes away over the sand dunes. Further information on the Foxton Beach coastal reserves can be found here.

Water quality at the Manawatu River Estuary depends on the tides and whether it has rained recently in the Manawatu Catchment upstream.  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.

Water quality in the Manawatu River Estuary is a result of what happens in the huge catchment area upstream of it.  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

Industry, councils, iwi and environmentalists have made a promise to look after all the rivers in the Manawatu Catchment. It is called the Manawatu River Leaders' Accord and more information can be found here.

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