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Whangarae Estuary

Whangarae estuary is in the far west of the region and forms the south-western arm of Croiselles Harbour. Whangarae is the most natural estuary in Marlborough. The lack of development in the catchment contributes to this naturalness and enables comparisons with other Marlborough estuaries that have been impacted by human activities.

The catchment is almost all native coastal forest and has an uninterrupted vegetation sequence from salt marsh and herb field through to fringing species and coastal forest. Around the estuary fringes are stands of the regionally rare swamp maire tree. Spinifex, a regionally rare sand dune plant, grows on the south-east sand spit, along with other native coastal and sand-inhabiting plants. Whangarae estuary provides habitat for several regionally rare species including the banded rail and fern bird.

Estuary summary

What makes my estuary unique?

Explore the characteristics of this estuary


Estuary characteristics

  • Significant features

    Marlborough District Council Ecologically Significant Marine Site Number 1.1

  • Total area
    124 hectares
  • Total shoreline length
    6.5 km

What's happening upstream?

See results from monitored river quality sites influencing this estuary

River quality

What's happening upstream?

The physical characteristics and health of estuaries are influenced by the rivers and streams flowing into them. For instance, when it rains the mud and contaminants generated on land can be washed into rivers and eventually flow into the estuary. The health of our rivers and streams can therefore be very important for Estuary Health, and understanding the upstream pressures can help with interpreting estuary monitoring data.

Monitoring is undertaken for a range of river health indicators (e.g., water quality and ecology) in many catchments across the region. Where there are monitored river catchments that influence this estuary, these are shown below. You can click through to view monitoring results from these River Quality sites to see current state and how health has changed over time.

What surrounds my estuary?

See land cover information from monitored catchments that surround this estuary

Land cover

What surrounds my estuary?

The physical characteristics and health of estuaries are influenced by local geography and the way we use our land. This is because estuaries are the receiving environments for many of our land use activities. Land cover information can be used as an indicator of land use, therefore knowing the surrounding land cover can help us understand which pressures might be affecting Estuary Health.

Where there is land cover information available for nearby catchments, these are listed below. These figures show the types of vegetation and built or natural features that surround the estuary margins and the rivers that flow into this estuary. You can click through to the Land Cover topic to see these land cover classes broken down into further detail, and view changes over time.

Monitored sites 2

Select a monitored site from the list below

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