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Waianakarua River

The Waianakarua catchment in North Otago has an area of approximately 260km2 .

The Waianakarua is a relatively short river (33km) and is divided into two branches that merge about 1km below the SH1 bridge before joinging the Pacific Ocean south of Oamaru.

The average annual rainfall in the upper catchment is 740mm.


Original vegetation of the catchment consisted of snow tussock, manuka and native bush. The native plant population has been modified with the spread of introduced plants and over-sowing of introduced pasture grasses. Grays Dam on the North branch of the Waianakarua is a relic from gold mining days.

The upper catchment of the Waianakarua is primarily used for extensive sheep and beef grazing. The mid reaches of the catchment contain extensive areas of production forestry. The land downstream of the main highway is mainly used for intensive sheep farming with some cropping and dairy production.  

The Waianakarua River is a limited sports fishery, it is believed that the trout fishery is heavily dependent on the sea run component. Further recreational pursuits such as whitebaiting and swimming also occur in the Waianakarua River.

Sites 1

Monitored sites in the Waianakarua River catchment

...retrieving sites.

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