Last Modified: 2-1-2021 19:55
By: Christopher Cookson
Kotuku Track is a 4.5km long shared cycle and walkway off Hardings Road, Riverlands, near Blenheim that follows sections of the lower Ōpaoa River to the mouth of the Ōpaoa at the Wairau Bar. From the Wairau Bar, the walkway connects with the Wairau Lagoons Walkway allowing for a large loop. The walkway is flat, and much of the landscape is featureless with mostly Salicorna (glasswort) and the occasional low shrub, however good views can be had of the Wither Hills and Richmond Range. One of the major attractions of the track is the rich variety of bird life that can be seen where the track follows the Ōpaoa River, and where it reaches the Wairau Bar. There is also a section that runs alongside oxidation ponds that have been landscaped, and attract a diversity of waterfowl. Some of the species of birds that can be seen include: royal spoonbill, herons, welcome swallows, canada geese, black swans, mallard ducks, shags, terns, gulls.
Various information panels are provided along the track describing the bird life and river environment, and at the Wairau Bar, information on this significant archeological site of first human settlement in New Zealand.
How to get there
By car, take State Highway One south from Blenheim and about 800 metres past the Riverlands industrial area turn left into Hardings Road. Travel about 1.3 kilometres down Hardings Road to where you'll see a parking area on the left.
By bike, take the Riverlands Rail Trail from Mcartney Street in Blenheim to Sheffield Street at the Riverlands industrial area, then turn right into State Highway One and from there follow the same instructions as for cars.
Distance: 4.5Km one way (9Km return).
Walking time: Approx 1.5 hours one way.
Dogs: Dogs are permitted on a leash.
Track is exposed with no shelter, no toilets and no drinking water, so carry something to drink, sunscreen, and wind proof clothing depending on weather.
Cite this page
Cookson, C. (2021). Kotuku Track. Retrieved December, 5, 2023, from https://www.marlboroughonline.co.nz/marlborough/information/recreation/tramping-and-walking/kotuku-track/