Sinclair Wetlands

Clutha District

Reflections and hidden islands

Serene beauty untouched by modern man. This is an ideal location for a day out with the family or for bird watching! With a few different trails to pick from, you will find yourself away from the hustle and bustle of the usual tourist spots. There is only one real trail into the islands surrounded by swamps and mazes of water channels that weave in and out for miles. Go and enjoy this internationally renowned 2000 ha wetland, and enjoy the 80 species of wildlife.


Another easy spot to get to, there are some gravel roads you will have to drive down however. While heading south out of Dunedin, you will see signs as you approach the Henley-Berwick Rd, Once you make it to Berwick, swing a left onto Berwick Rd and follow that until you reach the Sinclair Wetlands Education Centre. From here, park up and take one of the trails into the wetlands.

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What can these Wetlands offer me?

Most of the Taieri Plain wetlands were drained and converted to farmland back in the 1800's, leaving only two of the original lakes, 'Lake Waihola' meaning 'spreading waters' and 'Lake Waipori' meaning 'dark water'. The lakes were left with their adjacent swamps. Parts of the Sinclair Wetlands were farmed at one point or another. From about 1960 when Horace "Horrie" Sinclair, a local farmer, owned the land, he ceased faming on the wetlands and stopped pumping the water out of it. In 1984 he made his intentions to gift the wetlands to Ducks Unlimited New Zealand Limited. Hence why the wetlands are called the Sinclair Wetlands!

There is an island called Ram Island (Whakaraupuka), which in ancient times the location of a Maori settlement, the Tukiauau Pa. In 1998 the land was returned to Ngāi Tahu as part of the Claim Settlement Act.

Another perfect family outing - Stu