Where is Ō Tū Wharekai?
Ō Tū Wharekai is a wetland area near the head of the Rangitata River, one of the braided rivers that helped form the Canterbury Plains. The Lord of the Rings were filmed in this valley, on and around Mount Sunday.
Ō Tū Wharekai is in the middle of high country tussocklands and surrounded by the Southern Alps/Kā Tiritiri o te Moana. Ō Tū Wharekai is part of the Hakatere Conservation Park, which opened in October 2007.
Why is Ō Tū Wharekai important?
- it is one of only a few mountain valley wetlands left in New Zealand
- it has a high level of biodiversity so is home to a lot of different plants and animals
- there are different types of wetlands within this area
- Ō Tū Wharekai is a good spot for hiking and fishing.
Ō Tū Wharekai has the following types of wetlands:
- braided rivers
- high country lakes
- ephemeral tarns
- and kettle holes.
Ō Tū Wharekai is one of three special New Zealand wetlands which are being studied and restored as part of DOC's Arawai Kākāriki project.
Aims for Ō Tū Wharekai
- keep good water quality
- look after the wetland habitat
- have a better range of plants and animals
- take care of historic and cultural places
- make services better for the public to visit
- get help from the community
- learn more about wetlands.