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Places to visit


Banner Photo courtesy of White Heron Sanctuary Tours Whataroa.

Whataroa is a small rural locality on the south side of the Whataroa River, 103 km south-west of Hokitika.

Whataroa is a base for guided nature tours over summer months. The only New Zealand breeding colony of kōtuku (white herons) is on the banks of the Waitangiroto River.

They arrive about September each year and, after breeding, leave around January. The colony is a nature reserve, requiring an entry permit. An exposed Alpine Fault can also be found in Whataroa with tours available. The Whataroa River is one of the best one-day whitewater experiences in New Zealand. Deep green water carves its way through three spectacular gorges, with canyons set amongst amazing river scenery.

There is a challenging 9 hole golf course in the township as well as motels, backpackers, a hotel, a school and two churches. As with most townships in Westland the nearby rivers and bush clad hills provide world-class fishing and hunting opportunities as well as outstanding scenery. Lake Wahapo is situated close by which lends itself to trout fishing and recreational boating.

Read more about the Whataroa Community Association.