Whataroa is a small rural township of 285 people in the 2013 census, and is the northern gateway to the South West NZ World Heritage Area which includes the glaciers, spectacular lakes and Fiordland. The town is predominantly a service centre for the thriving dairy farms which operate on the surrounding river flats but is also the base for trips to view the famous Kotuku or White Heron Sanctuary. This is the only breeding area for these birds in New Zealand and tours are accessed by way of jet boat down the Waitangitaona River during the breeding season.
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.
View the Whataroa Community Association Website.
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