Cannibal Bay Road Swamp

Description: Large wetland surrounded by mature podocarp-rate forest and secondary broadleaf-podocarp (kowhai) forest near Cannibal Bay, Catlins. 13
Type/Class: Swamp. 2 
Size: 7.9 ha.
Altitude: 0-40 m above sea level.
Approximate location: 6 km Southeast of intersection of Cannibal Bay Road and Owaka Highway, Owaka | NZTM: E1349780 N4849230.
Regional Plan: Water for Otago | Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.21, Map F36.
Territorial Authority: Clutha District Council.

Interactive map of Cannibal Bay Road Swamp

Recorded Values

Value Description
A4 High degree of wetland naturalness. 2
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Less than 15% of swamps remain in Otago. 2
A1-A3, A6-A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.

Other information

  • Mingimingi (Coprosma propinqua) is the dominant shrub above the dense cutty grass (Carex geminata) ground cover. 13

  • Olearia laxiflora is especially common near the forest edge; it is an uncommon shrub species, only found in southern New Zealand. 13

  • Other shrubs and young trees found in the swamp include lancewood (Pseudopanax crassifolius), manuka, koromiko (Hebe sp.), pokaka (Elaeocarpus sp.) and weeping matipo (Myrsine divaricata). Toetoe and flax occur in parts. The northwest part of the swamp is developing into kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) forest. 13

  • Birdlife includes New Zealand Pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae), Tomtits, Brown Creeper (Mohoua novaeseelandiae), Bellbird (Anthornis melanura), Fantails (Rhipidurinae) and Grey Warbler (Gerygone igata). 13
Aerial View of Cannibal Bay Road Swamp (March 2006)


Scrub swamp at Cannibal Bay Road Swamp (2008)


Olearia laxiflora in Cannibal Bay Road Swamp



2 Ausseil, A.G., Newsome, P., Johnson, P. (2008) Wetland Mapping in the Otago Region. Landcare Research Contract Report prepared for the Otago Regional Council.

13 Rebergen, A. (2005) Biodiversity funding to protect an area of primary lowland podocarp-rata forest, regenerating broadleaf-podocarp forest and wetland at Cannibal Bay, Catlins. Report No. 2005/218 – Report for the Environment & Science Committee. Otago Regional Council, Dunedin.

51 Otago Regional Council – Photo Archive