Tautuku River Mouth Marsh

Description: A large area of wetlands on the coastal terrace behind Tautuku Beach and part of the lower Tautuku River Valley. 1

Type/Class: Marsh and Swamp. 2

Size: 50.1 ha.

Altitude: 0 - 20 m above sea level.

Approximate location: 2.9 km Southwest of the intersection of Tautuku Beach Road and Chaslands Highway, Papatowai. NZTM (centre point): E1325400 N4834500.

Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.148, Map F32.

Territorial Authority: Clutha District Council.


Interactive map of Tautuku River Mouth Marsh

Recorded Values

Value Description
A3 High diversity of wetland habitat types. A diverse assemblage of habitat types and plant communities including rush swamps, swampy river flats (with sedge, jointed rush (Juncus articulatus), shrubs) and swampy riverside podocarp (Podocarpus sp.)/kāmahi (Weinmannia racemosa)/mixed broadleaf forest. 1
A4 High degree of wetland naturalness. 1
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Less than 15% of swamps and marshes remain in Otago. 2
A1, A2, A6 - A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.


Other Information

  • Also called Tautuku Estuary in the Clutha District Plan, where it is listed as a Significant Wetland. Described as a slow flowing river mouth. 37

  • High number of Fernbird (Bowdleria punctata) present in an unmodified environment and vegetation not common in the region. 37

  • Tautuku River Mouth Marsh is adjacent to the coastal marine area, which is covered by the Regional Plan: Coast for Otago.



Aerial view of Tautuku River Mouth Marsh (2006)



Tautuku River Mouth Marsh (2007) 51



1 Otago Regional Council (2004) Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Published by the Otago Regional Council, Dunedin.

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.

37 Clutha District Council (1998) Clutha District Plan. Published by the Clutha District Council, Balclutha.

51 Otago Regional Council – Photo Archive.

Page last updated 12 July 2024.