Kaikorai Lagoon Swamp

Description: A brackish water lagoon and extensive adjacent swamp/marsh areas at the mouth of the Kaikorai Stream.

A range of marsh communities from brackish lagoon to saline lagoon. Vegetation includes jointed rush (Juncus articulatus) and ribbonwood (Plagianthus divaricatus), herbfield communities in extensive marsh areas and a narrow strip of herbfield communities between the low bank and the lagoon in the Brighton Road area. 1

Type/Class: Swamp 2

Size: 63.5 ha.

Altitude: 0-20 m above sea level.

Approximate location: Southwest of the intersection of Brighton Road and Main South Road, Fairfield.
NZTM (centre point): E1398520 N4912490

Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.68, Map F57.

Territorial Authority: Dunedin City Council.


Interactive map of Kaikorai Lagoon Swamp

Recorded Values

Value Description
A1 Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities. Habitat for threatened Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) and the Banded Dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus bicinctus). 1
 A2 Critical habitat for the life cycles of indigenous fauna which are dependent on wetlands.  The area is important as a refuge, feeding and breeding areas for a wide range of wetland birds. Birds that breed in the area include Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), shoveller, Black Swan (Cygnus atratus), Swamp Hen/Pukeko (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus), Pied Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and Black-backed Gull (Larus dominicanus). Shags (Phalacrocoracidae), Gulls (Laridae), Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia), Terns, White-faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiae novaehollandiae), Oystercatchers (Haematopodidae) and Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata) also use the area. The Marsh Crake (Porzana pusilla affinis) has also been observed here. 1
 A4 High degree of wetland naturalness.1, 2
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. A Scarce wetland type: saltmarsh and Leptocarpus sp. marsh. 1 Less than 15% of swamps remain in Otago. 2
 A6 Highly valued by Kai Tahu for cultural and spiritual beliefs, values and uses, including mahika kai and waahi taoka.1
A3, A7-A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.


Other Information:

  • Listed as an Area of Significant Conservation Value in the Dunedin City District Plan, where it is described as an estuary with mudflat, saltmarsh, and reed swamp, and succulent herb swamp, and of regional significance. 28

  • Kaikorai Lagoon Swamp is adjacent to the coastal marine area, which is covered by the Regional Plan: Coast for Otago.


Aerial View of Kaikorai Lagoon Swamp (March 2006)



Kaikorai Lagoon Swamp (July 2005) “51”



Kaikorai Lagoon Swamp (July 2010) “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.

28. Dunedin City Council (1999) Dunedin City District Plan. Published by the Dunedin City Council, Dunedin.

51. Otago Regional Council - Photo Archive.