Big Boggy Swamp


A spring-fed lagoon (with flax-covered islands) on the Upper Matukituki River flats, Western Otago. 1


Swamp. 2


13.4 ha.


300-320 m above sea level.

Approximate location:

North of the confluence of Big Boggy Burn and Matukituki River, Cattle Flat.
NZTM (centre point): E1272700 N5062400.

Regional Plan:

Water for Otago.
Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.8, Map F1.

Territorial Authority:

Queenstown Lakes District Council.


Interactive map of Big Boggy Swamp

Recorded Values

Value Description
A1 Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities. Presence of threatened Banded Dotterel (Charadrius bicinctus bicinctus). 1
A4 High degree of wetland naturalness. Largely unmodified wetland system which is self-sustaining because of its spring-fed character. 1
A5 Scarce in Otago in terms of its ecological or physical character. Less than 15% of swamps remain in Otago. 2
A7 High diversity of indigenous wetland flora and fauna. High diversity of habitat types. Important feeding and breeding sites for waterfowl and wading birds including Paradise Shelduck (Tadorna variegata), Grey Duck (Anas superciliosa), Swamp Hen/Pukeko (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus) and Pied Stilt (Himantopus himantopus). South Island Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus finschi), White-faced Heron (Ardea novaehollandiae novaehollandiae) and Marsh Crake (Porzana pusilla affinis) also use the wetland. 1
A2, A3, A6, A8 A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.


Other Information:

  • Big Boggy Swamp is the lowest and hence the wettest part of a continuum between two alluvial fans. Some of the inflow for Big Boggy Swamp is sourced from the walls of the Matukituki Valley. Much of this water has been diverted away from the wetland through the construction of drainage channels, resulting in an invasion by exotic plants. 9

  • Big Boggy Swamp is protected as a conservation area. However, the protected wetland is surrounded by a large area (approximately 60 ha) of land which, due to drainage, is now wet for only part of the year. 9

  • Many native woody species including mingimingi (Coprosma propinqua), Olearia lineata and koromiko (Hebe sp.) are found in parts without permanent standing water. These shrubs are often covered in bush lawyer (Rubus schmidelioides). Dominant species at ground level are pūkio (Carex secta), cutty grass (Carex coriacea), jointed rush (Juncus articulatus), swamp kiokio (Blechnum minus), alpine water fern (Blechnum penna-marina) and club rush (Eleocharis acuta). Exotic pasture plants are also widespread, especially clovers, Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus), browntop (Agrostis capillaries) and sweet vernal (Anthoxanthum odoratum). 9

  • Raupo (Typha orientalis) stands are present on the margins of permanent pond areas. As well as Maori sedge (Carex maorica), Gaudichaud’s sedge (Carex gaudichaudiana) and toetoe (Cortaderia richardii). Hydrocotyle sulcata, Myosotis laxa subsp. caespitosa) and waoriki (Ranunculus glabrifolius (amphitrichus)) are found in the understory and ground cover. Aquatic plants common water milfoil (Myriophyllum propinquum) and red pondweed (Potamogeton cheesemanii) are found in open water areas. 9

  • Invertebrates recorded in Big Boggy Swamp include the Lygaeidae bugs (Rhypodes, Myersi and Mysius buttoni), spittle bugs Aphrophiridae (two species) and Cicadelliadae (one species). Also present are shore bugs (Salidae), cranefly (Limonae), 4 species of the Fipilinae family, the damselfly (Xanthocnemis zealandica) and Chronomidae. A diverse range of pollinators including the hoverflies (Syrphidae) and 4 species of native bee (Apoidae). 9

  • In 1982 the area was surveyed by the Wildlife Service and Big Boggy Swamp was ranked as a wildlife habitat of moderate to high value. 9

  • Longfin eel (Anguilla dieffenbachii) are present in quite significant numbers. 9

  • Big Boggy Swamp is utilised for game bird hunting. 9



Aerial View of Big Boggy Swamp (February 2007)



Big Boggy Swamp (February 2011) 94



Big Boggy Swamp (February 2011) 94



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.

9 Land Information New Zealand (2004) Crown Pastoral Land Tenure Review: Matukituki Pastoral Lease. Conservation Resources Report for the Commissioner of Crown Lands. Published by Land Information New Zealand, Wellington.

94 Department of Conservation – Photo Archive.

Page last updated 12 July 2024.