Matakauri Wetland

Description: Wetland on the valley floor of the Queenstown Gorge. Leads of standing water and slow moving flow provide permanent internal flow troughout. 65

Type/Class: Swamp. 65

Size: 10.7 ha.

Altitude: 320-340 m above sea level.

Approximate location: East of the intersection of Gorge Road and Industrial Place, Queenstown. NZTM (centre point): E1258480 N5006030.

Regional Plan: Water for Otago. Schedule 9 Regionally Significant Wetland, no.96, Map F4.

Territorial Authority: Queenstown Lakes District Council.


Interactive map of Matakauri Wetland

Recorded Values

Value Description
A1 Habitat for nationally or internationally rare or threatened species or communities. New Zealand Falcon (Falco novaeseelandiae) – a species in gradual decline – hunt over the wetland. 65
A3 High diversity of wetland habitat types. The wetland and its surrounding environment contain a large level of habitat diversity within a geographically well defined area. 65
A7 High diversity of indigenous wetland flora and fauna. The wetland makes an important contribution to biological diversity in the network of lacustrine (lake), riverine (river) and palustrine (rain-fed, e.g. swamp) hydro systems in the Wakatipu basin. 65
A9 Significant hydrological values including maintaining water quality or low flows, or reducing flood flows. The wetland was created by the establishment of a detention dam at the confluence of Horne Creek and Bush Creek, mitigating the effects of flooding on Queenstown. 65
A2, A4, A5, A6,A8, A9 No relevant information is currently held by the ORC.


Other Information

  • Listed in the Queenstown Lakes District Plan as an Area of Significant Indigenous Vegetation - Significant Site of Insects and Plants, including pūkio (Carex secta). 18

  • Vegetation is predominantly a Carex sp. sedgeland. The northern part of the wetland is dominated by Carex sp. such as cutty grass/rautahi (Carex coriacea and Carex geminata), as well as club rush (Eleocharis acuta). Pasture grasses are present including cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata), Yorkshire fog (Holcus lanatus) and rushes including soft rush (Juncus effusus) and Juncus edgariae. Peppermint, buttercups and watercress (Nasturtium sp.) are common throughout. In the central-northern portion of the wetland is a cluster of mingimingi (Coprosma propinqua) with broadleaf/kāpuka (Griselinia littoralis) present. In the centre of the wetland pūkio (Carex secta) dominates along with cutty grass/rautahi (Carex coriacea). Juncus sp. is dominant in the eastern and western margins. Carex gaudichaudiana or Carex sinclairii is becoming more prevalent where willow removal has been extensive. Raupo (Typha orientalis) is present in open water of the wetland. In standing water in the wetland red water fern/kārearea (Azolla filiculoides) and common duckweed/kārearea (Lemna minor) is common. 65

  • Fauna present in the wetland include Paradise Shelduck/Putangitangi (Tadorna variegata). Swamp hen/Pukeko (Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus) has been seen, as well as Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). New Zealand Tomtit (Petroica macrocephala), Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis lateralis) and Grey Warbler/Riroriro (Gerygone igata) have been observed in the shrubland on the margins of the wetland. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) and the indigenous koaro (Galaxias brevipinnis) are present in both the wetland and Horne Creek. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) spawn in Horne Creek between April and June followed by koaro (Galaxias brevipinnis). 65

  • Pest plants within the wetland include crack willow (Salix fragilis) and grey willow (Salix cinerea), Russell lupin (Lupinus polyphyllus), broom, buddleia (Buddleja sp.) and watercress (Nasturtium sp.). Adjacent to the wetland, pest plants include hawthorn, old man’s beard, sycamore, cotoneaster (Cotoneaster sp.), douglas fir (Pseudotsuga sp.) and radiata pine (Pinus radiata). 65

  • A feral goat herd has been seen along the margins of the shrubland adjacent to the wetland. 65

  • Queenstown Lakes District Council are undertaking a restoration of the wetland. 65



Aerial view of Matakauri Wetland (February 2006)



Matakauri Wetland (December 2010) 51



18 Queenstown Lakes District Council (2007) Partially Operative District Plan. Published by Queenstown Lakes District Council, Queenstown.

51 Otago Regional Council – Photo Archive.

65 Natural Solutions for Nature Ltd. (2009) George Road Wetland enhancement plan. Report prepared for Queenstown Lakes District Council.