The Waipu Lagoons are a series of small coastal lagoons in Bell Block. They consist of three small lakes with a combined surface area of about 2 hectares (4.9 acres), they are close to the Tasman Sea, and immediately east of Bell Block. The lagoons plus surrounding wetlands total 7.9 hectares (20 acres) are a conservation reserve owned by the New Plymouth District Council. The lagoons provide habitat for a wide variety of birdlife, including the Australasian Bittern, Australian Coot, Grey Teal and Pukeko. There are also Maori pa and food storage pits nearby.
Australasian Bittern – endangered
image courtesy of Richard Hall, http://www.richardhallphotography.com
image courtesy of http://www.inaturalist.org
image courtesy of http://www.treknature.com
image courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Purple_Swamphen_-_Pukeko.jpg
Bird species found at the reserve include:
Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus’) – endangered
Australian coot (Fulica atra australis)
Grey Teal (‘Anus gracilis),
Pukeko (Porphyrio porphyrio).
Raupo (Typha orientalis), flax (Phormium tenax), and bamboo spike-sedge (Eleocharis sphacelata) are the principal plant species.
Other birds present or which visit the site include Canadian geese (Branta
canadensis), mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) and black swan (Cygnus
Mangati Walkway & Coastal Walkway
The Walkway runs from the banks of the Mangati Stream, taking in Mangati Reserve and down towards Bell Block Beach and through past vegatative sand dunes towards the Waipu Lagoons and Hickford Coastal Park, it then connects to Rewa Rewa and on to New Plymouth. This coastal area is one of the few wetlands still left in Taranaki and due to the wetland, there is lot’s of birdlife. Rewa Rewa is also an area of historic and cultural significance to Puketapu Hapu and within the tribal rohe of Te Atiawa Iwi. It was used as a food gathering area and is the site of Rewa Rewa Pa (Defensive Post). The walkway is an extension of the award winning New Plymouth Coastal Walkway. This spectacular coastal walkway is suitable for all ages and connects New Plymouth to Bell Block. A feature of the walk is Bell Block Beach which has boat access, public toilets and car parking. There’s a children’s playground and picnic spots there too. The shorter walk is the Mangati Reserve walk – just 30 minutes on an easy track, a very pleasant walk following Mangati stream.
Coastal Walkway and Te Rewa Rewa Bridge
Bell Block Coast
The North Taranaki Coastline is full of wildlife, up and down the coast there are nesting boxes for Little Blue Penguins who use the coastline to breed. The penguins can be found in many places around New Zealand and Southern Australia and is the world’s smallest penguin. Sharks and Killer Whales have also been spotted off the coast of North Taranaki.
Image sourced from http://commons.wikimedia.org