Hectors’ Coastal Track, Timaru

On my first day in Timaru I walked the Hectors’ Coast Track from Caroline Bay to Dashing Rocks. Read about it here. On the second day I covered the track between Hayes Street/Stuart Street and the Otipua Wetlands.

I picked up the trail at the Timaru Cemetery (Domain Avenue, Kensington, Timaru) and walked along Saltwater Creek.

I followed Saltwater Creek until a wooden bridge and crossed over to the Otipua Wetlands.

In 1997 the Otipua Wetlands Charitable Trust was formed to restore the wetlands and Saltwater Creek to recreate the type of wetland found along the Canterbury coastline before most of them were drained in the early 19th century. Only 10 percent of New Zealand’s coastal wetlands remain.

The four hectare lake in the centre of the wetlands provides a home for local migratory birds to nest. Birds that may be seen here include Royal Spoonbills, Pied Stilts, Swans, Chestnut Breasted Shelducks, Scaup, Mallard and Paradise Ducks, White and White-Faced Herons, Pukekos, Cormorants and Black Billed Gulls.

After this I followed the track back to the Cemetery and walked to Patiti Point. The first European settlers established whale processing sites at Patiti Point. Point Point is a self-contained freedom camping spot.

From Patiti Point I walked to South Beach and finished at Stuart Street.

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