Enjoy a short bush walk to the lookout over Lake Papaitonga which is now an important refuge for birds that depend on the wetlands for survival, as well as forest birds and rare Powelliphanta snails.
It was here that the son and daughter of the great chief Te Rauparaha were killed and this was a large factor in the outbreak of fighting between the tribes. There is a 10 - 20 minute walk through native bush along board walked paths to the lake views.
Papaitonga is a dune lake in the Horowhenua coastal plain containing two islands, Motukiwi (Papaitonga) and Motungarara (Papawhaerangi). The latter is an artificial island constructed by Muaupoko residents in 1820 to extend their village.
The lake and the surrounding wetland and lush coastal forest make up 135 hectares of scenic reserve. It's a refuge for birds that depend on wetlands or lowland forests for their survival.
Access is from Buller Road off State Highway 1.
Lake Papaitonga. Photo: Jeremy Rolfe.