The Catlins region is renowned for its temperate rainforest, and the walk to Waipati Beach passes through a good example of this forest type. Podocarp trees of ancient lineage are among the largest – rimu, miro and totara. Flowering trees include the red-flowering southern rata and the prolific kamahi, which has creamy flower spikes. Tree ferns, ground ferns, mosses and supplejack vines add complexity to the forest. There are tracts of silver beech/tawhai in the vicinity – another canopy species along with the podocarps. Relatively high local rainfall is what fuels it all.
In the forest, the birdlife includes the melodic bellbird/korimako and tui, the chattering tomtit/miromiro and fantail/pīwakawaka, and the grey warbler/riroriro, whose haunting warble carries a long way. The New Zealand pigeon/kukupā, our only native pigeon species, lives here too. Down at the beach you may find the variable (black) oystercatcher/tōrea pango, red-billed gull/tarapuka and black-backed gull/karoro. New Zealand sea lions/pakake and fur seals/kekeno, protected native species like the birds, may appear on the beach. Keep at least 10 metres away from them. Looking seawards, you might catch sight of albatrosses, including Buller’s albatross and the giant royal albatross, patrolling inshore seas for food
The secluded estuary at the far end of the beach is in largely natural condition, covering more than 50 ha.



1069 Chaslands Highway
New Zealand
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