Wairau Lagoons is a flat loop track out to view the T.S.S Waverly Shipwreck and surrounding Lagoons. It is a good walk for kids and also fantastic for bird watching.
Despite the fact that this walk takes you past some stinky sewage ponds at the start of the track, it is a very beautiful flat walk with lots of bird life to be seen.
Heading out to town towards Christchurch, 5km south of Blenheim you access the lagoons from the end of Hardings Road, off State Highway one.
These stunning lagoons were formed around 5000-6000 years ago and have a rich history to be told, you can read about some of this history via Marlboroughonline.co.nz
This track is completely flat apart form a small rise at the end of the board walks at the start of the track, you can get a pram out to the shipwreck and back but be prepared for some muddy spots and lots of bumps. During the wet months you will want to wear some gumboots as it can get very muddy.
It will take you approximately 45min depending on your pace to get to the T.S.S Waverly shipwreck where kids can enjoy a bit of an explore. There is one picnic table at the shipwreck making it a good stop of a refreshment for the kids.
If it is your first time heading out to the lagoons with kids, you can keep the kids walking by telling them your on a pirate ship hunt - these always kept my kids going when they were younger.
The T.S.S Waverly has its final resting place here in the lagoons after a rich life at sea - you can copy and paste this link ( ) to read more about the history of the Waverly.
After exploring around the shipwreck and having a wee rest, you can either turn back the way you came to the start - making it approximately 1hr 30min round trip.
Or you can continue around the larger loop back to the start.
This larger loop will take your approximately 2-3hr (including the first 45min to the ship) depending on your pace, Our family of 4 took about 2.5hrs to complete the full track.
This full loop takes you along the shoreline of the upper lagoon and past Budges and Moerepo Islands, you can often see jet boats and jet skis zipping up the river channels not to far from the walkway.
It is also a fantastic area for bird spotting and a bit of golden hour photography.
It can get very hot and dry in the summer months out in the lagoon and there is no fresh water so make sure you take water with you.
This a very beautiful walk especially in the evenings as the sun is going down. Been that it is so flat you can see a fair way ahead of you so you can let the kids run ahead with our to much worry.
No matter if you do the full loop or just to the ship wreck and back it is a great walk to do with kids.
" I like to go and check out all the birds, you can see so many of them. I take my bird book with me sometimes" Marcus O'Donnell aged 8yrs old
What to Bring
- Sunhat in summer
- Gumboots and windbreaker in winter
Time and Distance
1.5hr - 3hr depending on pace, approx 9.7kms
- Nice flat track, you can see a long way ahead so kids can run ahead of you safely.
- Start of track pram friendly but often muddy and bumpy
- No Dogs
- Bike's only permitted during set times of the year so check the signs before you go in.
- No toilets so make sure kids go before you start.
- One picnic table at the shipwreck.