Ship Creek

Ship Creek Tauparikākā is between Haast River and Lake Moeraki in South Westland. It is a gem in the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area with two unique short walks, Dune Lake and Swamp Forest, a couple of viewing platforms, and a beautiful beach. It is also one of only a few places where you can easily access the coast as you head north to Hokitika.

The reserve is well signposted as you approach it on State Highway 6 and has a large parking area. Next to the Ship Creek car park are the two-storey viewing tower, visitor shelter, and picnic area. The tower looks over the lagoon, fed by Ship Creek, the dunes and the beach. The visitor shelter has some interesting information panels that describe the area's ecology, including what you should expect to see around the adjacent Tauparikākā Marine Reserve.

If you are there in spring, look for the Fiordland crested penguin (tawaki). Even better, there is a good chance of spotting Hector dolphins (tutumairekurai) from the beach immediately before you.

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