Prawn Farm Wetland

Size: 1.5 hectares

Site description

The Prawn Farm Wetlands biodiversity focus area is located next to Omokoiti Bay, on the east coast at the northern end of the South Head peninsula. It is located at Te Rau Puriri Regional Park, administered by Auckland Council.

There are two areas of wetland included here:

  • a natural wetland on a coastal floodplain
  • a wetland established in depressions created by earthworks during the formation of fish farm ponds.
Prawn Farm Wetlands.
Raupō and Machaerina dominated wetland at Prawn Farm.
Photo credit: Andrew Macdonald, Biospatial Ltd 2018

Key ecosystems

The natural wetland is at the base of a steep, east-facing hillslope. The vegetation is raupō-dominated (WL19) with small patches of Machaerina sedgeland (WL11). The water table is high and the soil is peaty indicating slow decomposition of plant matter. On small raised mounds within the wetland there are small stands of kānuka, mānuka, cabbage tree and wheki.

The wetland drains into a nearby channelised watercourse, discharging at the beach, 200 metres away. The wetland is surrounded by pasture with some exotic trees and kānuka to the north and west.

The wetland formed from historic earthworks is an artificially created pond with open water and naturalised wetland vegetation. There are patches of dense raupō reedland (WL19) and other areas where the native herb, swamp willow weed (Persicaria decipiens) is dominant.

Native fauna

The wetlands are likely to provide habitat for matuku hūrepo (Australasian bittern). The South Head peninsula is a regional strong-hold for this highly endangered species. They have a threat status of Nationally Critical. Mātātā (fernbird), weweia (dabchick) and kāruhiruhi (pied shag) have also been recorded here.

Raupō wetland at Prawn Farm.
This raupō dominated wetland was formed by earthworks during the creation of the fish farm.
Photo credit: Andrew Macdonald, Biospatial Ltd 2018