Doc Track of the Month – Titri Creek

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Titri Creek Track is an easy 10-minute walk along a flat causeway through a superb wetland, ending at a raised viewing platform.
The track begins at a car park in Titri Rd, half an hour south of Dunedin on State Highway 1. Take care at the busy turnoff just after the Waipori River bridge into Titri Rd.
From the car park there are views through harekeke to the regenerating Waihola wetlands.
Take care and look for trains as you cross the railway tracks and wander through
the wetland natives to the first bridge. You gain some height on the bridge and a perspective of the wetland as it stretches into the distance.
The Sinclair Wetlands are visible in the distance at the foot of the Maukaatua Range.
Take a look in the tidal-influenced channel below the bridge and see if you can spy a trout powering through the current or native giant kokopu lurking in the shadows.
The track follows the causeway among more wetland plants, where you may see and hear fernbird/matata hiding in the shrubs and making their characteristic “u-tick” sound. Marsh crake/kotoreke can also be seen here.
Cross the small footbridge, where there is a channel through the causeway. This flow of water has been key in allowing the wetland reserve to regenerate. This supply of tidal-influenced freshwater creates the right growing conditions for native species.
Reach the platform and you are rewarded with a view across a large lagoon, often filled with water birds including scaup/paapako and grey teal/tete.
The wetland is habitat for several species of spider. Keep your eyes peeled for little white balls of web made by nursery spiders to protect their young.
The thick complicated vegetation is great habitat for many native creatures.
The fact that most of these nooks and crannies are affected by the tides, spending part of the day underwater and remaining damp for the rest of it, makes these spots ideal for inanga and other whitebait species to lay their eggs.
Return the way you came and keep driving south along Titri Rd to reach the cafe and ice-cream shop in Waihola.
Shay van der Hurk is a ranger, recreation/historic and biodiversity, at the Department of Conservation-Te Papa Atawhai.