Experience a MEG Tour

Every January, MEG runs the 'Summer Holiday Programme' where we run a range of different amazing activities for the family.  We thought why not run some of these experiences throughout the year for people who might want to experience a  truly unique and bespoke experience on the beautiful Coromandel.  

Waikawau Wetland Wildlife experience

Join us for an informative guided walk through the Waikawau Wetland area where you will experience  the estuarine intertidal wetland area and its wildlife. You will learn about why wetlands are so important to the health of the ecosystem and the environmental impacts that the loss of wetland environments can cause. See first-hand some of the work MEG volunteers and trappers are doing to help protect the native wildlife in the area, and why your contributions are so vital to help us keep up this important work.  You might even be lucky enough to see an elusive Mātātā (Fernbird), a majestic Matuku (Bittern),moho pererū  (banded rail), pūweto (spotless crake), pāteke  (NZ brown teal), tūturiwhatu (NZ dotterel),tōrea pango variable oystercatcher or some of the smaller creatures that are thriving in the wetland environment.

\Time required: 2-3 hours. Any time of day.

Trap Line Trek - All year round

Become a trapper in training by joining a MEG member on their trap line run. Put yourself in our trappers shoes and learn the ins and outs of what predators we target and why, what beautiful native birds we are trying to protect, what common household ingredients are perfect for enticing rats and stoats into a trap, and get a hands on experience of clearing some of the traps in one of the most beautiful locations in the northern coromandel rohe!

Time required: 2-3 hours. Any time of day.

Matuku Monitoring - October and November months only

The matuku is a wetland bird that due to its devastatingly low population number, is so incredibly rare that most people in Aotearoa have never heard it, never will hear it and they don’t even know the bird exists.  These mysterious and elusive birds are also known as the Australasian Bittern and make a distinctive and extraordinary sound.  The best time to hear them is from around fifteen minutes before sunset to about forty five minutes after sunset.  This listening experience is dependent on matuku being present and this will need to be established before this adventure.

Wetlands are important ecosystems to the birds, fish, plants and invertebrates that are adapted to wet conditions and rely on wetland environments for survival.  Wetlands can improve water quality and play a role in reducing the impact of floods in coastal areas such as Waikawau by ‘absorbing’ large water volumes. But according to the NZ Wetland Trust less than 10% of New Zealand’s wetlands remain. 

Waikawau Bay wetland is a rare gem - an accessible intact wetland and estuarine system teeming with wildlife at the end of a stretch of white sandy beach.  It is here, at the top of the Coromandel, that Moehau Environment Group are working to protect threatened birds and invertebrates.


Now our trappers are seeing and hearing mātātā/fernbirds throughout the entire wetland with matuku often encountered too.  The efforts of everyone involved in this long term project have been a huge benefit to the wildlife in the wetland.  So if you are quiet enough next time you visit the wetland area, listen out for the distinctive ‘u-tick’ call of the elusive mātātā, or try and catch a glimpse of a secretive matuku, or watch the flocks of pāteke making their presence felt across the wetland.

Selection of reports:

  • 5 min Bird Count
  • pāteke/brown teal
  • Freshwater Surveys of Waikawau Bay
  • Shellfish Surveys of Waikawau Bay