At the Shorebird Centre, you can:
• Find out about what birds are at the roost
• Find out what the birds look like
• Learn about what makes our birds special and our international conservation efforts
• Talk to our staff and volunteers about recent sightings
• Wander through our shop.
• Use the toilet (There are no toilets on the bird roost area.)
You can usually make yourself a cup of tea and eat your lunch, but we don’t sell food. We have accommodation available if you are looking for somewhere to stay the night.
View the birds at the bird roost
Thousands of birds can gather in the roost area. The best viewing is two hours either side of high tide.
You can view the birds from two hides – or just as you are walking along the paths! Entry is free, and the hides are open every day of the year. To get there from the Shorebird Centre you can:
• Walk (2)- the walk is just over 2km and takes about 30 minutes. On the way look for bittern (few and far between but possible) or banded rail. There are information signs on the walk down which cover the landscape, history, and of course information about the birds.
• Drive to the car park (3), and then take a 5 minute stroll to the hides. The path from the car park to the hide is not fully wheelchair accessible yet, however when dry it is possible for people in wheelchairs or with strollers to navigate the path. The car park is locked most nights, if it’s locked when you arrive then park on the roadside and walk through the pedestrian gate.
Where to look for birds
As you are walking to the hide from the car park, take look for birds, particularly banded rail around the car park and golden plover, on the flats between the hide and the car park (6). When you are at the hides, check the mudflats and shellbanks (4). Look out over the Stilt Ponds (5), this is often where the smaller waders are found.
North of the Centre, at Taramaire (7), birds will sometimes roost on the southern point of the river. Please view them from the northern side. Sometimes this can be a good place to look for birds at low tide.
Binoculars or a scope are essential for close up views. (You can hire these from the Centre) Where the birds sit and how close they will be will depend many factors including how high the high tide is. More information on our birds.
Over summer you’ll often find a guide at the hide over high tide, they’ll have a scope and can help you see and identify the birds.
The Shorebird Centre is run by an independent charitable trust, Pukorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust. When you visit please consider a donation to help support our work or donate here.
Contact our team if you are interested in staying overnight, hiring the centre as a venue or hiring our meeting room, bringing a school group, bringing a group for a talk, or booking out the accommodation. More on charges for these items here.