Aotea Lagoon

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Aotea Lagoon
Aotea Lagoon,Porirua,NZ from north-east (straightened).jpg
A view from the north-east: Pipitea miniature railway station across the lagoon, State Highway 1, North Island Main Trunk Railway and Porirua Harbour to the right.
Location North Island
Coordinates 41°7′12″S 174°51′25″E / 41.12000°S 174.85694°E / -41.12000; 174.85694Coordinates: 41°7′12″S 174°51′25″E / 41.12000°S 174.85694°E / -41.12000; 174.85694
Type artificial lagoon
Primary inflows Porirua Harbour and stormwater drains
Primary outflows Porirua Harbour
Basin countries New Zealand
Surface area 5 ha (12 acres)[1]
Shore length1 732 m (2,402 ft)
Surface elevation sea level
Settlements Papakowhai [1]
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Aotea Lagoon is an artificial lagoon surrounded by a 7-hectare (17-acre) public park in the Papakowhai suburb of Porirua, North Island, New Zealand.[1] Aotea and two nearby lagoons were created as transport links were realigned from the natural coastline to land reclaimed from Porirua Harbour.


The lagoon is 5 hectares (12 acres) of seawater,[1] connected to Porirua Harbour by a culvert under the model windmill.[2] Three stormwater drains empty into the lagoon,[3] two in the east bank, the third in the south-east under the jetty.

The lagoon's "water body receives limited flushing and aeration" and "little can be done to improve water quality without extensive engineering works."[3] Poor water quality means swimming is prohibited.[4]


The North Island Main Trunk railway and State Highway 1 used to run round three bays between Porirua and Paremata. In 1961 the railway was realigned to a causeway built between headlands at the mouth of Porirua Stream, Gear Homestead, present day Thurso Grove and Forth Place.[5] Cut off from the sea, the bays became lagoons. The lagoons were partly filled in, with material from the Ministry of Works and Development's local earthworks,[6] then the highway was realigned inland of the railway.

The Ministry, Porirua City Council, Project Employment Programme and local service clubs turned the area around the middle lagoon into a public park,[2] that opened as Aotea Lagoon in 1980.[7] Originally leased from the Crown, the park was taken over by the City Council in 1994.[2]


Plaque in the path giving the distance around Aotea Lagoon - 732 metres

The park's centrepiece is a path around the lagoon, the easiest of Porirua's top 12 walking and cycling tracks.[8]

The Waitangirua Lions built a ¼ scale ridable miniature railway with an 833-metre (2,733 ft) loop track including two bridges and a tunnel.[9] The train runs Sunday afternoon, weather permitting, from Pipitea Station south-west of the lagoon.[10]

The park has lawns on three sides, some with barbecues. Other facilities from the north-east are adventure and toddlers' playgrounds, a duck pond crossed by boardwalk, an island reached by bridge and a Pétanque terrain. In the south-west corner are another duck pond, a fernery and a rose garden.

Most people visit Aotea Lagoon for exercise or relaxation while children enjoy the playgrounds, feeding the ducks, riding bicycles and the train.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Porirua City Council (1994), p.1.
  2. ^ a b c Porirua City Council (1994), p.7.
  3. ^ a b Porirua City Council (1994), p.40.
  4. ^ Porirua City Council (1994), p.38.
  5. ^ Porirua City Council (1994), p.4.
  6. ^ Porirua City Council (1994), p.6.
  7. ^ Porirua City Council, Historic Site: Aotea Lagoon.
  8. ^ Porirua City Council, Porirua's Top 12 Walking and Cycling Tracks.
  9. ^ Canterbury Society of Model and Experimental Engineers (2002), p.2.
  10. ^ Waitangirua Lions Club, The Aotea Lagoon Train.
  11. ^ Jacobson (2009), p.2.