Waikato Biodiversity Waikato Biodiversity
INFO   Indigenous Ecosystems of the Waikato

Beaches and Dunes



Most of the Region's western coasts consist of high-energy black sand beaches and dunes. The East Coast of the Region is more sheltered and beaches and dunes are mostly made of white sand. Our beaches are inhabited by a variety of species including shellfish such as tuatua and biscuit shells and a variety of crustaceans such as sandhoppers and paddle crabs. The dunes provide homes and food for small animals including insects, spiders, butterflies, moths and lizards which in turn provide habitats for shorebirds. Endemic species of shorebirds are found along the Waikato shorelines including:

  • New Zealand dotterel
  • Variable oystercatcher
  • Wrybill
NZ Dotterel Image courtesy of 
Environment Waikato

NZ Dotterel Image courtesy of
Environment Waikato