This post is about the real Wairau Bar, not the Wairau Diversion that I stayed at previously. There is an old Pilot house near the mouth which was built in 1886 amongst some really old gnarled gum trees. The whole place is reminiscent of another time. The site of the original 1280 Maori settlement is at this southern mouth of the river.
This map shows how the diversion goes straight to the sea whereas the river takes a more indirect route to the sea.
All shipping and goods for Blenheim had to cross this bar. There is an interesting shot of some river stones set in lime (?) which form the old footing of a demolished building.