Part of the Waihola Waipori Wetlands, which are the most significant waterfowl habitat in Otago. The lakes are shallow and drain through an extensive swamp into the Waipori River then the Taieri River. The swampland includes vegetated islands, lagoons, shallow pools, meandering channels and backswamps.
The area is nationally and internationally recognised as a precious refuge for many threatened and endangered species of plant, fish and bird.
The Sinclair wetlands is between the two lakes — Waihola & Waipori — and is used for educational study with a visitor centre, displays and resources available to schools and visitors.
Sinclair Wetlands has several kilometres of well-maintained walking tracks making access easy, and ares of interest are highlighted with clearly marked signs. From the visitor centre car park the main walking route extends 2 km, along causeway through swap land, past Lonely Island, and both across and around Ram Island(Whakaraupuka), the site of Tukiauau's pa.