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“Definitely worth it!”

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
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Tuatara Wetlands Tour at Sanctuary Mountain
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Guided Forest Tour of Sanctuary Mountain
Ranked #231 of 1,814 things to do in North Island
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a mainland ecological island surrounded by the world's longest pest-proof fence. It's located between Matamata and Waitomo in the North Island of New Zealand. At Sanctuary Mountain you can experience New Zealand the way it used to be - an ancient, vibrant pest-free forest alive with native wildlife such as birds, skinks, geckos, frogs, bats and insects. Step through the pest-proof gate into another world where ancient New Zealand forest towers majestically above well maintained walking tracks and the air is filled with birdsong.
Tauranga, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Definitely worth it!”
Reviewed 28 March 2014 via mobile

I worked on a dairy farm just a couple kilometres down the road and saw the fenceline pretty much every day.
Today I decided to check it out and I have to say: It's absolutely stunning!
The Staff is very friendly and will tell you everything you need to know about the tracks, wildlife, story behind the project and its future plans.
There is a Variety of walks from 20mins over 1.5hrs to 5hrs so whatever your plans for the day are, this little journey will fit in.

The tracks are very well maintained, it's nearly impossible to get lost and you will have a lot of time to enjoy the surrounding wildlife. The 16m outlook tower is perfect for spotting birds and get an impression of what their actual habitat looks like.

I wish I had given it a try way earlier!

4 Thank LeviXIV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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171 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing experience!”
Reviewed 27 March 2014

This was our third visit to the mountain, and the best yet! We had a delicious dinner at Out in the Styx and then spent three hours having a guided night walk through the sanctuary with the very knowledgeable Phil Brown as our guide. We saw tuatara, glow worms, wetas, and a host of other night-life before sleeping like logs at Out in the Styx. A huge breakfast next morning set us up for the day and we had several more daylight hours in the sanctuary, so different from the previous evening. A real thrill was seeing at close quarters a saddleback, and a bit later we were riveted by the clowning antics of at least six kaka. One of these flew down to the ground only 30cm from my foot, but then hopped up right beside me on the bench I was sitting on!! I couldn't believe a wild bird could be so fearless or was it being really friendly?

Visited March 2014
4 Thank barapat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great addition to a Hobbiton Day Trip!”
Reviewed 26 March 2014

This nature sanctuary is only an hour away from Hobbiton. The native vegetation and birds are flourishing inside a huge predator-proof enclosure, and the guided tours help you to get the most out of your visit. Try to go on a day when they feed the parrots, it is a delightful experience to help out with that. We scheduled a mid-morning tour and had plenty of time to get to Hobbiton for a mid-afternoon visit. The drive along the river between them is incredibly scenic.

Visited March 2014
2 Thank karenrosec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
2 reviews
“Sanctuary away from the madding crowds”
Reviewed 8 February 2014

Impressive to see the huge efforts put in by so many volunteers and landowners to try and bring back a slice of NZ he way it was pre-human intervention. Justine our guide for the tour was knowledgeable and entertaining. Then we enjoyed a few hours walking to the middle of the sanctuary and back. The regenerating bush is thick. Wish we could have gained entry early to hear the dawn chorus of bird life.. . .maybe in the future and regular dawn chorus tour on Saturday or Sunday mornings might be feasible?? Maybe quad bike tours (towing clients in a trallor) to the centre of the sanctuary might be another attraction?
Anyway.. we will be back again.

Visited February 2014
Thank Craig S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Picton, New Zealand
Level 6 Contributor
456 reviews
275 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
“Do not miss this!”
Reviewed 21 January 2014

This is an outstanding facility. My wife and I and our 2 year old son loved it!
An extraordinary job has been done to build the 47km pest proof fence (the world's longest) to allow native species to thrive on this mountain reserve.
There is a facility fee of $NZ15 ($US12, 9 Euro) per adult which is not compulsory but by paying it, you help ensure the facility and the species in can continue to be maintained and improved.
We have lived not too far from here for 9 years and only just visited it. We will return many times. Highlight of our visit was to have 6 rare kaka (a native parrot) flying around and interacting in the area known as "The Clearing". We look forward to going back at night and maybe seeing a kiwi. Guided tours are available, but need to be booked in advance.

Visited January 2014
4 Thank Ed R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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