We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Bird and Plant Paradise”

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Guided Forest Tour of Sanctuary Mountain
Ranked #193 of 1,756 things to do in North Island
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
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.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Bird and Plant Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2014

A great ecological gem that is not to be missed. An old forest with high canopy, a save heaven for some of New Zealand's endangered and lots of other native birds. The tracks are well maintained, there are options for a short round trip with the young or a longer one for the fitter ones, a few feeder stations provide great viewing of stitchbird and bellbirds. Kaka screech high up in the trees and a 45m wooden tower provides great viewing opportunities from a very different angle - it was just great. We loved the place during the day, so went back on a guided night walk with Phil Brown, a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide who made our walk very worthwhile and entertaining... I wish I just could remember all the fantastic info and stories he shared with us, it was just amazing. After we had a good night sleep at the nearby guesthouse "Out in the Styx" we went back to go on a longer track up the mountain... more birds... more fantastic flora... what more can I say: just a great weekend away.

Visited April 2014
2 Thank Karin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

166 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Cambridge, NZ
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“World class eco sanctuary”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

Maungatautari is more than living up to its vision of being a world class eco sanctuary. We spent 2 hours in the tuatara sanctuary area recently where we were not only wooed by these prehistoric creatures, but also takahe and a bonus saddleback scurrying around in the undergrowth beside us. If that wasn't enough we were blown away by the affrontary of the kaka in the southern enclosure. Maungatautari is a must see for anyone interested in bird life. We have been to the Maunga many times and will continue to do so for years to come. Bring on the kokako, I cant wait to hear their lilting call coming to us across the carpark as we arrive on a foggy late autumn morning just as the sun is breaking through........

Visited April 2014
3 Thank Niki R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
385 reviews
143 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“An outstanding conservation effort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

We walked the tracks without a guide and enjoyed the peace and stillness lightened only by the song of birds. The treetop canopy tower was impressive. The trees themselves are very beautiful especially the giant tree ferns. One is left to wonder at the beauty of Aotearoa before man and woman set foot on it.

Visited April 2014
Thank Irwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tauranga, New Zealand
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Definitely worth it!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Amazing experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles 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

Travellers who viewed Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari also viewed

Okauia, Waikato Region

Been to Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing