Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is an ancient, predator-free forest right here in the Waikato. The Visitor Centre is located on the Southern side of the mountain, just 30 minutes drive from Cambridge.
At 3,363 hectares, Sanctuary Mountain is by far the largest pest-proof fenced project in the world. Be amazed at the ancient trees towering majestically above well-maintained walking tracks and bathe in the diversity of sights and sounds within the sanctuary. You will come away enriched and enlightened by this spectacular environment.
The best way to explore Sanctuary Mountain is by guided tour. Join one of their experienced guides on an informative tour as they share with you the stories behind the project and some of New Zealand’s most endangered species. You could spot tuatara (a prehistoric reptile and the last survivors of an order of reptiles that thrived in the age of the dinosaurs), the checky kākā or takahē (a unique flightless bird and conservation survivor).
A private night tour is a truly magical experience and introduces you to the night-time world of Sanctuary Mountain’s ancient forest. Departing at dusk, you will marvel at the twinkling lights of glowworms, discover by torchlight the wētā who venture out at night in search of food and listen for the calls of spotted brown kiwi and ruru.
Find out more about guided tours HERE
Grab a Sanctuary Explorer pass and explore over 5km of walking tracks in our Te Tui a Tane (Southern Enclosure) at your own pace. The tracks are ideal for those who love walking in nature, watching birds, and identifying the many species which call Maungatautari home. Check for guests in the wētā motels, spend time in the clearing where kākā often visit, or take an optional walk up the viewing tower, offering a unique perspective from within the forest canopy.
Sanctuary Mountain is a not-for-profit charity. By visiting Sanctuary Mountain, you’re supporting the vital work of this world-class conservation project and contributing towards keeping this wildlife thriving for another generation.
Kiwi Guardians at Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Sign up for the Department of Conservations Kiwi Guardians, an activity programme for kids to learn about nature and earn cool rewards and medals.
Other Tracks and Access
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari has been recognised as a public reserve since 1912. Located on the northern side of the Mountain on Hicks Road is the Northern Enclosure. This is a public reserve and is completely open to the public to enjoy year-round. The path to the northern enclosure is roughly 1.5km on mountain terrain and includes some steep areas. Please be careful when venturing into this area.
Please note the Sanctuary Visitor Centre is located on the Southern side of the mountain on Tari Road. Please consider this when you are planning your day trip to the maunga.
The Wairere Traverse (Over The Mountain) Track is open from the northern side and takes approximately 5 hours to complete, north-to-south.
Find out more HERE