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Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 99 Tari Road | Pukeatua, New Zealand (Formerly Maungatautari Ecological Island)
Phone Number: +64 7-870 5180
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Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a mainland ecological island surrounded...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 126 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 109
  • 16
    Very good
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0

Wonderful beautiful sanctuary. Great place to see native NZ trees, plants and birds. It was very special to see the kaka, they were so beautiful and sweet. Definitely recommend... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 1 week ago
Brisbane, Australia
via mobile

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126 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We visited Maungatautari after a hot morning cycling on the Waikato River Trail and the serene green bush was an oasis! We did not have a lot of time, so focused only on the Southern Enclosure which is the one behind the predator-proof fence. The reserve is on the side of a mountain, so the tracks do go up and... More 

Thank Shepstons
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
63 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Wonderful beautiful sanctuary. Great place to see native NZ trees, plants and birds. It was very special to see the kaka, they were so beautiful and sweet. Definitely recommend walking up the wooden tower.

Thank annika81
New Plymouth, new Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We did a day trip from our home in New Plymouth to the Sanctuary –we being 4 seniors. I found the website directions excellent and the information on the website clear and informative. All the staff and volunteers we met were helpful and friendly. The paths very well maintained and excellent to walk on. The signage, maps and information signs... More 

Thank Colin and Janet H
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is an excellent place to visit if you love wild life. The New Zealand forest is beautiful to say the least. You can climb up a tower ( not an onerous task) and see the forest looking down on the trees. The view is beautiful and well worth the short climb. There is a fine example of Rata. These... More 

Thank Dorothy C
Hamilton, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Usually I am not too fond of fences, but this one is all about learning, sharing, looking into the past to protect the future for our children. We took part in a night tour with guide Daniel. He is not only extremely knowledgeable, but he answered all our awkward questions too. This experience was truly inspirational to do more about... More 

Thank GMAndraschko
Auckland, New Zealand
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2015 via mobile

A beautiful forested mountain overlooking the Waikato plains. One of the very few places where you can experience an almost pristine native forest. The tracks are excellent with choices for all levels of fitness. We had great guides: friendly, knowledgeable and keen to share their love of the forest. Highly recommended!

Thank Richard J
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
56 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2015

Maungatautari is a Waikato mountain surrounded by a predator-proof fence to protect a growing population of New Zealand native birds in danger of extinction because of introduced predators such as rats, stoats, possums and feral cats. It has the distinction of being much larger than its better-known Wellington cousin, Zealandia, and - unlike Zealandia which was completely cut over on... More 

Thank earwig
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
159 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2015

We spend a few hours exploring the Southern Enclosure, which very well shows the conservation ideas behind Sanctuary Mountain. Without predators, birds thrive here, resulting in sightings of kaka, falcons and many more native birds. The vegetation here is also impressive, and signs explain details about the plants and trees. Even though the enclosure wasn't quite as big as we... More 

Thank Peter_dR_NZ
Paraparaumu, New Zealand
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2015

We really enjoyed our walk through Sanctuary Mountain - the paths were well maintained, we saw some native birds and lovely bush. What a worthwhile project to fence a piece of the NZ bush, make it predator free and bring back the native birds! We didn't mind the entry fee at all, in return for supporting this project. The only... More 

Thank Reiselust812
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
76 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 28, 2015

We visited the Southern Enclosure during the school holidays, with 3 children (ages 8, 6 and 4). They had a great deal on which meant all school children were free. The lady at the information desk was lovely - really informative and friendly. We easily walked the Rata Track with the kids, taking in the canopy viewing tower. For our... More 

Thank JulieONZ

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?