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There’s lots to see and do in the Sanctuary!

Because there’s lots to see and do in the Sanctuary – you’ll find yourself wanting to come again and again, so keep up to date with our opening hours.

On passing through the biosecurity gates into the Sanctuary you enter a special haven where you can re-connect with nature and re-energise yourself.

The Sanctuary features an extensive network of well posted walking tracks; the loop track is perfectly suited to those wanting a fairly gentle experience, it’s even suitable for people in electric mobility scooters and wheel chairs. For the more adventurous there’s Carter’s Track and the Valley Track – both of which feature a number of river crossings.

During your visit we recommend you stop along the way, sit quietly – listen and look out for the many bird species that inhabit the Sanctuary. There are plenty of bird species to look out for including: pīwakawaka (fantail), tui, ruru (morepork), korimako (bellbird), ngirungiru (tomtit), riroriro (grey warbler), kererū (wood pigeon) and tauhou (silvereye) and the recently re-introduced tīeke (South Island saddleback).

The pictures below feature a juvenile (jackbird) tīeke on the left with its brown plumage, the bird on the right is an adult tīeke with its distinctive adult ‘saddle’ plumage which they develop at 1-2 years of age. Adults male and female are difficult to distinguish from each other, the males tend to have larger wattles and longer tarsus and wing lengths, and are heavier than females but the sexes can overlap in their measurements.

Tīeke; saddleback; birds; wildlife; Brook Sanctuary; what to see and do; our story our vision
A jackbird (juvenile) tīeke (South Island saddleback) showing the all-over brown plumage: photo credit - Paull Sorrell
tīeke; saddleback; birds; wildlife; Brook Sanctuary; Garden Bird Survey
An adult tīeke; South Island saddleback showing the distinctive adult plumage: photo credit - Adam Riley

You may like to take one of our guided walks – we recommend you book these in advance, click here to read more about our guide tour offering and to book one.

Check us out on TripAdvisor – we’re currently rated #14 on the list of things to do in Nelson – read our visitor reviews.

“Excellent place to take the kids for an outdoor activity we went there today and it was just beautiful we were well informed about the tracks on arriving and given a map to take along with us we had some very interested fantails follow us along our tracks for at less an hour or more the kids enjoyed the dams and the small information signs along the way the kids were able to see some wetas as well as hear different birds and see different things we loved being out in the native bush it was amazing!!!!! couldnt fault it 10/10” Jessica Cox on TripAdvisor April 2021

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