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Sanctuary highlights – discover the large and impressive, and tiny yet extraordinary – enjoy your Sanctuary experience

Sanctuary walking tracks vary from easy and established, to more demanding (yet very rewarding).  Our friendly, knowledgeable Visitor Centre volunteers will help you decide on where to go depending on how much time you have and your fitness level.


Before you enter the Sanctuary you’ll pass through our Visitors Centre which has been significantly upgraded in 2022. The upgrade (funded by The Simplicity Trust, Platinum Asset Management, the Lion Foundation and a number of private donors) has seen the creation of new spaces for volunteers and staff. The feature hall has been extended and the displays completely refreshed; the building has been made weather-proof, solar panels have been installed on the roof and new technologies and features introduced.

The helpful Visitor Centre volunteers can advise you as to the best walks to suit your interests and level of fitness. Some suggested highlights awaiting you include:

  • Gordon the green gecko in his home in the Visitor Centre
  • Our fish tank featuring small freshwater koura (crayfish)
  • Walk the accessible-friendly short walk Lower Valley Loop Track
  • See what remains of the 1909 bridge
  • Enjoy the transition from regenerating bush to pristine beech forest on Carter’s Track – a walk for the more adventurous
  • Brook Stream weirs and waterfalls
  • Enjoy the bird song
  • Peer into the weta hotels – kids love these!
  • Carry out your own bird monitoring – look and listen for different birds over intervals of 5 minutes (the outdoor education classroom is an ideal place for this)
  • If you’re lucky, you might see, or more likely hear, some of our newest residents – tīeke (South Island saddleback) which were released into the Sanctuary April 2021, or kākāriki karaka (orange-fronted parakeets) 113 of which were released into the Sanctuary between November 2021 and January 2023.

Once you’ve discovered the Sanctuary for yourself, don’t forget to write us a review on TripAdvisor, or on our Google or Facebook pages – tell us what you enjoyed and how we could make your next visit even better – we welcome your feedback.


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Sponsors; J&E Reuhl; logos
Sponsors; kumanu; logos
Sponsors; Simplicity; logos
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