Welcome to The Brook Waimārama Sanctuary!
Your Hidden Valleys Waimārama adventure starts at the Visitor Centre where our knowledgeable and friendly volunteers will help you on your way, with suggestions based on your time or fitness constraints.
There are a number of tracks for you to explore using a map from the Visitor Centre or utilising the information panels as you come across them.
The easiest is the Loop Track which is a charming and easy walk of some 45 minutes and accessible for push chairs, wheel chairs and mobility scooters.
An extension – the Upper Loop Track – is not quite so well developed (narrower track) but takes visitors further into the beautiful central valley floor or up the ridges.
A variety of other tracks that are a little more challenging – some with river crossings and steep terrain – weave throughout the Sanctuary suitable for different fitness levels and time.
Alternatively you might take a guided walking tour to ensure the very best experience in a short time frame. Your guide will ensure you understand what you are seeing, the history of the area and our vision for the future.
Please contact us to book a Guided Tour.
THE VISITOR CENTRE
Visitors to our Visitor Centre can view detailed information and displays about the history of the area and our conservation project, listen to bird calls to assist with identification in the Sanctuary and study the native koura (native crayfish) in a tank.
Sanctuary volunteer hosts are on hand to answer questions and provide directions if required.
The Visitor Centre building is the result of significant community collaboration.
- A local architect donated the award-winning design.
- Funding was provided by Canterbury Community Trust and the Baigent Family Trust.
- Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology Carpentry school students and tutors undertook initial construction as a donation and as part of the training programme.
- Local businesses and individuals donated supplies, time and services to complete the building.
- A grant from the Ministry of Tourism provided funds for displays within it.
There are toilets at the Visitor Centre but none in the Sanctuary.
When you go through the double gates into the Sanctuary you are entering a biosecurity area. For this reason we need you to check your bags for any small intruders (such as mice).
Gordon’s actually a visitor himself (he’s a Wellington Green Gecko). He lives very comfortably in his own little gecko vivarium in our Visitor Centre.
Gecko at one time inhabited this region. Happily, recently one of our team spotted a couple of Nelson green gecko (Naultinus stellatus) in the undergrowth and we are hoping they will become more common now that predators have been removed or significantly reduced.