Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari
Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari Review
Walk among some of the most ancient forests in the region at the small "mountain" called Maungatautari, where the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust, in conjunction with the Department of Conservation, is carrying out one of New Zealand's many successful conservation stories. The trust has built a NZ$14 million, 50-km (31-mile) pest-proof fence around 8,400 acres of native forest, creating a refuge for some of New Zealand's rarest native species. Several endangered birds, including the kaka bush parrot, kiwi, takahe, and saddleback have been reintroduced here. The best place to start is at the Manu Tioriori Visitor Centre, which has information and refreshments; it's on the southern side of the mountain at the end of Tari Road, Pukeatua (32 km [20 miles] from Cambridge). From here you can explore on your own or join a 1½-hour guided walk (NZ$25) through the Southern Enclosure. Five kilometers (3 miles) of high-quality trails lead through forest to a 16-meter (52-foot) viewing tower in the treetops, where you can be one with the birds. Other guided walks include Tautari Wetland (1½ hours, NZ$25) and Sanctuary by Night (summer Saturdays or by arrangement, 2 hours, NZ$45). Keen walkers can tackle the Over the Mountain trail, a full-day walk from one side to the other.