Tiritiri Matangi Wildlife Sanctuary
New Zealand's must-see hidden gem
In 2010 I was lucky enough to accompany a Kamo Intermediate School field trip to Tiritiri Matangi Wildlife Sanctuary.
Tiritiri Matangi is an island about 30km north east of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city. Just a short boat ride takes you to this home for hundreds of New Zealand's exquisitely beautiful native birds, many of which you will only get to see elsewhere in a zoo, certainly not in the wild.
Tiritiri Matangi was once nothing like what it is today. Going back some 120 years, Tiritiri was a 220 ha farm, with the island largely devoid of native bush. But in 1985 all that changed, when volunteers came to the island to spend the next 10 years planting approximately 300,000 native trees. What was once pasture is now 60% native bush, with the rest of island in grassland to suit species who prefer open ground. Those volunteers have accomplished an amazing feat.
A day on Tiritiri Matangi is one of bird song and beautiful native bush walks and sightings of our amazing native birds. You are likely to see and hear kakariki, native robins, tui, kiwi, saddlebacks, kereru, fantails, bellbirds, and much more. Walk to the top of the island and enjoy a rest stop at the Visitors Information Centre and Cafe. Look out for the resident Takahe, who is keen to grab your lunch before you do! Go for a day stay or a pre-arranged overnighter. Everyone, Kiwis and overseas visitors, should take a trip to Tiritiri Matangi.
Kakariki in flowering Flax
Pohutukawa in flower
Tui and wood pigeon - can you see them?
Tui feeding on flax flowers
Tiritiri Matangi Visitor Information Centre