FAQs

Interested in our education programme? Questions about lunch options at our Maunga? Find out the answer to the most frequently asked questions!

Absolutely! We run a whole Education Programme for students of any age. Head over to our Education Page to find out more.

Our Manu Tīoriori visitor centre is open from 9am - 4pm daily. Closed on Christmas Day only.

Yes! Before going through any of the double gate systems which bring you through the pest-proof fence and into the sanctuary, please check your gear for any stowaways. 

CHECK - your gear for pests such as rodents and unwanted insects.

CLEAN - your footwear and gear to remove any soil or seeds.

CLOSE - your bags and ensure food is within a sealed container.

There are biosecurity check stations placed at Gate 1 (before entering the southern enclosure) and Gate 3 (at the entrance to the Wairere Traverse Track). 

Thank you for helping us to keep our sanctuary pest-free!

We have a rather delightful array of biscuits, chips (crisps), nut bars and ice creams… sounds like a fabulous lunch!  If you are looking for something more substantial, we have big plans for an onsite cafe, but aren't there yet (keep those donations flowing in!)… for now your choices are to get busy in the kitchen and bring food with you, alternatively we recommend Rhubarb Cafe in Arapuni, which is about 15 mins from the sanctuary.

 

We want you to breathe in the incredible air in and around the sanctuary and therefore Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a smoke free zone, which includes vaping and e-cigarettes.

The sanctuary is a dog free zone to ensure that we are protecting our wonderful wildlife.  We have a couple of conservation dogs, all of which are aversion trained to Kiwi and Kakapo.

If you have brought your dog, please ensure you don't leave them in a locked car without water and excellent ventilation.  Let the visitor centre team know that they are there as well in case there are any concerns.

Sadly it's unlikely that you will get to see a Kākāpō, partly as they are masters of disguise, and mostly as the maximum population is ten birds spread over 3400 hectares, so unless you are keen to get walking for days the chances of seeing one if pretty remote.  But don't let that stop you from coming, we have a heap of amazing things to show you!

Kiwi are thriving on Maungatautari, with an estimate of over 2,500 individuals on the maunga. Because they are nocturnal, you are unlikely to see one during your visit. Booking in for a night tour would be your best opportunity to hear kiwi call and if you’re incredibly lucky you may see one. We also carry out translocation of kiwi annually so if you’re fortunate with your timing you may see a kiwi, in or out of a box, in the Southern Enclosure in the period between March and May. 

Email [email protected] to make an inquiry and complete our online booking form that our educator will email to you.

Kōrero mai - have a conversation with us about your visit!

 

Visits must be booked at least 3 weeks in advance. This is to allow our education team time to work with you to ensure the best possible outcomes for your visit.

Trips will be confirmed once we receive your completed booking form and we have had a kōrero about the learning intentions for your visit.

We recommend closed toe, sturdy shoes. Hiking boots would be great but running shoes will also be fine. The tracks in the Southern Enclosure are all well maintained. 

This is a wild sanctuary where our priority is the welfare of our native species. As we don’t have any birds in cages, there is never any guarantee that you will see a certain bird. Our forest is also very old and tall, giving them more opportunity to hide. Our recommendations are to keep the volume down, listen, and look up! Binoculars are always a great idea, but please do not feed the birds or tempt them with bird calls. If you’re wanting more certainty consider a wetland tour that focuses on the takahē family and tuatara (but even they’re elusive, so there’s no guarantee). Happy bird searching! 

Any time! Our busiest time of the day is between 10am and 2pm. To enjoy the courtship behaviour of our birds, Spring is amazing at any time of the day. If you’re a fan of fungi then Autumn is a good choice. The joy of this old growth forest is taking the time to explore throughout the day, noticing the play of light, noticing the noise of birds calling and enjoying the cheeky pītoitoi coming to say hello.  

Yes! If you are busting on your long cartrip please feel free to stop by and use one of our bio-loos. Within the Southern Enclosure there is one bio-loo on the Rātā Track. 

While we do give supplementary feed to hihi and kākā within the Southern Enclosure at certain times of the year, there are no set times to view this happening. This mahi is carried out by our wonderful volunteers, so please give them a thumbs up when you see them with the buckets! 

We are a not-for-profit organisation with a daily expense of $5000 to keep our project running. We ask for an entrance fee to visit our 65-hectare Southern Enclosure to help maintain the high-quality walking tracks, information boards, signage and offer better opportunities to see wildlife. Your entrance fee also helps to support the amazing conservation mahi of the wider project. However, if this doesn’t appeal to you, there is always the free entry over the mountain hiking trail which you can access from the Southern or Northern Enclosures.  

Depends on their fitness and ability to walk or down up a hill! You are welcome to come for a pre visit to check out the tracks for yourself using an Explorer Pass or consider booking a private tour to accommodate your needs. 

As much as we would love to accommodate as many people as possible, currently our tracks are too steep in some areas for anything more than an off-road wheelchair. 

Not currently. There are a number of campgrounds nearby, check the Waipa District Council and South Waikato District Council websites to find out more. 

The best way to guarantee your place on a self-guided or guided walk is to book ahead. Walk-ins are welcome but keep in mind there are limited places available. 

Ah, so you noticed our Tautari Wetland! This is not accessible to the general public and it is locked to protect our rare taonga there. We offer guided tours to the wetland to see our tuatara and takahē. Availability varies seasonally. The tour includes access to the Southern Enclosure. 

The tower is on the Rātā Track and can be reached in about twenty minutes from when you enter through the double gate (depending on how fast you walk and how many interesting things you stop to look at on the way). It’s 16m tall, giving you a great view of the canopy layer. And don’t worry, the little bit of swaying up there is totally normal. 

No. It is a wildlife sanctuary and it is our job as kaitiaki is to create as little disturbance as possible. There are plenty of bike trails along the river if your heart yearns for the wheels. Check out Waikato River Trails. 

Yes, this is open and entry is free of charge. Visitors can access this enclosure by parking at Maungatautari Marae then walking to the entrance.