We have been providing authentic small group tours since 2001. Our experienced and knowledgable guiding team love sharing their stories about this amazing project. They're in the know about what's happening and where we are heading. At the end of your tour, your guide can provide you with ideas of where in the forest to explore next, depending on your interests.
We recommend either our classic Ancient Forest Tour (1.5 hours) or our Seasonal Highlights Tour (50 minutes) if you're limited on time. These leisurely paced tours will introduce you to some of our local plants and trees and the history of this ambitious conservation project that has most recently reintroduced kōkako and rifleman. You’ll listen to the awesome birdsong and try to spot the numerous bird species that call the maunga their home. Alternatively the Tautari wetlands (visted only with a guide) is home to our two taonga species. Enjoy spotting tuatara or watch the takahē receive a supplementary feed.
Our guides are great at engaging with all ages and children often delight us with their own observations and contributions to the tour. We recommend either our Seasonal Highlights Tour (50 minutes) if you'd like to explore the variations of the seasons: fungi, flowers, seeds and nesting birds. The Tautari wetlands (visited only with a guide) is home to our two taonga species, the tuatara whose ancestors were on earth when the dinosaurs roamed and the beautiful takahē family. There are less than 500 takahē left. Enjoy spotting tuatara or watch the takahē receive a supplementary feed.
We recommend either our classic Ancient Forest Tour (1.5 hours) or the shorter Seasonal Highlights Tour. These leisurely tours will introduce you to some of our local plants, trees and birds and the stories of the history of this ambitious conservation project. Our guides can accommodate you on easy, gently graded walking tracks at your pace.
Our fabulous team of educators, full of both teaching and local experience deliver curriculum-linked education programmes.
Come on an adventure on a private night tour. The forest at night is completely different, alive with wētā, spiders, kiwi and ruru calls. This magical tour introduces you to the night-time world of ancient forest. A minimum charge of $319 (for up to 4 people) is required for this tour to operate.
Rōngoa Rākau, Māori herbal medicine
The Rōngoa Rākau tour is a recent and special addition to our tours. Led by a local rongoā rākau practitioner you'll learn about local plants and trees used in traditional Māori healing and wellbeing. The guide will introduce you to the tikanga associated with harvesting, preparing and using plants for rongoā.
We offer one day forest retreats that enable you to refresh your energy and renew your perspective on life, and keep and eye out for our very popular meditation days. These are all part of our wellbeing programme.
Please check the specific tour, generally:
Meeting place: Manu Tioriori visitors centre, 99 Tari Road
Length: 50 minutes - 1.5 hours
Tour times: 2-3 times a day, Tuesday-Sunday, check in at least 10 minutes prior to your tour
Price: ranging from $37-58 adult, concessions available for students, gold card and community card holders. Book online for a discounted rate.
Group sizes: 1-10
Inclusions: complimentary same day Explorer pass to Te Tūī a Tāne southern enclosure, visitor guide and map
What to bring: your questions
By booking a tour your contribution helps Sanctuary Mountain continue to protect the rare and endangered species that live wild on Maungatautari.
Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust
Community Engagement Award 2021
The award acknowledged "that this is the way our tourism industry should be in the future. Sanctuary Mountain Maungatatari’s model is how tourism will survive in New Zealand. What they have achieved, all starting with the vision of one landowner, is incredible. It is the kind of offering that will make New Zealanders proud and offers a true point of difference on the world stage."