One of the world’s most successful conservation projects can be found just off the coast of Auckland’s Whangapāraoa Peninsula.
An extensive ten-year project saw 283,000 native trees planted on the island, converting farmland back to bush. And with the eradication of all predators, Tiritiri Matangi is now a thriving hub of native birdlife.
Today, Tirititri Matangi Island an open sanctuary, where visitors can experience an abundance of native birds living it up in their natural habitat.
According to the island's DOC Ranger, more than 59 species of birds can be found on or around Tirtiri Matangi, including kororoa / little blue penguins, tīeke / saddleback, hihi / stitchbird and the rare kōkako and takahē. Tuatara live here, too.
Reached by a 75-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, a short 20-minute trip from Gulf Harbour, or by private boat, Tiritiri Matangi makes for an exceptional day trip.
But, for a truly special experience, you can choose to stay overnight on the island. DOC provides a basic bunkhouse that can be booked (BYO food and bedding). Waking up to the dawn chorus in a native bird sanctuary is an experience like no other.
- Download our list of all 101 Kiwi Gems
- Read more from We Love You New Zealand magazine: ‘All for the Birds’