New Zealand | Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi | Tiritiri Matangi Guided Tour

Tiritiri Matangi Island is a wildlife sanctuary and one of New Zealand’s most important and exciting conservation projects.

It is located 30km north east of central Auckland and just 4km from the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. A hundred and twenty years of farming had seen this 220-hectare island stripped of 94% of its native bush but between 1984 and 1994, volunteers planted between 250,000 and 300,000 trees. The Island is now 60% forested with the remaining 40% left as grassland for species preferring open habitat.

When you visit Tiritiri Matangi you have the option of taking a guided walk from the wharf up to the Visitor Centre (next to the lighthouse). For first-time visitors especially, this will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the Island. Guides can tell you about the plants and animals you see (and hear), about the history of the Island and how the forest has been restored. Two routes are used for guided walks. The shorter route (Wattle Track) takes about an hour to an hour and a half; the longer route (Kawerau Track) takes up to two hours, perhaps longer depending on what you see en route.

Top Five Birds

  1. Kokako
  2. Hihi / Stitchbird
  3. Tieke / Saddleback
  4. Takahe
  5. Kakariki


At Terra Incognita we support tours that do good in the world. They must help to conserve the environment, support local people, and educate their guests. Here’s what Mary-Ann Rowland from Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi said to us…

What conservation activities do you support through the tour, and your wider operations?

Tiritiri is run by DOC in conjunction with the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi (a registered charity) and every cent from the guided tours comes back to supporting our conservation and education work on the Island. 

How does the tour support local people?

The Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi is a community run group with 2000 members and only one full time employee, everything that is done on the Island is done by the community and many volunteers from 14 to 92 years old are involved. Without our volunteers we would not be here and for many it is their ‘mental health day’ a great way to meet other like-minded people and to continue learning into their retirement.

What type of environmental education activities do you incorporate into your tour?

Tiritiri is known as a ‘Model of Conservation’ and is used as an example of what can be accomplished by a group of inspired people when they put their minds together and work for a positive cause. We continue to inspire other conservation groups around the world and share our knowledge on a daily basis with all our visitors. We have two part time educators employed on the Island and our guides are constantly learning new ways of involving our visitors, particularly children, through stories, facts and mostly the birds and the environment around us.


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Tour Operator | Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi
Contact Name |  Mary-Ann Rowland
Contact Email |
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