What began as a mere dream to restore an entire forest ecosystem to its pre-human state, is now a reality.
In less than 10 years, the Orokonui Ecosanctuary has become the only place on mainland South Island of New Zealand where native birds, animals and insects can live a life safe from predators. They are free to fly, feed, mate and nest wherever they wish, exactly as they would in the wild.
Since the $2.2 million, 8.7km pest-proof fence was erected around our 307 hectares of protected habitat in 2007, pests have been almost entirely eradicated. This has allowed us to reintroduce a number of endangered species and there are encouraging signs they are adapting well to their new home. In fact, it is becoming increasingly common for native birds to find their own way to the ecosanctuary and take up residence.
To support the Ecosanctuary, a million dollar eco-friendly visitor and Otago Daily Times education centre has been built into the hillside above Blueskin Bay. Here, visitors can learn about the Ecosanctuary and the native species it contains, take a guided tour through the Ecosanctuary, purchase gifts and educational material from the souvenir shop, or simply have a coffee and enjoy the view. All of the funds generated from visitors contribute to the ongoing conservation work at Orokonui Ecosanctuary.