Brook Waimārama Sanctuary
- Nature Experiences
Haere mai / welcome to a special part of New Zealand: Brook Waimārama Sanctuary, the largest fenced haven for endangered plants and creatures in the South Island.
The Sanctuary engages people with the natural world in a way that promotes environmental responsibility and contributes to the restoration of our local and national ecosystems.
The site of the city's former water reserve at the head of the Brook Valley, the Sanctuary is just 5km by road from Nelson city, easily accessed by bike, bus or car.
Some 15kms of public walking tracks vary from established and easy to more demanding (yet very rewarding) offering so much to observe, both large and impressive and tiny yet extraordinary. Our knowledgeable Visitor Centre volunteers will help you decide on where to explore, depending on how long you have and your fitness level.
About two-thirds of the 690 hectare site comprises mature southern beech forest with several podocarp species such as rimu, matai and tōtara, and the balance being a mosaic of kānuka/mānuka forest with broad-leaved forest on land cleared in the 1800s.
Since the completion of the pest-proof fence in 2016, the native plants, animals, mosses and fungi already present in the area have been steadily increasing in numbers. Several nationally uncommon native bird species are present, such as kārearea (falcon), titipounamu (rifleman), and toutouwai (South Island robin).