Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari is a mainland ecological island surrounded by the world’s longest pest-proof fence. It provides a sanctuary for populations of many of New Zealand’s most endangered species – from birds to bats, frogs to reptiles, tuatara to giant weta. There is an information centre at the southern entry, on Tari Rd, off Arapuni Rd. The northern entry is accessible from Hicks Rd, off Maungatautari Rd.
Tracks lead across the mountain, with access from these to the summit of Maungatautari at 797 m asl and Pukeatua at 753 m asl. There are views of the surrounding area from Pukeatua summit and the nearby rocky outcrop, but none from Maungatautari summit. An earlier post covers the walk from the southern entry to the summit of Pukeatua and the rocky outcrop.
The easiest access to the summit of Maungatautari is from the northern entry, accessible from Hicks Rd. There are no facilities other than a carpark area on Hicks Rd.
Pukeatua peak, a 753 m high mountain peak, is located in the Maungatautari Ecological Island, within the Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari enclosure. Pukeatua is the second-highest peak within the sanctuary, and the only one with a view. Maungatautari is the highest at 797m, but due to vegetation there are no views from here. The mountain sanctuary is surrounded by a 47 km long predator proof perimeter fence, protecting the many species of native birds and other animals from predators such as stoats, rats, cats, dogs, possums, rabbits and other mammals.
Within the 3,363 hectare forest there are three other special enclosures with an extra perimeter fence around them. These are the northern enclosure, the southern enclosure, and the tuatara enclosure. The last two of these are near the visitor centre at the end of Tari Rd, off Arapuni Rd. The northern enclosure is near Hicks Rd, at the northern end of the forest. There is an extensive trapping program within the sanctuary, and warning systems to alert when any breaches of the fences may occur.