Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary
  • About the sanctuary
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Partnerships
Native Forest

The Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection of New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. Our goal is to protect and extend a vibrant ecosystem while educating others on the importance of conservation. We view ourselves as partners with our volunteers, visitors, community, and the environment.

We are not on the tourist maps and we prefer to focus on the conservation and education aspect of our work rather than on mass tourism. We host a small group of international volunteers that together learn, work, and explore this unique environment.

The Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary is located 250km from a crowded city, 50km from the closest supermarket, 2km from the next door neighbour, and at an arm's length from the Milky Way. In our world, seeing two cars in a day is a traffic jam and being able to live in the middle of the forest is the ultimate lifestyle.

Sustainable Living

The sanctuary is named after one of the many fascinating creatures that calls it home: the kauri snail, or, as it is named in Maori, pupurangi.

To minimize the impact on the environment, we chose not to build an ecolodge but rather borrow some tricks from pupurangi's philosophy; all structures are portable and the kitchen, showers, and the dinning hall are set-up in recycled shipping containers. Our tents are suspended from the trees and do not touch at all the forest floor.

The rain water is collected from the roof, filtered, and used for drinking, washing, and showering. We have a small herb garden so we can cook with fresh herbs. The meat that we eat is mostly organic, from cows that graze in our neighbour's paddock. We milk those cows and we also use the milk to make our own cheese, butter, and yoghurt. The honey that we eat is made by bees foraging in the native trees of our forest. We also compost and recycle as much as we possile.

The little electricity that we use is generated by solar panels and by the occasional use of a generator. At night, we dine by candlelight and walk on paths lit by moonlight.

We do not offer all the comforts of home, but we provide days full of experiences, a clean place to sleep, hot showers, and delicious meals to be shared with friends.

Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary Volunteer

Nestled on the slopes of the Tutamoe peak in Northland, New Zealand, the Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary consists of 100 hectares of regenerating rainforest. This native forest is classified as having national significance and no logging is allowed within the sanctuary.

We are also located within a greater area in which kiwi are present and one of our long-term goals is to establish and maintain a protection area that will support twenty pairs of resident kiwi birds.

Pupu Rangi is home to other native species of trees and birds that require active protection from introduced pests. Cows, possums, rabbits, and feral goats browse indiscriminately on young plants thus preventing the forest renewal. Possums, stoats, ferrets, and feral cats eat eggs and bird chicks endangering the native species that are not adapted to the introduced mammalian predators. Through different techniques recommended by the Department of Conservation, we try to keep down the numbers of pests to give the seedlings and the native birds a chance to develop and mature.

Donations, and proceeds from our programs are used for the following conservation tasks:

  • fencing of the forest to prevent the entrance of the grazing cattle
  • marking and cutting of access tracks
  • possum, stoat, ferret, and feral cat control
  • small mammal monitoring
  • kiwi monitoring
  • weed control and native tree planting

The volunteers that worked with us during the 2017 season have helped create ten new access trails with a total length of 6 km. Along these trails and on the forest edge we installed 80 bait stations bringing the overall coverage to 100% of the sanctuary's area. In addition, we have setup and launched a rodent monitoring network consisting of five tracks (500 m each) and 50 tracking tunnels. 

The table below shows some of our goals and the progress at the end of the 2017 season. Also shown are the targets for the 2018 season.

Achievements and Goals


End of 2017

2018 season (goal)

Surround the reserve with a stock-proof fence where required 100% complete repair 600m of fence
Build and mark tracks for both exploration and bait/trap station installation 20 km maintain the track network
Plant native trees 70 20
Trap possum, stoat, ferret, and feral cat set-up 300 possum bait stations, 30 possum traps, and 30 stoat traps service traps once a week

To keep track of our achievements and daily happenings, please like/follow our our Facebook page.

Kiwi Bird

The Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary is currently collaborating with the following organizations:

  • Department of Conservation (DOC)
  • Northland Regional Council
  • Kiwi Coast
  • Kiwis for Kiwi

The Department of Conservation and the Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary have signed a five year Management Agreement that formalizes the excellent collaboration between the two organizations. Our volunteers are performing a number of biodiversity conservation tasks contributing to the protection of the Trounson Kauri Park. During the 2017 season, our volunteers have contributed over 1000 hours of effort to the Trounson Kauri Park conservation efforts. We are also excited to be able to work in another DOC-managed forest in which the rare kokako lives.

We have also established a partnership with a neighbouring property, which increases the protected area to 150ha and we look forward to establish a partnership with an adjacent property bringing the total to almost 250 ha.

The work performed by our volunteers has been recognized with an award in the Heritage and Conservation category of the 2015 Trustpower Far North Community Awards.