A community trust has erected 47km of pest-proof fencing around the triple peaks of Maungatautari (797m) to create the impressive Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari. This atoll of rainforest dominates the skyline between Te Awamutu and Karapiro and is now home to its first kiwi chicks in 100 years. There is also a ‘tuatarium', where New Zealand’s iconic reptile the tuatara can be seen. The main entrance is at the visitor centre at the sanctuary’s southern side.
Guided tours (adult/child $37/16) leaving from the visitor centre from Tuesday to Sunday include an afternoon wetlands tour, and morning and afternoon departures explore the bird and insect life of the sanctuary’s Southern Enclosure. Online or phone bookings for guided tours must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Guided night walks are also available.