Can a landlocked volcano become an island paradise? Inspired by the success of pest eradication and native species reintroduction in Auckland's Hauraki Gulf, pest-proof fencing has been installed around the three peaks of Maungatautari (797m) to create the impressive Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari.
Hiking through the mountain's pristine native forest (around six hours) is a popular activity, and shorter guided tours are available from the visitor centre. Fauna-related attractions include two only-in-NZ species: the tuatara and the kiwi. Accommodation and trailhead transport can be provided by Out in the Styx.