Welcome to the Waikereru Ecosanctuary - an Ark in the Bush. The Ecosanctuary is a haven for rare and endangered species of native birds, plants and animals. It is reached by a winding gravel road up an inland valley, just 9 kilometres from Gisborne city on the Tai Rawhiti / East Coast of New Zealand.

From high hill ridges to the west, three streams tumble down steep valleys and across a plain, entering the Waimatā River to the east. A rare surviving strip of lowland bush (Longbush Reserve) runs beside the Waimatā River. The bush is alive with the sound of birds, including tui, bellbirds, fantails, kingfishers, whiteheads and many kereru or native pigeons.

Nau mai, haere mai!

Visiting Waikereru

Waikereru is on land owned by Dame Anne and Jeremy Salmond. Longbush Reserve is open to the public – access is on the right, opposite 910 Riverside Road.

Waikereru Ecosanctuary (including the Welcome Shelter and 1769 Garden) can be visited by arrangement – please contact us at [email protected]. Access is on the left, at 846 Riverside Road.

We treat the Ecosanctuary like a marae – visitors are very welcome, but the trustees need to know you’re coming! The Waikereru Hills are actively managed, with trapping and shooting. For health and safety reasons, access is by specific arrangement only.

As visitors, please note you’re responsible for your own health and safety. Stay on the tracks, be careful around electric fences, traps and streams, and take care of our precious bush.

Here’s a chant for Waikereru, composed by Merimeri Penfold:

News

2021

Bunnies Rule!

We’ve had a plague of rabbits at Waikereru during lockdown. Ginny Penn, who helps to take care of the gardens, is a gifted artist (like her daughter Brigdhe...

Ngutu kākā mā & Motukeo

The marvellous gift of 20 ngutu kākā mā - rare white kākā beak plants - from Ngāi Kohatu and Ngāti Hinehika, and artist Raewyn Atkinson is now in its full gl...

How to plant a river bank

Robyn Wilkie knows how to hold a river bank together - harakeke at the eroding edges, mānuka, kānuka, totara and cabbage trees further back.

Wild Lab Tiaki Taiao is pumping!

The Wild Lab Tiaki Taiao is pumping. Here’s a group of Eastern Institute of Technology (Tairawhiti) teacher trainees at the Welcome Shelter.

O Tātou Ngāhere - Pure Advantage

It was a pleasure for our Chair to speak at the launch of ‘O Tātou Ngāhere’ campaign at Te Papa, recently, advocating a major expansion of native afforestati...

Let the River Sing

After a formal presentation to Gisborne District Council and an exciting series of meetings with iwi and community leaders, we had a fantastic field day at W...

Harriers making tracks

Kudos to the Harriers who helped Tim (centre) to start forming a new running track at Waikereru. Its going to be a beauty!

Improving Waterways

A great way to start the New Year! The Waimatā River restoration project wins $850,000 from the Freshwater Improvement grant to fence and plant alongside the...

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2020

Jovellana Sinclarii

Wow - Jovellana Sinclarii (native harebell) popping up everywhere along the Waitui stream, beside the new board walk. Lovely to see this rare plant thriving...

Reflecting on Motukeo

Fantastic to see Sarosh Mulla’s Claude Glass installed at Waikereru, reflecting Motukeo. (A scaled up version of a convex obsidian mirror named after the 18...

Fencing upgrade

Hooray! The fence at Waikereru is being upgraded to exclude deer and goats, to protect our rare plants and the birds that rely on them. Many thanks to the L...

Stinky The Stoat

Meet ‘Stinky the Stoat’, for our Pesky Predators Wild Lab workshop. How many wilderness education programmes have costumes made by the costume designer for D...

Waimatā Catchment Map

Check out this map of the blocks and ancestral place names in the Waimatā catchment, drafted by Hamish MacDonald from nineteenth century Native Land Court ma...

Brighde Penn’s beautiful thesis

Brighde Penn, who was brought up on Cave Road in the Waimatā Valley, has written this beautifully illustrated and thoughtful thesis on the mask workshops she...

Waitui Walkway

Waitui Walkway - our second lockdown project, with the proud bridge builder. Once the weeds were cleared away we discovered this beautiful little ampitheatr...

Pōpokotea in Longbush Reserve!

This morning Steve Sawyer saw a flock of about six pōpokotea (whiteheads) in Longbush Reserve. Its wonderful that these rare little birds - whiteheads and to...

Waterway tracks in lockdown

Jeremy and Anne have been making tracks in lockdown. First effort - a 800 metre track up the Waikereru Stream. Absolutely beautiful, with clouds of pīwaiwa...

Bag moth - the original self-isolator

A common bag moth or pū a Raukatauri (Liothula omnivore) found climbing the wall of the house – a variation on incy-wincy-spider, and clearly very determined...

Pā Harakeke on the move!

Janine Te Reo, kai-tiaki of the Rene Orchiston pā harakeke, has pointed out that the flax plants are being crowded by the trees in the Arboretum, and suggest...

Waikereru Wetland Concept

Led by trustee Lois Easton, we’re planning to create a new wetland around the old farm pond at Waikereru.

Wild Lab Tiaki Taiao - ANZET Report

With heartfelt thanks to Pete and Elle Jarratt, Wild Lab Tiaki Taiao, our wilderness programme for kids, had a brilliant year in 2019. Here’s our report to ...

Robyn spots a Robin!

Robyn Wilkie spotted a toutouwai (N. Island robin) from our relocation programme some years back towards the north end of Longbush Reserve; and Malcolm Ruthe...

New Wild Lab / TT Costumes

Homage to Brighde Penn from Waimatā, and Ruby from Wales for these spectacular costumes of a kereru and mayfly (and a mayfly puppet) for the Wild Lab / Tiaki...

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