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 Waimata River to the east. A rare surviving strip of lowland bush (Longbush Reserve) runs beside the Waimata River. The bush is alive with the sound of birds, including tui, bellbirds, fantails, kingfishers, whiteheads and many kereru or native pigeons.

Waikereru Ecosanctuary is a fine example of ecological restoration in the Tai Rawhiti district, whose biodiversity is at extreme risk from land clearance, erosion and introduced plants and animals. Here’s a chant for Waikereru, composed by Merimeri Penfold:

Nau mai, haere mai!

Visitors are very welcome at Longbush Reserve (to the right up Riverside Road), which is open to the public. Please stay on the track, be careful around electric fences, traps and streams, and take care of our precious bush.

Waikereru Ecosanctuary (including the Welcome Shelter and 1769 Garden) can be visited by arrangement. We treat it like a marae – visitors 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 by arrangement only.

News

2018

Farm Forestry group share ideas

Great to welcome the local Farm Forestry group, and share our experience and theirs with the restoration of steep, erodible hill country and its use for carb...

NZIA Gold Medal

Great news - our founder Jeremy Salmond has been awarded the NZIA Gold Medal, and the citation includes his design work at Waikereru Ecosanctuary.

Waimata River Hui

Two exciting, jam-packed community meetings in Gisborn​e last week to discuss the current state and future of the Waimata River, followed by an excellent mee...

Harriers test track upgrades

Many thanks to the Eastland Community Trust for funding an upgrade to our signage and the tracks around the Welcome Shelter.

Hawkes Bay DOC visit

Pete and Elle Jarratt talking about the Wild Lab with our visitors from Hawkes Bay DOC & Cape to City.

1769 Garden update

The 1769 Garden is only a couple of years old, but it’s starting to look great!

Torrent Fish in Waimata River

How exciting. A torrent fish has just been discovered in the Waimata River by the Gisborne District Council science team - the first of its kind in the catch...

Ruru at Waitui Bridge

Steve and Tim Salmond were standing on the Waitui bridge at midday when this ruru flew under the bridge and perched on a nearby tree.

Donner’s Bush Restoration Update

What a team! EIT and YMCA students have restored another long stretch of Donner’s Bush. Great to see the weeds disappearing and the ground cover and lower ca...

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2017

Visit by DOC Director-General

We’ve had an exciting time at Waikereru lately, with a visit by Lou Sanson, Director-General of the Department of Conservation. He took this photo of Charles...

Wild Lab Workshop at the 1769 Garden

Great to see Pete and Elle work their magic in another Wild Lab workshop, this time inspiring local children to engage with the plants in the 1769 Garden.

We’re changing our name!

The trustees have decided to change the name of the Ecosanctuary to its original name, Waikereru. The Kereru is our guardian bird, which features on our seal...

Longbush Poplars

After losing a massive Poplar at Longbush, it’s humbling (and slightly worrying) to gaze up at the survivors as they negotiate their personal space and deal ...

David Bergin from Trees that Count

Great to host David and Susan Bergin at Longbush, to discuss the possibility of setting up a trial native plantation at Longbush. An exciting prospect.

Kids’ art in Longbush

Pete and Elle Jarratt work their magic with kids, art and the bush. A great art exhibition in Longbush Reserve!

Artefact at Longbush

Fantastic fun having the Artefact documentary team shooting at Longbush - with Janine Te Reo and her students at the Pa Harakeke / Rene Orchiston collection.

Pa Hill footbridge

Clearing the site for the new bridge at the foot of Pa Hill, watched by two curious tomtits - male and female. Looking forward to clutches of baby tomtits at...

Poplar Uprising

Nature takes its course… of course. A poplar gives up the ghost at Longbush - a harbinger of things to come? These trees are showing signs of age and we’re c...

Taking care of the Waimata River

Its great to be working with local researchers Sheridan Gundry, Murray Palmer and Mike Marden, and University of Auckland scientists Dan Hikuroa, Carola Cull...

Conservation boards visit

It was great to welcome the East Coast and Chatham Island Conservation Boards to Longbush lately, including some old friends. Such an enjoyable visit.

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2016

Its Oi time again at Longbush

This year we’re translocating 16 oi chicks from Young Nick’s Head to the inland colony at Longbush. They’re flourishing, and 6 have already flown off on thei...

Wild Lab hits town

The Wild Lab had another workshop at Longbush on Saturday, this time featuring the koura (native crayfish). Pete and Elle Jarratt with Murray Palmer, freshwa...

Botanical Bling

Give Papa-tuanuku half a chance, and she produces wonders - like these native orchids, discovered by Malcolm Rutherford at Longbush. Thanks to the Clark Trus...

Donner’s Bush comes back to life

DOC, EIT, Longbush Trust and Riverside Road residents have got together to restore Donner’s Bush. What a brilliant initiative. Hats off to Charles Barrie at ...

More fun at Longbush

The Wild Lab programme for kids and teachers has kicked off, with Pete and Elle Jarratt running two highly successful workshops at the Ecosanctuary. See this...

A New Year at Longbush 2016

What a magic summer at Longbush! A kids’ art exhibition with Pete and Elle Jarratt in Longbush Reserve; 11 titi installed in artificial burrows up in the Wai...

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2015

Snowy Hills

Check out the Longbush Alphine Resort - cottage and hills in snow! First time in decades. Ski lift coming soon. (Courtesy Colin McNab)

1769 Garden Planting Starts

Philip Smith (landscape designer) and Malcolm Rutherford (QEII) chat as planting of the 1769 Garden gets under way in early June.

Kiwi Courtship

Anne and Jeremy’s kiwi namesakes, Ani and Jem, have been found together in their burrow at Whinray Reserve, Motu. According to Steve Sawyer, “Jem is an extre...

The 1769 Garden is coming!

Philip Smith of 02 Landscapes has produced this brilliant plan for the 1769 Garden at Longbush, to be planted in front of the Welcome Shelter. This garden wi...

Welcome Shelter Open!

The Longbush Welcome Shelter has been formally opened by Meng Foon, the Mayor of Gisborne, and is creating a big buzz in architectural circles and in the loc...

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2014

Welcome to the Welcome Shelter

After a year of marvellous effort and unstinting, warm-hearted contributions from a wide array of volunteers and sponsors, Sarosh’s master work, the Welcome ...

The Bridge Club

We’ve just christened the new bridge in Longbush Reserve with the Eastland Institute of Technology carpentry students who built it, and their tutor Ben Steve...

Tomtit at Longbush

Amy England from Ecoworks just spotted this miromiro (tomtit) in the Waikereru Hills at Longbush - looks as though they may be breeding. Great to have a safe...

Freshwater survey report

Many thanks to Murray Palmer for an excellent report on the freshwater ecosystems at Longbush, which we aim to make a haven in the region for freshwater spec...

A bridge in the bush

Matt Evans and his team at the Eastland Institute of Technology are building this bridge in Longbush Reserve, funded by the Williams Trusts and the Eastern a...

Welcome Shelter update

It’s time for an update on the Longbush Welcome Shelter. As we head into winter, preparations are being made at Longbush for the onset of some wetter weather...

Welcome Shelter update

Sarosh Mulla and his fabulous team of volunteers have spent the summer break erecting the Welcome Shelter at Longbush - a ground-breaking exercise in collabo...

Landcare botany report

Dr. Mark Smale of Landcare Research has written an excellent report on the botany of Longbush Ecosanctuary by landform, including the surrounding Protected M...

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2013

Introducing the Welcome Shelter!

The Welcome Shelter at the Longbush Ecosanctuary is the brainchild of a remarkable young architect, Sarosh Mulla. Read all about the project here.

The Flight of the Titi

Another flock of 10 titi took off from Longbush on their journey across the Pacific this Christmas. They are attracted by bright lights, but luckily, decided...

Welcome Shelter / Workers’ Shed

Sarosh Mulla, a PhD student in Architecture at the University of Auckland and a brilliant, award-winning young designer, is designing a Welcome Shelter for L...

Christmas at Longbush

Christmas at Longbush this year was special, with long, hot blue days and bursts of rain - the plantings seemed to grow before our eyes! Ten titi chicks fled...

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2012

Bat Chat

A few nights ago, Patsy confirmed the presence of long-tailed bats in Longbush Reserve. As they flew around chasing moths, they clicked, using sonar to try ...

The Waimata turns to a river of mud

Recent flooding of the Waimata River caused the banks to collapse, and the river turned to liquid mud. As a result, our Chairperson Dame Anne wrote a plea to...

World first at Longbush

The amazing Ecoworks team have created a world first by establishing and successfully rearing the first inland colony of Titi (grey Petrels). These were tran...

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2011

Donner’s Bush

We had an excellent meeting with Andy Bassett, head of the DOC office in Gisborne, to discuss Donner’s Bush, the DOC Scenic Reserve south of Longbush. Donner...

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