Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary


Imagine a jungle-like forest where no one has walked through in the last forty years. Be the first person in a generation to venture into the unknown!

Join our unique program that unites conservation work with travel to the spectacular sites of the Kauri Coast in New Zealand. Learn about protecting the native forest and birds, venture through an unexplored forest and hunt for glow worms and kiwis while on a night safari.

Nestled on the slopes of the second highest peak in Northland, New Zealand, the nature sanctuary consists of 100 hectares of regenerating native forest. Views of the ocean, a forest that has not been walked into for more than a generation, and the song of native birds are just the first in the many experiences awaiting volunteers.

We welcome explorers and volunteers between November and April. Visit our site to learn more.



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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

What position do you hold at the Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary? What has been your career path so far?

I am the founder of the Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary. So far, my career path has consisted of incremental steps in the telecommunications field alternating with long periods of travel around the globe. Every three years or so, I take a break from my day job and use a year (or two) to travel the world, do some volunteer work, and contribute a little to the greater global community.

What inspired you to join the team at the Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary?

Many of us stare at a computer screen wishing that we could do something more meaningful with our lives. The work that the Pupu Rangi team does provides the satisfaction of knowing that the time spent in the forest helps with the recovery of the native forest and birds. Moreover, most of the day is spent in a forest close to nature, learning about the plants and creatures that call it home, and always discovering something new.

What is your favorite story of a volunteer's experience at sanctuary?

The volunteer team that has worked during the 2012 season had a hard time going through a particular area that consisted of thick wall of supple jack. It took us hours to go a few meters through this tough and flexible vine. After a week of cutting, the team made it through and met with another path. Everyone in the team received a chocolate fish, which for us is the pinnacle of acknowledgement. The trail has been named “Chocolate Fish.”

Of which accomplishments of the Pupu Rangi Nature Sanctuary and its volunteers are you most proud?

The accomplishment that I am most proud of is the completion of a grid of trails that covers 10% of the total sanctuary area. For three long weeks, the volunteer teams have worked very hard to cut the tracks, install the bait stations, and fill them up a few times. The result of this work has been captured on our night cameras and everyone could see the results almost immediately.

What about the future of conservation work on the Kauri Coast? How do you think it will change over the next 10 years?

One of the major threats to the local flora and fauna is represented by an introduced species, the possum. Possums eat vast quantities of foliage every night, stripping trees bare and thus killing them. A method of assessing the health of the native forest is look up and estimate the percentage of sky that one sees through the foliage. My hope is that in ten years from now, on a sunny day, as I walk through the forest listening to the bird songs, I will not be able to see the sky at all.