today we went to the karori wildlife sanctuary.

in the truly amazing category it is a 252 hectare (623 acre) predator free native forest and wildlife sanctuary only 2 km from the wellington city centre. started in 1992 as just a concept of jim lynch of royal forest & bird – by 1999 he had formed a trust, secured the land, design and erected a 8.9 km (5.5 mile) predator fence. a year later they had eradicated the invasive pests and began releasing a long list endangered native species including tuatara and little brown kiwi – both previously extinct on the nz mainland and both thriving in the sanctuary.

we were lucky enough (turns out very lucky) to see a tuatara (below left) on our tramp. these dudes are straight out of a dinosaur movie.

you can see the predator fence running up the ridge (above right). next time you’re exhausted with a project out in the yard just remember this effort. first you clear a 3 meter wide track through the forest. then you dig a hole for the fence post. only 8,799 more to go. now you’re ready to haul up the materials and actually build the fence.

you can see wellington harbour at the end of the valley.

the area the sanctuary occupies has a great history. in the early settler days it was wellington’s main water supply. the gazebo in the photo above is actually the water master’s house suspended over the reservoir.

we spent several hours there and only saw a tiny piece. we’re looking forward to going back often (as new members).

jim conceived, planned, pitched and realized an innovative wildlife sanctuary near the centre of wellington that is the only mainland home to numerous endangered species. idea to opening in 7 years.

i picked up some litter on my way to lunch.

thanks jim.

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