About Us

About Us

Rotokare Scenic Reserve is a stunning 230ha forested hill-country catchment,  with extensive wetlands and a 17.8ha natural lake. The mature tawa, rewarewa, and mahoe-dominated forest is home to kiwi, ruru/morepork, kārearea/NZ falcon, tūī, korimako/bellbird, kereru/wood pigeon, riroriro/grey warbler, miromiro/tomtit, tieke/saddleback, popokatea/whitehead and toutouwai/North Island robin, plus a variety of other bird species. The lake edge habitat consists of raupō, flax, and pukatea/kahikatea swamp forest – home to notable avian fauna such as mātātā/fernbird, puweto/spotless crake, and piscine fauna like tuna/eels and banded kōkopu in the streams and lake (animal and plant lists).

Situated just 12km from the township of Eltham, South Taranaki, Rotokare is a popular recreation spot for boating, walking, and simply enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust was formed in 2004 out of concern for the declining state of Rotokare Scenic Reserve. It is a community-owned and community-driven project and accommodates a wide variety of community interests including conservation and recreation. The Trust initially set out to raise $30,000 for a successful pest-trapping project, but Rotokare's true potential was realised soon afterward with the construction of an 8.2km pest-proof fence. A slew of conservation and recreation achievements activities followed: high-level biodiversity restoration, total eradication of 12 pest species within the fence, the establishment of a quality environmental education programme, revegetation of 12.5ha of land gifted from neighbouring landowners, the establishment of on-site facilities (including a Site Manager’s residence, workshop, and an education centre), and the reintroduction of native species that were rare or extinct from the area.



"Rotokare Scenic Reserve will be a flourishing indigenous ecosystem, highly valued by the community"


“We will achieve the highest level of restoration, protection, and enhancement of the indigenous ecosystem at Rotokare Scenic Reserve”

“We will actively involve the community and provide the best opportunities for education, recreation, and inspiration within the bounds of environmental protection”


Please help keep Rotokare Scenic Reserve pest free!




Stop your vehicle--check your car, boat, and bags!

Dogs are NOT permitted in the Sanctuary!