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Atuanui Restoration Project

The Atuanui Restoration Project is a community partnership between Kaipara Forest and Bird and the Department of Conservation, focussed on the 615ha Atuanui Scenic Reserve (Mt Auckland). It is the largest area of native forest between the Waipoua Forest and the Waitakere Ranges and has a rich variety of native flora and fauna as well as sites of archaeological significance.


"To establish a mainland restoration project at the Atuanui Scenic Reserve to restore the reserve to a healthy, functioning forest teeming with native flora and fauna and a melodious dawn chorus.”


Approximately 70 km north west of Auckland on SH16. The reserve is 22km north of Kaukapakapa. To access the Ridge Track, turn right about 400m past the Glorit Hall (on SH16), up Kaipara Hills Road. Travel 3km up this road to a gateway on the RHS with a DOC reserve sign. There is parking on the roadside, or through the gate to the top of the hill.


The Atuanui Scenic Reserve is 615 ha of native mixed podocarp forest with some large kauri, rimu and puriri trees with a dominant nikau/kowhai/taraire canopy.

Organisations involved

The Atuanui Restoration Project is managed by the Kaipara Branch of Forest and Bird, and funded by Branch fund-raising, supporter donations, and grants from the ASB Trust, the Environmental Initiatives Fund of the Auckland Regional Council, the Community Conservation Fund of Birdlife International, and support from the Department of Conservation and the Rodney District Council.

Management history

The Atuanui Restoration Project operates an intensive pest management plan, controlling possums, stoats, rodents, and ferrets, using a grid of 100m x 100m of bait-stations across the 615ha, and DOC250 traps at 200m intervals around the 7.5 km of reserve boundary that includes the Hoteo River. Goats and deer within the reserve are controlled by the Department of Conservation.

This season (2009), Ratabate has been used in the 630 bait-stations to control rodents and Feratox strikers have been used across the reserve to control possums. Monitoring is now underway for the summer to assess the results.


Open to the public. From the Kaipara Hills Road carpark, there is a 1.3km walk across farmland to the reserve and the start of the Ridge Track. The ridge track leads to a lookout that gives panoramic views, west across the Kaipara Harbour, north to Bream Head and east to the peaks of Hauturu (LIttle Barrier Island). The Ridge Track walk is about 1-1.5 hours each way. Trampers can also take the Ridge Track back down across farm land to SH16 (by leaving a car at this exit).