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Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust

Location of Rotokare Scenic ReserveA predator-free fenced wetland and forest sanctuary is under development at Rotokare. The 8.4km fence will protect the forested top of a hill-country catchment, a secluded lake and wetlands, including pukatea and kahikatea swamp forest and rushland. A very accessible, sheltered biological treasure that our community is determined to protect.


To restore Rotokare Scenic Reserve’s biodiversity to its full potential to achieve a mainland island and have due regard for recreational users of Rotokare Scenic Reserve. This will be achieved through pest-proof fencing, eradication, restoration and re-introductions, monitoring, education and active on-site management.


12 km east of Eltham on the edge of the eastern Taranaki hill country.


230ha, including a 15ha natural lake. Involves 8.4km of pest proof fencing.

Organisations involved

Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust, a charitable trust, is developing the pest-free sanctuary at Rotokare, with significant input, including funding, from South Taranaki District Council, official managers of the scenic reserve. Strong local landowner support, involvement and contributions.
TSB Community Trust is also a major funder.
Department of Conservation, QE2 Trust, Ngati Tupaia and Ngati Ruanui, Taranaki Regional Council are actively involved.

Management history

Rotokare was once a rather neglected reserve managed by a domain board. In 2003 the Eltham community decided they wanted to be much more active in protecting the natural values of this special, accessible site.
The Trust was formed in 2004 and intensive trap based pest control has been undertaken since late 2004.
A predator proof Xcluder™ fence around the reserve was completed in 2008, and pests within subsequently eradicated.
An on-site environmental education programme and species reintroductions are the current focus.


Easy access sealed roads (12 km), signposted from SH3 at Eltham, via Rawhitiroa Rd then Sangster Rd. Car access right to the water’s edge. An easy walk is in place around the lake. Free access at all times as the sanctuary is predominantly scenic reserve land.