Modelled on the Zealandia: the Karori Sanctuary Experience attraction in Wellington, the Orokonui Ecosanctuary is a welcome addition to the pantheon of wildlife activities within easy reach of Dunedin. Start at the visitor centre, all eco-designed using secondhand shipping containers and wood milled on-site. Solar panels heat roof rainwater for washing, and centre waste is treated and used for irrigation. The place is packed with information and the café offers wonderful views of the valley, but the real treats are just the other side of the 8.7km predator-exclusion fence, protecting three square kilometres of regenerating bush, some of it over a century old, containing reintroduced native birds, tuatara and skinks. Among the birds you are likely to encounter are tomtit, South Island riflemen, grey warbler, brown creeper, saddleback, bellbird, tui, fantail and kaka.

You can take a self-guided walk through the sanctuary, but will learn (and probably see) more on a guided tour with the freedom to roam afterwards. Either drive here (30min from Dunedin) or come on a wildlife tour (see Dunedin and Otago Peninsula nature tours). No public buses visit.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Go solo: the 20 best places to travel alone

Solo travel can be one of the most rewarding ways to explore the world. Whether you'd rather spend it on a desert island or in a frenetic new city, here are th…

21 Dec 2016 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
How to find the right New Zealand for you

How to find the right New Zealand for you

While it may not loom large on the world map, New Zealand feels incredibly vast and imposing on the ground, especially to those who try to visit the North and S…

23 May 2016 • Eric Grossman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month