Preserving Nature: The Tiritiri Matangi Island

Tiritiri Matangi Wharf
Tiritiri Matangi Wharf (Photo credit: DrewHeath)

In the world today there are few sanctuaries left. Mankind has expanded to the point of pushing other species out. However, there is still a place for exotic creatures to find peace, the Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Takahe-Tiritiri Matangi
Takahe-Tiritiri Matangi (Photo credit: Blacksmith)

This island is currently a masterful conservation project being undertaken by New Zealand. It was once over farmed, and lost many of the native animals. After more than a hundred years of destruction, the land was reforested. Grasslands for some special species were also developed.

Kokako tiritirimatangi
Kokako tiritirimatangi (Photo credit: Smd49)

This is now a haven for nearly extinct and threatened birds. Seventy eight species of birds now call this island home. They have been successfully introduced to the island with the hopes of preserving their species. It is now possible to walk among birds that were almost lost to this planet. Now we can witness them thriving. 

Greg the Naughty Takahe on Tiritiri Matangi
Greg the Naughty Takahe on Tiritiri Matangi (Photo credit: Chris Burgess)

In addition to the birds, there are a variety of other animals that also dwell near or on the island. Whales and dolphins can be seen along the coast line for extended periods of time. They are quite friendly, and can be found swimming near the landed boats. Up to twenty species of whales and dolphins have visited this island.

Tiritiri Matangi wharf and Tiri Kat ferry
Tiritiri Matangi wharf and Tiri Kat ferry (Photo credit: Avenue)

A variety of lizards can also be seen. Some of them are tiny, such as the Copper Skink. Others can grow to be very large, like the Tuatara. This lizard was almost extinct from introduced predators such as cats and pigs. They have now found refuge on Tiritiri Matangi Island.

Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse emerging from trees
Tiritiri Matangi lighthouse emerging from trees (Photo credit: Avenue)

The island is located near central Auckland. One hundred fifty people are allowed to visit the island each day by ferry. Those arriving by their own means are not counted in this number.

Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae - Adam Mark Lenny 01
Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae - Adam Mark Lenny 01 (Photo credit: Adammarklenny)

Environmentalists, nature lovers, and people looking for an exotic land will love the Tiritiri Matangi Island. This conservation project is helping to keep these unique animals from extinction. Discover some of the rarest species on this New Zealand island. 


Tiritiri Matangi Island is located in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand, 3.4 km (2.1 mi) east of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula in the North Island and 30 km (19 mi) north east of Auckland. The 2.2 km2 (1 sq mi) island is an open nature reserve managed by the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi Incorporated, under the supervision of the Department of Conservation and is noted for its bird life, including takahē, North Island kōkako and kiwi. It attracts between 30,000 and 32,000 visitors a year, the latter figure being the maximum allowed by the Auckland Conservation Management Strategy. Wikipedia

Tiritiri Matangi Island vista
Tiritiri Matangi Island vista (Photo credit: gribbly)

See also