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The Reserve

Mamaku Point Conservation Reserve is located 4km north-west of Oban township on the north-eastern coastline of Stewart Island \ Rakiura, which is situated 27km off the southern coastline of the South Island, New Zealand \ Aotearoa.

It encompasses an entire 172 hectares headland of ancient native podocarp forest, regenerating bush, rewilding grasslands, and pristine sandy beaches and streams.

The Reserve is enclosed by a 2.1km long biosecurity fence extending between Lee Bay and Horseshoe Bay, to inhibit the movement of non-native mammals into the Reserve.  The fence protects over 126 native species, including at least 18 native bird species, scores of native invertebrate species, and one of the highest concentrations of Kiwi for its size.

Located within the Reserve are accomodation facilities, used as a base for school camps and available to academic researchers.


Prior to 2000 the property was privately owned by the Turnbull family, with the lower seaward faces used for sheep and cattle grazing, and higher inland areas left as native bush.

In 2000, the Dancing Star Foundation purchased the property and set about transforming most of it into a world class ecological preserve for native flora and fauna.

In 2017, the Reserve was purchased by a family trust associated with Roy and Rachel Thompson, who subsequently established the Mamaku Point Conservation Trust in order to engage the wider community in their biodiversity, education and sustainability objectives for the Reserve.  The Trust is fully responsible for all aspects of the Reserve’s day to day operations under the care of General Manager Antony Simpson.

The name Mamaku Point is taken from a prominent landmark within the Reserve close to Nathan’s Island.  Mamaku is the Maori name of the black tree fern (Cyathea medullaris), which are found on the point. 


Mamaku Point Conservation Trust

The Mamaku Point Conservation Reserve is leased and managed by the Mamaku Point Conservation Trust, an incorporated charitable trust and registered charity, charged with the responsibility for maintaining and enhancing biodiversity within the Reserve, making the Reserve accessible by the public for conservation education and eco-tourism activities, and working toward the financial and environmental sustainability of the Reserve’s operations.

We will post regular updates on this site as our plans for the Reserve evolve.  If you would like to get involved with our conservation efforts or visit the Reserve for research or pleasure,  please contact us.