View of Mt Ruapehu from Puketawa
Image: Mitch Black | DOC


Nestled in the foothills between Ohakune and Raetihi, a Puketawa passion project has returned native birdsong to a patch of paradise.

Date:  17 August 2023

This year the theme for Conservation Week is ‘take action for nature’; local resident Michélé O’Sullivan (pronounced Mich-aye-lay) has been doing just that on her private property since 1992.

DOC Community Ranger Mitch Black says the amount Michélé and her supporters have achieved on 60 acres, 10 of which were previously bare pasture, is incredible.

“It’s not just the pest control, which is extensive, they have also created a network of tracks so people can enjoy the forest.”

Visitors experience regenerating forest rich with the calls of toutouwai/North Island robins, riroriro/grey warblers, and miromiro/tomtit. Kiwi have been spotted on multiple occasions.

“It’s a hidden gem of the area and shows how much taking action for nature can achieve – whether it’s on public or private land,” Mitch says.

Michélé welcomes visitors. Access is via a private lane on Pakihi Road, Ohakune, with carparking signposted on site. Visitors are asked to please notify the owners as per the instructions on the gate.

Donations to support the conservation and track work at Puketawa can be made on-site or through the Puketawa and Slip Tracks Facebook page.

Conservation Week runs from 14 to 20 August.

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