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Maud Island


Marlborough Sounds


DoC info

Entry by permit only.

You can only visit on specially-permitted commercial trips or by arrangement with DOC.

Maud Island/Te Hoiere is a relatively sheltered island in outer Pelorus Sound in the Marlborough Sounds. It is a scientific reserve and serves as a predator-free island sanctuary for native species. Some of these species are unique to the island and some are rare and in danger of extinction in mainland areas where non-native pests threaten their survival. It is the second-largest island reserve in the Marlborough Sounds.

The island covers around 310 hectares of predominantly regenerating coastal forest characteristic of the inner-Sounds. The island rises to 368 metres and a distinctive feature is a peninsula jutting out 1.5 kilometres. On Maud’s north-west side the mainland is a mere 900 metres away. This narrow channel can be swum by stoats and weasels and trapping takes place both on the island and mainland to prevent their invasion.

Although the island had been virtually denuded of forest and heavily grazed for decades, its native vegetation has been making an impressive comeback.

The island’s rare and unique species make for some charismatic residents: colourfully-plumed flightless takahe freely roam, giant Cook Strait weta lurk in dark corners, intricately-patterned geckos and skinks slink about in the undergrowth, and the island has its own species of frog, the pakeka or Maud Island frog. Dawn is marked by a lively and enchanting chorus of birdsong, a sign of the abundance in birds finding refuge on Te Hoiere.

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