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Warkworth Area

Little penguins in Timaru
Credit or caption

Caroline Bay in Timaru is home to a colony of kororā (little penguins). Credit: Kimberley Collins.

North Island

About Us

Oyster Catcher

Jenny Enderby

The Warkworth Area branch covers the area between Puhoi and Maungaturoto. Members work together to help restore the environment back to its natural ecological state.

To get involved contact Sally Richardson 09 425 0161 or Secretary Anne Ronaldson on 09 422 9223 or 027 527 7005 email

Seaweek Event

Saturday 4th March 2023 11am to 2pm

Celebrate Seaweek with Forest and Bird and TOSSI (Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society Inc.)

Explore the rocky shore by snorkel or reef walk at the Tawharanui Marine Park.

  • Reef walkers should wear good footwear.
  • Snorkellers should be experienced and bring their own equipment. Please wear a wetsuit.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Learn about the marine life from marine experts.
  • All marine life is protected.
  • Followed by a sausage sizzle.

Find us to the left of the main beach at Tawharanui Regional Park. Look for the gazebo and flags.

Branch Projects

Pest Free Warkworth

Pest Free Warkworth

Russell Cullen

In September 2022 Pest Free Warkworth (PFWW) was the beneficiary of the Predator Free NZ grant process receiving $5,000 to be spent on backyard trapping promotion with Warkworth Township. This will enable us to invest in at least 200 more rat traps/tunnels as well as other forms of trap, trapping equipment, publicity and promotional activities.

We are currently in the process of acquiring much of the equipment and gearing up for a major campaign to carry the message and gear out to residents. 

The trap tunnels are coming from a mix of commercial providers (Starbox) and local community partners (ITM, Menzshed and others).

We have just finished rolling out the major new trapline in Lucy Moore park – this was all thanks to Council funding and we completed the deployment of new traps at Woodcocks Kawaka Reserve – again via Council support.

Several leads we received we are now working through with The Forest Bridge Trust community support team (e.g. Avice Miller reserve, 317 Woodcocks, Kaipara Flats airport, and others).

For more information or to become involved contact 

Little Blue Penguin / Kororā Project 

Little blue penguin on the shore

To protect little blue penguins and other birdlife we have a predator control programme targeting rats, stoats, weasels and possums and now have over 250 traps and many volunteers to monitor the traplines. Auckland Council and DoC Community Funding have helped us to achieve this. ITM Matakana have donated timber for penguin nesting boxes and predator trap boxes. Tiny Living ( have also helped build trap boxes.

Increased monitoring of penguins this season will help us to ascertain penguin numbers and give them further protection from predators. We have received funding from the council RENH fund, towards monitoring equipment. Other donations have enabled us to purchase more trail cameras and night vision equipment. Penguin Random House Books have recently become a sponsor to help our little blue penguins.

The Autumn 2022 issue of Forest & Bird magazine also featured one Leigh local and our little blue penguins.

If you live locally and would be keen to help with predator controls or penguin monitoring please contact Jenny on If you'd like to make a donation to the penguins put 'penguins' in your Forest & Bird Warkworth donation. 

We are also interested in any sightings of little blue penguins coming ashore around the local coast.  or check out the Leigh Penguin Project Facebook page

Weeding & Enhancing Walkway

Warkworth Area Branch of Forest and Bird started a local initiative to weed and enhance the walkway from Hauiti Drive and Blue Gum to behind the Grange shops, Warkworth. 

A keen team of four or five men and women regularly attend the Friday morning sessions with contributions from others who work full time at the weekends. Contact if you would like to join in is Rosemary Cullen

Kowhai Park and Sesquicentennial Walkway Projects

Kowhai Park

Together, Kowhai Park and the Sesquicentennial walkways make up two beautiful native bush reserves directly within the Warkworth township. Kowhai Park covers several hectares with significant stands of totara, kauri, matai, kahikatea and other native species. It also includes the clear-running Mill Stream and historic lime kilns. The Sesquicentennial Walkway commences adjacent to the historic Bridge House and follows the Mahurangi River southwards past Shoesmith Domain. However, both have needed to be freed of a range of particularly invasive weeds, especially Wandering Jew but also many other “nasties” including privet, acmena, climbing asparagus and many others.

Kowhai Park has now been freed of most of its weeds due to intensive efforts by Forest and Bird volunteers and supporters including the Auckland Council.  With the newly upgraded walking tracks re-opened thanks to high priority projects carried out to prevent the spread of Kauri dieback, this reserve should be high on any visitors list.

The Forest and Bird volunteers work focus has now shifted to the Sesquicentennial Walkway with Wandering Jew control well advanced and other weeds being removed progressively. Volunteers are always welcome – please see contact details below.

Volunteers are welcome to come along from 9:30am - 12pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month to help out. Please contact Sally Richardson 09 425 0161 or email

Forest & Bird Mothplant Eradication

Mothplant eradication within the greater Leigh/Whangateau area has been very successful thanks to the huge response from people in this area. Mothplant is a fast growing vine that can rapidly smother and replace native vegetation, making it a very big threat to our native planting schemes. Unfortunately it will continue to come in the hundreds for a few years unless kept under regular surveillance. It is considered by many to be the next big threat to our reserves and off shore islands, because the dandelion like seeds can be spread through wind-sources far and wide.

Forest & Bird Coast Care Group, Leigh

coast care

The Coast Care Group is led by Forest and Bird members dedicated to pest plant eradication and is strongly supported by DoC and Auckland Council. As Leigh is the closest point on the mainland to Hauturu/Little Barrier Island, the group's objective is to stop the spread of wind borne seeds to the island, and also across the bay to Tawharanui Regional Park.

The group targets moth vine, climbing asparagus, pampas and other invasive weeds on both public and private land on the Leigh coast including an area of bush bordering a stream with eels and other native fish. The group received a Weedbuster award for this project. 

The group meets monthly and is always looking for more volunteers. Communication is via email so if you would like to know more please email 

Mt Tamahunga Trappers

Mount Tamahunga is mostly covered in bush and the majority of the land is owned by Doc. The Tamahunga Trappers group contains many F&B members, who trap stoats and rats. For more details contact Eliane on or check out Facebook and learn more about kiwi being introduced here.

Get involved

Hauti Reserve, Warkworth


Volunteers are always appreciated. If you want to lend a hand, contact Roger Williams on 09 425 9127


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