Not perfect weather, in fact it sprinkled a bit, but as we came down the hill on the gravel ('metal') road, the view of the Tawharanui peninsula was very inviting. The special predator-proof fence runs across the middle of this image.
When we approached the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary itself, we entered through an automatic gate. Traps were placed just inside, to get any unwanted predator that might have slipped in with us.
There's an excellent display explaining all about the area and the fence.
Here is part of the 2.4 km long fence in the distance (and a small slip).
Although theoretically unwanted animals could enter Tawharanui around the end of the fence on the beach, in practise, a clever spiral shape prevents this. Stoats and rats 'hug' the fence, and get diverted into the centre of a spiral where traps are waiting for them.
And, as I said, traps are also set up inside the fence to get the ones that do find their way in.
The 'koru' spiral down towards the beach:
The rolled edge of the cap on top of the fence has been carefully designed to prevent climbers like possums from entering the sanctuary.
This was very interesting. In order to keep everything out, the size of the fence holes have to be very, very tiny, as this display shows. (Some of the words had worn off so I have printed them again). I was amazed how small a gap a rat can get through, although I suppose they are considering young ones.
TOSSI (the Tawharanui Open Sanctuary Society) members have been the driving force, along with ARC (the Auckland Regional Council) behind this marvelous project.
Note: As usual, all these images should zoomify if you click on them.