The Cape Sanctuary

The Cape Sanctuary is a privately owned sanctuary at Cape Kidnappers, Hawke’s Bay. Relying on private funding and a huge number of committed volunteers, the Cape Sanctuary is a model for sustainable conservation. The Sanctuary combines commercial farm, tourism & forestry with community lead conservation.

Andy & Hunter Lowe with one of the first Kiwi released at the Cape Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary was founded by Andy Lowe, Julian Robertson & their families. Andy had become extremely worried by the silent native bush where bird numbers had obviously collapsed and wanted to provide a model for other private landowners to implement large scale conservation projects to protect and enhance New Zealand’s threatened species.

Julian Robertson, the owner of the Cape Kidnappers Golf Course and one of the most generous philanthropists in New Zealand history, supported Andy in funding the predator fence around 2500 hectares that comprise the Cape Sanctuary. The fence was erected in 2006, and since then a number of endangered species have been reintroduced to the Sanctuary, and many native species have thrived inside the fence.

A small team of dedicated staff have been supported by a large number of volunteers. Support from councils & government agencies has helped the Cape Sanctuary thrive. It is now home to extremely rare petrels, has a self-sustaining population of Eastern Brown Kiwi and runs a highly successful Kiwi crèche.

The Cape Sanctuary believes in open source conservation, sharing lessons from the Cape with others involved in conservation. Our philosophy is that for New Zealand’s biodiversity to thrive knowledge needs to be shared, especially with other non-governmental conservation projects.