Guardians of the Bay of Islands

The Guardians of the Bay of Islands are a group of enthusiastic volunteers who enjoy working on a diverse range of activities related to island restoration.

Ipipiri/Easter Bay of Islands.
Ipipiri/Easter Bay of Islands

About the group

The Guardians coordinate Project Island Song, an open wildlife sanctuary on the islands of Ipipiri, in the eastern Bay of Islands.

This project is in partnership with the Department of Conservation (DOC) and local Rawhiti hapu (Ngati Kuta and Patukeha). The Guardians provide financial, material and physical support.

Along with their partners, Guardians of the Bay of Islands' vision is to see the islands restored to their natural state and bring the native birdsong back to the islands.

About Ipipiri

Ipipiri/Eastern Bay of Islands has seven main islands and numerous islets and rock stacks, about 150 in total. The Bay is the result of drowned river valleys submerged by the sea after the last ice age.

North Island robin/toutouwai. Photo: Fleur Corbett.
North Island robin/toutouwai

Project Island Song

Project Island Song is a shared vision for the restoration of Ipipiri to bring back the birdsong to the islands.

Habitats on these iconic islands have been damaged in the past by rats and stoats and much of the original native wildlife and plantlife has disappeared.

Volunteers carry out regular native plantings during the winter months to help bring back the plants which in turn will provide the food sources for birds brought back to the islands.

A successful pest eradication in 2009 and subsequent management means that Guardians of the Bay of Islands can now bring back the birds. Brown teal/pāteke were returned to Urupukapuka Island in 2012. A remnant North Island robin/toutouwai population on Moturua Island was supplemented in 2014 with a translocation of 43 birds from Pureora Forest. Kiwi management is imminent and other species will be brought back to these pest-free islands.

The Guardians are also working with the following groups on a complementary mainland pest control project:

  • Northland Regional Council
  • Eastern Bay of Islands Preservation Society
  • Te Rawhiti Enterprises Ltd
  • New Zealand Kiwi Foundation

Project Island Song logo.

Get involved

If you would like to to receive newsletters and opportunities to participate in Project Island Song activities, you can become a member of the Guardians of the Bay of Islands.

You can also volunteer your time, donate or sponsor a rat trap.

Volunteer opportunities:

  • Island weedbuster
  • Planter
  • Summer-time roving volunteer
  • Visitor Centre helper
  • Trapper
  • Event helper

If you're interested in any of these opportunities email the volunteer coordinator.


Ph: +64 9 407 4967
General enquiries:
Volunteering enquiries:

Or write to us at:

PO Box 367
Paihia 0247
Bay of Islands
New Zealand

Find out more about the Guardians of the Bay of Islands by visiting their Project Island Song website.

Related links


Find out more

Learn more

Naturespace - ecological restoration groups in your area


To find out how you can get involved in conservation activities near you, contact your local DOC office