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About Us

Nau mai haere mai ki te wao nui o Tāne, ki te whenua o Ōmataroa
He mihi ki te whenua, ki te ngāhere ko Puhikōkō, ki ngā rerenga rauropi,
ki te awa Rangitāiki, ki te maunga Pūtauaki
Tihei Mauri Ora

Welcome to the great forest of Tāne, to the land of Ōmataroa
Thank you to the earth, to the Puhikōkō forest, to the biodiversity,
to the Rangitāiki river and mount Pūtauaki
I am alive!

Immerse yourself in the magic of Ōmataroa Eco Tours, a locally owned Māori Trust business situated in the breathtaking Ōmataroa forest. Discover the wonders of Aotearoa New Zealand's national Kiwi bird, explore the pristine native bush, and delve into the captivating cultural history of this remarkable land. We offer exclusive access to the stunning Puhikōkō Reserve and Ngākauroa Wetland, providing an unforgettable experience filled with natural beauty and cultural authenticity.


Our Story

Our journey began over a decade ago with the Ōmataroa Kiwi Project, driven by a deep commitment to protect and enhance the treasured Kiwi bird. Today, we invite you to join us on an extraordinary adventure where you can witness the wonders of our natural landscapes and delve into the rich tapestry of Māori culture.

As you embark on our exclusive tours, you'll be transported into the heart of our working forest and Māori land trust, where the Ōmataroa forest reveals its secrets. Guided by passionate tangata whenua (locals of the land), you'll wander through ancient native bush, marvel at panoramic views, and immerse yourself in the captivating stories that connect us to this land.

Ōmataroa Eco Tours is more than just an opportunity to encounter the Kiwi bird and explore our pristine wilderness. We strive to be a catalyst for the growth of tourism in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, providing meaningful employment opportunities for rangatahi (youth) and fostering a sense of pride in their heritage. With us, you'll not only embark on an incredible journey but also support the local community and become part of a movement that celebrates diverse cultures and experiences.

Join us, as an intrepid traveller seeking authenticity, adventure, and a personal touch. Our tours are designed for socially conscious, eco-friendly individuals who value cultural immersion. Let us guide you through our region's hidden treasures, sharing the untold stories and ancient landmarks that have shaped our history.

At Ōmataroa Eco Tours, we are ready to share this extraordinary taonga (treasure) with the world. Come and discover the our hidden paradise, where nature, culture, and adventure seamlessly intertwine, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.


Meet The Team

Tour Manager Jade Elliott

Jade Elliott

Introducing Jade Elliott, the dedicated Tour Manager at Ōmataroa Eco Tours. With her comprehensive skill set, Jade efficiently oversees the day-to-day operations and manages the conservation and biodiversity projects in the Ōmataroa forest. Her responsibilities span across various domains, including finance, quality & compliance, project management, marketing, HR, and strategy. As a former tourism business owner, Jade understands the importance of providing unforgettable experiences for visitors. Passionate about sharing the wonders of Ōmataroa Eco Tours with the world, Jade works closely with Ian and Paapa, supporting them on tours and ensuring a smooth customer experience from start to end. With her strong background in business management, leadership, and customer-focused strategies, Jade is committed to delivering excellence in every aspect of the tour experience.

Tour Guide and Kiwi guardian Ian Tarei

Ian Tarei

Introducing Ian Tarei, Head Kaiārahi (Tour Guide) of Ōmataroa Eco Tours. With over 25 years experience in conservation and biodiversity, Ian is an exceptional educator who captivates and inspires visitors, family, friends, and the wider community with his profound knowledge and passion for Kiwi conservation efforts, including predator, pest, and plant control. Ian owns and operates Ōmataroa Kaitiaki Limited. His dedicated team are responsible for spearheading conservation and biodiversity projects in the Ōmataroa forest. His outstanding contributions to environmental sustainability have earned him the prestigious Green Ribbon Kaitiaki leadership award, a testament to his remarkable achievements and leadership in the field. With Ian as your guide, you can expect an unforgettable journey through the wonders of Ōmataroa forest. His wealth of knowledge, combined with his engaging storytelling, ensures an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression. 

Tour Guide and Kiwi guardian Paapa Stretch

Paapa Stretch

Introducing Paapa Stretch, Kaiārahi (Tour Guide) at Ōmataroa Eco Tours. With his vast experience and profound knowledge of the native bush, Paapa brings a unique perspective to our tours. Having spent extensive time working in the bush, his expertise ranges from hunting and tracking to predator, pest, and plant control, and much more. In his role as a Kaiārahi, Paapa leverages his deep understanding of the environment which allows him to provide exceptional guidance and insights during our tours. Paapa's passion for the land and its preservation shines through in his work, ensuring that every visitor gains a profound appreciation for the delicate balance of nature. With Paapa as your guide, you'll embark on an immersive journey through the Ōmataroa forest, discovering its hidden treasures and learning about the crucial conservation efforts taking place. His wealth of knowledge and genuine connection to the land create an enriching and unforgettable experience for all guests.

Ōmataroa Eco Tours wishes to acknowledge the support and contribution of our hoa kaipakihi (business associates/partners)

PGF logo
DOC logo
Kiwis for Kiwi logo
RMF logo
Nga Whenua Rahui logo
Matauranga Kura Taiao logo
Save the Kiwi logo
OMR2 Trust logo
WDC logo
BOPRC logo
NZ Maori Tourism logo
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