Project Island Song: A peaceful Wildlife Sanctuary in the iconic Bay of Islands

Bringing back the birdsong to the Bay of Islands.

The sun beats down as we glide our way through the emerald channels of Northland, a gentle cruise leads us to  the tranquil shores of Project Island Song Wildlife Sanctuary, and before the anchor even drops the echo of birdsong greets us.  Welcome to our special place.

This is Ipipiri; the cluster of seven major islands that make up the eastern Bay of Islands.

When you visit the islands of Ipipiri you arrive into Project Island Song, the wildlife sanctuary where you can experience some of the unique and endangered animals and plants only found here in New Zealand.

When you venture ashore to discover for yourself the spectacular scenery of these islands, you will understand why we are so proud to support the ongoing success of Project Island Song. Through Project Island Song local Hapu, the Guardians of the Bay of Islands (community group), and the Department of Conservation work together to return rare and endangered wildlife to the island sanctuaries.

We invite you to explore with us Project Island Song’s work to protect and restore the unique natural habitat and wildlife on these beautiful islands. We can give you an understanding of why invasive pest mammals were removed from the islands in 2009, and help familiarise you with the islands’ rich and long history.

Due to Project Island Song’s tireless efforts, well over 30,000 trees have been planted in the region and the natural ecosystem is being restored.

Image: Project Island Song


This collaboration manages ongoing pest control to maintain a ‘pest-free’ status necessary to protect the delicate ecosystem found in this region. Through Project Island Song, 6 endangered native species have been reintroduced to the island already, and at least fifteen more species are planned.

Project Island Song Focus

As outlined on the project website there are ongoing efforts to restore this island to its natural state for future generations to enjoy. These include:

  • Pest control/monitoring to maintain pest-free status (the islands were made pest-free in 2009)
  • Species reintroduction
  • Ongoing native tree planting
  • Weeding
  • Promoting bio-security to all those visiting the islands
  • The floating classroom – educating future generations of kaitiaki
  • Working with mainland pest control groups to minimise pests swimming to the islands

If only this vital work could be fueled by volunteer dedication alone!


Join us as we sail to Northland’s premier wildlife destination – Ipipiri, a collection of islands in the Eastern Bay of Islands – one of the very few protected wildlife sanctuary islands in New Zealand that visitors can actually step ashore.

Help us to support Project Island Song wildlife sanctuary. We donate a portion of every ticket on an Island Hopper Day Cruise to this wonderful project. Together we can continue to support Project Island Song and their goal to restore Ipipiri’s bird song note by note.