#KākāCam now live

Ever thought your favourite reality TV show could do with more screeching and flapping? We are super excited to announce #KākāCam is now live!

Port Otago and Orokonui Ecosanctuary are this week launching Kākā Cam, a 24/7 camera situated deep in the sanctuary and focused on a busy feeding station.

A kākā gets up close and personal to check out the new camera.

The camera is a sister to Valley Cam, which is attached to the ecosanctuary’s visitor centre and overlooks the Orokonui Valley towards the mountain Māpounui.

Setting up this camera wasn’t without its challenges though. This launch itself was delayed by the kākā deciding the camera and transmitter were new toys put out just for them. Unfortunately, the same beak that makes them so great at ripping up trees seems to be also useful and camera dismantlement.

The feeding station is one of five within the 307-hectare fenced ecosanctuary and is designed especially so kākā and nectar-feeding birds can access it, but blackbirds and sparrows cannot. The stations contain a special parrot pellet, replenished daily, and act as a hub of social activity.

Acting Port Otago Chief Executive Grant Bicknell* says it’s great to see the second camera up and running. “We had a clear goal to deploy livestreaming technology that could take the Orokonui experience out into the wider community. It’s been worth the wait, to ensure the streaming is reliable and bulletproof – or, in this case, kākā proof. We predict Kākā Cam will become a popular source of entertainment for adults and children, alike. The bird song alone is worth a listen.”

GPD Productions Director George Dawes has led the work. “Bringing the Kākā Cam to life has been a fantastic project, and after a few teething problems, or maybe pecking problems, we’re ready to go live. It’s great to help showcase Orokonui’s work and make it available to a wider audience.” 

Thank you to fellow Orokonui sponsor Unifone, which generously increased the bandwidth capacity to the ecosanctuary at no extra cost, enabling the livestream to be possible.

Check out the Kākā Cam here, and share it with your friends and whānau.

Orokonui Uncategorized

Getting groovy for conservation

Recently the visitor’s centre played host to a gathering of a different sort of wildlife, with the St Margarets College disco themed ball. After some research online the organising students found that no other venue stood our quite like Orokonui.

Over the years Orokonui has hosted everything from weddings and concerts, to corporate meetings and birthdays. But we believe this may be the first ever event at Orokonui to have a light up disco floor.

With the café chairs cleared out there was plenty of space for the 180 students to dance, chat, and hang. The use of the classroom also allowed for a dedicated photo space, perfect for capturing the variety of incredible outfits.

While the light up dance floor and other decorations made the space look amazing, students noted that nature had done the best job decorating. There were even times when the sunset over the valley and silver peaks even upstaged the disco floor.

Most importantly as with any good party, there was abundant delicious food to keep dancers fuelled into the night. All the kai for this event was crafted by our stellar café team. They worked hard and managed to pull off an amazing spread with not just enough food for all, but with something for every dietary requirement as well.

Despite the size of the event the student organisers were able to focus on enjoying the evening thanks to our events team taking care of everything else. After the event they had this to say about the experience.

“Amazing service! From the initial visit, to the ball day and, even post ball, 200% all throughout. It was super easy to work with the wonderful team at Orokonui they made things on my end so so much easier than I could’ve ever imagined. They helped facilitate and allow my vision to come to life.”

Attending the evening was also the funnest way the students could support conservation, with all proceeds of events like these going straight back to helping us help wildlife thrive.

To host your next event at Orokonui get in touch with us by emailing


Māori Hill School Taonga of Orokonui Series

When ākonga/students from room 5 at Māori Hill School visited in May, they were amazed by the incredible taonga/treasures that live in Orokonui. They wanted to share what they learned during their visit and researching at school, so others could learn about and be inspired by the taonga of Orokonui as well.

They worked to produce this amazing series of recordings about five of the taonga that call Orokonui home. You can listen to them all here.