Here at Settlers Motel, Turangi, we believe in encouraging the wildlife in and around our district.


At certain times of the year you can see these birds, which are either native to New Zealand or are protected in New Zealand.

Spur winged plover

For the last 2 years we have a pair of plovers that lay and raise their chicks here in the grounds. They nest on the ground, generally laying the eggs in July/August. Once hatched, the chicks feed themselves and at times of extreme weather conditions take shelter, under Mum or Dad, for protection from the cold.


The trees planted are native kowhai trees, in spring when in flower we have tui feeding on the nectar of these flowers. There can be anything up to 60 tui in a tree at certain times during daylight hours.

California quail

We currently have one nesting pair. They lay and hatch their eggs in scrubby areas and only bring the chicks out at dawn or dusk. The pair at Settlers Motel prefer evenngs to be out and about and are often seen Novemeber/December on dusk with the chicks in a line behind them.

Welcome swallow (warou) 

We currently have two nesting pair of swallows. One pair lay and raise their young in July/August, fledging in about September/November, with the second pair laying then raising the young November/December, with the chicks fledging in January/February. The nests that they build are a marvel and how they manage to raise up to five chicks in the nest is beyond me.

Ruru (morepork)

The unexpected:

We had guests check in, on dusk, one autumn evening and a morepork was discovered between the front grill and radiator of their car. It must have seen a tasty bug and got itself in, but could not get out. We phoned the DOC bird lady, but we finally had to dismantle the front grill of the car to extract the morepork, who after a few moments rest flew away unharmed (the car grill was reassembled).

Bellbird (Korimako)

The planting of a Current Tree at Settlers, has brought the Bell Bird into our backyard. It drinks the nectar from the flowers in Spring and then returns in late Summer to feed on the dried berries.

Pīwakwaka (Fantail) -Theyflit around most of the year. There are several different myths associated with the Fantail, happy for you to come and chat with me about these lovely creatures.


Flowering (may change according to weather conditions)

  • Daffodil
  • Tullip
  • Iris
  • Granny Bonnet
  • Lilies - Both Asiatic and Callis
  • Peonies
  • Azaleas
  • Rhododendrons
  • Camelias
  • Guldaudi
  • Native Ferns
  • Punga
  • Plus other species

Garden art is found in most of the gardens, I made many pieces myself — I hope you enjoy them.


As we are called Settlers Motel, there are several yesteryear pieces of machinery (that had to been pulled by horses) in the grounds. It would have been a hard life back in this era and these remind us how far we have progressed and perhaps how lucky that everything is motorised now.

Come and enjoy this relaxed environment.