Possums' End

Conservation focused accommodation on the Otago Peninsula


The name says it all.  We have spent a good deal of time and resources since 2007 removing introduced and highly destructive possums – and other exotic pests - and are now enjoying the resulting regeneration of the native bush and the welcome return of many of our native birds and animals. Our Possums' End Facebook page gives regular updates on our conservation activities.

If you have an interest in the conservation of New Zealand's natural biodiversity then Possums' End is the place to stay.  You won't see kiwi or tuatara or other glamorous icon species.  But you will see endemic biodiversity making a comeback as the exotic pests come under control.

Possums' End is set in 20ha of regenerating bush at the heart of the beautiful Otago Peninsula.  The bush around Possums' End is home to some special birds and animals.  Within a few kilometres are wild windswept beaches and headlands that are home to penguins, seals, sea-lions and albatross.

At night, weather permitting, we have dark skies that make for outstanding sky watching.  Amazing views of the milky way can be seen and the Aurora Australis - the Southern Lights - may put in an appearance (see our guide to photographing the aurora in our blog). To the naked eye the aurora is often seen as an eerie glow but with a correctly set DSLR camera beautiful pictures can be taken - see some examples in our gallery or on our flickr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/possums-end/


Possums’ End Accommodation provides a small income, which funds our conservation work, covering both capital costs and manpower costs. We receive little or no funding from local or central government. 

The accommodation is a fully self contained single bedroom homestay adjacent to the owner’s own house, backing on to regenerating bush.

The lounge/diner/kitchenette has stunning views across Otago Harbour and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. The kitchenette is well appointed with a dual hob, microwave and ample crockery and cutlery. Tea and coffee provided.  We do not provide milk.

A generous bedroom with a queen sized bed leads to an en-suite with underfloor heating and a shower over a large relaxing bath. 

The utility room has an automatic top loading washing machine and an area to hang wet clothing.

A small private outside area allows for al fresco dining with views over Otago Harbour surrounded by bush and native birdlife.

Possums' End is surrounded by hazards, for example - dense bush, steep drop offs, areas of ferocious tree nettle and pest control equipment - which makes it unsuitable for children.

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  • Queen sized bed
  • Linen provided
  • TV and DVD
  • Books and information
  • Wi-Fi
  • Log burner (wood provided)
  • Heatpump/airconditioner
  • Ensuite with under floor heating
  • Shower over bath
  • Dual hob and microwave
  • Fridge
  • Washing machine
  • Comfortable lounge area
  • Private garden with outdoor furniture
  • Bush walks
  • Picnic set
  • Dedicated undercover car parking
  • Charging point for electric vehicles

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We set out in 2007 to remove introduced animal and pest plants from 10 hectares of the property, to allow the native plants to regenerate and native animals to return.  Guided by Department of Conservation best practice and advised by many local experts it has been a steep learning experience.   Gains and losses are experienced, but there are now significant signs that the hard work is beginning to pay off.

In 2009 the cavalry arrived in the form of the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, set up to facilitate the removal of animal pests on the Otago Peninsula and thereby protect the area’s biodiversity values.  Australian brushtail possums are their first target and our re-invasion rates from this highly destructive pest have dropped dramatically as a consequence of their excellent work.

Many plants that were previously heavily browsed by possum, deer or stray sheep are now flourishing.  A multi species pest control approach has meant that bush birds, which were initially seldom seen are now well established.  These include New Zealand’s smallest bird the rifleman, tomtits, brown creepers, tui, bell bird and fantail.

Smaller native animals such as weta, stick insects, slugs and snails have perhaps benefitted most spectacularly from the reduction in exotic predation.  We are especially proud of our growing list of moths, some of which are most uncommon, including Pseudocoremia dugdalei and Pseudocoremia pergrata.  We also hold the world's most southerly record of the New Zealand Reticulated Stag Beetle.  Many of these creatures only beginning to put their heads above the parapet after 10 years of intensive pest control.

The battle against the introduced pest plants and animals is ongoing.  Seedlings from exotic pest plants such as banana passion fruit (a tree strangler) and Darwin’s Barberry (a tree smotherer) are continually springing up.  Relax and the rats and mice return in plague numbers, quickly followed by stoats, ferrets and weasels. 

2014 was a significant year for Possums’ End as we negotiated to put 10Ha of the property under a National Trust Queen Elizabeth II Covenant.  This means that it can never be developed, grazed or other wise changed – ever.  It is secure for future generations to benefit from the regenerating native bush, the returning New Zealand wildlife and permanent sequestration of carbon in our warming world.

Possums Removed

2011 - 32

2012 - 23

2013 -  9

2014 -  7

2015 -  6

2016 - 11

2017 -  9

2018 - 11

2019 - 1 (first 6 months)

Rats Removed

2014 - 28

2015 - 60

2016 - 110

2017 - 74

2018 - 68

2019 - 62 (first 6 months)

Our Possums' End Facebook page gives regular updates on our conservation work and our Flickr photostream is a photographic record of what's happening https://www.flickr.com/photos/possums-end/

This link is to a video taken by Possums' End guest Stephan Ridgway in July 2016. 




Rifleman photo by kind permission of Craig McKenzie



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