Lots of restoration projects focus on returning to what was, conversely, the restoration focus at The OPERA is to move forward in concert with nature. Humans are part of the equation and must be considered as we create a space that can be enjoyed by visitors while also protecting nature.

Preserving what exists

The current reserve area at the OPERA consists of more than 60 hectares (150 acres) nestled on the coastline, dunes, and then forested area moving inland. This area includes a QEII covenant space which started as an native bush that was left standing when the land was cleared for farming, and which has been heavily added to over the past 30+ years. As we work to preserve this area, we aggressively monitor the flora and fauna. An important part of this monitoring includes managing invasive species, while at the same time introduce/reintroduce targeted species within the area.


In addition to preserving vegetative areas that already exist, the remaining land managed by the OPERA is being transitioned from a former working farm back to a native forest. Each winter, thousands of native trees, bushes, and shrubs are planted throughout the property. We are currently in the process of developing a 50-year planting plan that will see the full restoration of all areas on the property being transitioned to native forest.


Reforesting the property opens up the opportunity to rewild these newly forested areas with native fauna that once called the peninsula home. The OPERA is developing a step-by-step reintroduction plan, including the future development of breeding and release programs, as well as alliances with others working in this space to revitalize the ecosystem of the Otago Peninsula.