Discover the story of New Zealand’s natural history and conservation movement for a gold coin donation on Wellington Open Day, Sunday 26 May. Take a look through Zealandia's world-class interactive exhibition and then grab a visitor map and explore the world’s first fenced urban eco-sanctuary.
Just minutes from downtown Wellington but worlds apart.
Zealandia (Karori Sanctuary), set around a picturesque reservoir, is a living ecosystem home to some of New Zealand’s most rare and extraordinary wildlife – all thriving wild in a world-first protected sanctuary valley.
We are a not-for-profit organisation with a vision to restore our valley to the way it was before the arrival of humans – and we’ve already made impressive progress!
Your experience includes a fascinating indoors exhibition with big-screen movie and a selection of outdoor walks through beautiful native bush spotting species such as kākā - the playful forest parrot, tuatara – a relic from the time of the dinosaurs, takahē – only around 250 left today, saddleback, hihi, geckos and many more. Plus, if you book a Zealandia by Night tour you’ll be looking for endangered little spotted kiwi and experience a totally different nocturnal world in the forest!
Zealandia has activities for young and old and can keep you entertained anywhere from 2 hours to a whole day - many want to explore further and purchase annual membership. If you’re local you may consider joining our 450-strong community of keen volunteers.
Open every day except Christmas day, 10am - 5pm* (last entry at 4pm).
Night tours run every night (booking essential).
*Late summer hours – see “Offers & Events”
Our immersive exhibition will take you on an extraordinary journey through the last 80 million years. A big-screen movie encapsulates the devastating natural history of New Zealand, highlighting the losses endured and recent efforts to reverse the tide of extinctions. There’s a life-size animatronics moa, interactive exhibits, videos and informative panels.
Step through our ground-breaking 8.6km pest-exclusion fence in to a place like no other – 225 hectares of regenerating bush with 32km of tracks to choose from and a host of endangered species flourishing wild throughout.
Take in a free guided tour or Ranger talk, learn as you go with occasional information panels and videos and be sure to just sit quietly by a feeder to observe the rare birds or watch a tuatara basking in the sun. At weekends there are often boat rides and access to the Morning Star mine - with cave wētā!
Latest additions: Check out our juvenile tuatara in their special new nurseries or ask a guide to help you spot one in the bushes!
We often run special offers and exciting events. Check out the latest on our website: www.visitzealandia.com/events.
Make your way to Zealandia on any Monday in May or June and enjoy general admission, including entry to The Exhibition and The Valley, for just $10.
Lonely Planet described Zealandia's night tour as a 'life-changing experience' in its Best in Travel Guide 2011.
After seeing some of the highlights of our interactive exhibition your guide will lead you through the sanctuary valley on a torch-light walk in search of the distinctive sights and sounds of New Zealand bush… including little spotted kiwi!
Possible sights: Kiwi foraging on the forest floor, tuatara hunting for food, glow-worms shining, tiny Maud Island frogs in their enclosure, pāteke (brown teal) ducks feeding at night, kākā (parrots) coming in to roost.
Possible sounds: The high-pitched call of kiwi, the ghostly echo of the ruru (morepork), the scritch-scritch of tree wētā, the skraark of kākā and the rustling of the bush as nocturnal creatures start their nighttime activities.
Zealandia is one of the best places to see kiwi in the wild in New Zealand. Over 100 of these nocturnal birds live freely in their natural environment inside the safety of our sanctuary valley - so your chances of finding one are good and your guide will help you.
Night Tour Transport: Return transfers between Zealandia and the Wellington i-SITE Visitor Centre are available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for $15.50 per person. There is an additional $5.00 charge if customers need to be returned to other areas in town.
With views across the lower lake, Rata is one of the best spots in the city to enjoy a leisurely lunch! Rata offers a variety of quality counter food and menu options as well as a selection of boutique wines and beer, and picnic items. The perfect location to unwind or recharge the batteries after your ZEALANDIA visit. Rata is child-friendly and a proud member of Conscious Consumers.
Zealandia won the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award 2010: Best for conservation of wildlife and habitats. We have been voted one of the top 25 eco-restoration projects in Australasia and are one of only 75 organisations in the world included in the Guardian Green Travel List 2010.
Zealandia: The Exhibition is fully wheelchair-accessible. The Zealandia sanctuary valley offers some easy grade, no-step tracks suitable for wheelchairs or the vision impaired. As the valley is a wilderness area, it is requested that vision impaired and people in wheelchairs have a companion with them. Guide dogs are permitted. There is a large car-park with disabled parking available.
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