Tuatara: Living fossils that were extinct on the mainland until released at Zealandia

Wellington: Zealandia Night Tour, Exhibit & Sanctuary

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Key Details
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What You'll Do
  • Travel back 1,000 years to witness New Zealand as it was before mankind arrived
  • Look for kiwi, foraging in the night
Step back 1,000 years at Zealandia Eco Sanctuary, to the day before mankind arrived in New Zealand, and witness the landscape as it was. Home to remarkable and endangered species, you will see kiwi and other birds, reptiles and thousands of invertebrates.
What to Expect
Zealandia is one of the best places in New Zealand to see the kiwi bird in the wild. Over 100 of the nocturnal critters live freely in their natural environment inside the safety of the sanctuary valley, and your chances of finding one on this night tour are as good as they get, especially with your helpful guide.

The world's first fully-fenced urban eco sanctuary, Zealandia has restored natural habitats and provided a safe haven for some of New Zealand's most remarkable and endangered native species.

On this 2.5-hour night tour, you will see the highlights of the interactive exhibition, which recreates New Zealand as it was just before the arrival of mankind. Your guide will then lead you through the sanctuary valley on a walk by torchlight in search of the distinctive sights and sounds of the New Zealand bush.

Although a moderate level of fitness is required, the walking is easy and the eagle-eyed can expect to see Kiwi foraging on the forest floor, tuatara hunting for food, shining glow-worms, tiny Maud Island frogs in their enclosure, pāteke (brown teal) ducks feeding and kākā parrots coming in to roost.

Listen out too for all the mysterious sounds; the high-pitched call of the kiwi, the ghostly echo of the ruru, the scritch-scritch of tree wētā, the skraark of kākā, and the general rustling of the bush as all the nocturnal creatures start their night time activity.

Lonely Planet described it as a “life-changing experience” in its Best in Travel Guide 2011, and on this tour, with a free shuttle bus from various locations in Wellington, you will soon see why. The tour will end with a replenishing cup of hot kawakawa tea (bushman’s tea) in the Visitor Centre.
What's Included
  • Exhibit entrance fee
  • Guided night tour
What's Not Included
  • Transportation (Can be arranged directly with Zealandia)
Meeting Point

Tour picks up from 101 Wakefield St, opposite the West Plaza Hotel. Free shuttle departs daily from i-SITE Visitor Center, Te Papa and Cable Car

What to Remember
Please arrive 15 minutes before the tour commences

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Product ID: 18448