Zealandia Ecosanctuary

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Zealandia Ecosanctuary, formerly known as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, is a wildlife sanctuary in suburban Wellington that is surrounded by an impressive 8.6km-long predator-proof fence. The 225ha (556 acre) sanctuary is a haven for native New Zealand wildlife, particularly birdlife with 40 different recorded species including the hihi (stitchbird), kaka, kererū (New Zealand pigeon), little spotted kiwi, morepork, tīeke (saddleback) and the tui, as well as reptiles including the tuatara and the Wellington green gecko.

General admission is valid for two days and lets you explore the 35km of scenic walking tracks at your own leisure. The Zealandia by Day and Zealandia by Night tours include the standard general admission in addition to a tour by an experienced guide who can point out the best of the sanctuary’s unique wildlife.

Zealandia by Day

This is a two-hour tour that gives you the opportunity to see wildlife that is active during daylight. During this tour you may see tuatara and weta as well as the following native bird species: hihi (stitchbird), kaka, kākāriki, kererū (New Zealand pigeon), takahē, tīeke (saddleback) and whitehead.

ZEALANDIA By Day from Zealandia Ecosanctuary on Vimeo.

Zealandia by Night

This 2½-hour tour departs at dusk, after the sanctuary has closed to the general public, giving you the opportunity to see native wildlife that is more active at night. During this tour you can see glow-worms, Maud Island frog, New Zealand longfin eel, tuatara and weta as well as the following native bird species: brown teal, little spotted kiwi, kaka, morepork and takahē.

The highlight of this tour is the unique opportunity to see the most famous of New Zealand’s noctural birdlife, the kiwi. Although spotting a kiwi is not guaranteed, with 130 little spotted kiwi living in the park your chances are pretty high (around 80%). That makes this possibly the best place outside Stewart Island to see a kiwi in its native habitat.

ZEALANDIA By Night from Zealandia Ecosanctuary on Vimeo.

While the daytime tours offer the best photo opportunities, it is the night tour that really lets you see some of the country’s unique birdlife like the little spotted kiwi and the morepork.

Our address

53 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington 6012
Bus 20 (stop: Moana Road) or take the free shuttle bus from the i-SITE on Wakefield Street in central Wellington (departs 9.30am, 10.30am, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm) or from the Kelburn cable car terminus (departs every 20 minutes between 9.20am and 3pm)
Telephone (04) 920 9213
Website www.visitzealandia.com
    Open 10am–5pm daily

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    There are 28 comments from Foursquare

  • Glen, 30 Nov 2019

    The wildlife is awesome and the lake is lovely

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  • Sara, 03 Oct 2018

    Beautiful place to wander but recommend going on a tour if you’d like some direction. Could absolutely spend the entire day there. Free shuttle departs from the top of the cable car.

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  • Linda, 11 Apr 2018

    Lovely peaceful place

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  • Alan, 15 Feb 2018

    Me gustó mucho, las aves son amigables y el sitio tiene magia. Lleguen temprano para que lo tengan para uds solos

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  • Blaze, 16 Mar 2017

    One of the best nature experiences! I went early and I had almost the entire park for myself. I easily spent 3 hours there, by doing some of the extra walks.

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  • Andrew, 01 Feb 2017

    A giant predator-free fenced off nature reserve full of rare native creatures (kiwi, weta, tuatara, takahe) running amock.

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  • Alexander, 20 Sep 2016

    Zealandia by Night was an awesome and very informative tour with many wildlife sightings. Just seeing Kiwi birds isn't guaranteed.

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  • T., 22 Apr 2016

    Amazing place. Lots of birds, rare ones too! But it is not a zoo, which is great. The whole area is under protection and they are trying restore it in to a state it was before humans came to NZ.

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  • Ben, 24 Jan 2016

    Love this place. Such a project and with benefits now extending to broader community. Kaka, tuatara... Amazing

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  • Max, 01 Nov 2015

    Great hikes and very cool seeing the wildlife.

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  • Nicky, 17 May 2015

    Scenic walk. Great for bird lovers.

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  • Leonard, 08 May 2015

    There are free tours (about 15min in) at 11:15 and 13:15 that are quite informative.

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  • Simon, 12 Feb 2015

    So good. Give it a whole day. Cafe food is good too.

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  • Von Photography - Fresh squeezed Wellington wedding images, 30 Jan 2015

    A nice spot for an outdoor wedding with a function room that holds 100 guests. click to view a zealandia wedding slideshow

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  • Leah, 06 Dec 2014

    Interesting nature!

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  • David, 02 Nov 2014

    Great place to get away from it all in the middle of the city

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  • Gary, 30 Jan 2014

    Don't miss this place if you're I'm Wellington. Really get into nature on some amazing walks.

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  • Lorena, 22 Nov 2013

    Wonderful park to relax and do some exercise breathing pure air and listening songs from the birds. Much better in case of good weather.

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  • Charlotte, 30 Jun 2013

    The best thing in Wellington. A ten out of ten for me.

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  • Daniel, 25 May 2013

    $2 gold coin donation on Wellington open day

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  • InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, 01 May 2013

    Take a walk to ZEALANDIA Wildlife Sanctuary. The scenery is beautiful; like being in a secluded forest.... and if you take the dusk tour, you might even see the nocturnal kiwi in native habitat.

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  • Adrienne, 14 Feb 2012

    The night hikes are the best! Recommend to all!

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  • Lydia, 24 Feb 2011

    Look out for kiwis at dust there are always one or two around

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  • Melissa, 31 Jan 2011

    If you see a little robin looking at you, scratch the ground for him. He will eat the little bugs on the surface!

      Liked 2 times.  
  • Kane, 04 Dec 2010

    Don't be afraid to talk to the staff along the tracks. They point out cool and interesting stuff.

      Liked 2 times.  
  • Nic, 11 Oct 2010

    Zealandia is now a world class attraction after its renovation.

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  • Kane, 09 Oct 2010

    If you are coming to Wellington you need to put this on list of to-dos. Especially if you have kids

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  • Antony, 27 Mar 2010

    Check out the green lizards they look like candy

      Liked 3 times.