Fodor's Expert Review West Coast Wildlife Centre

Westland/Tai Poutini National Park Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Fodor's Choice

Whether you make it to Okarito to see the rarest kiwi, Rowi, in their natural habitat, the opportunity to see firsthand the Department of Conservation's successful breeding program of this species is quite special. The center is a public-private partnership helping to build up the threatened kiwi population. Kiwi eggs are taken from their nests and incubated and hatched, safe from predator animals such as stoats and rats, then the chicks are raised in protected nursery areas and released back into the wild once they are able to defend themselves. You can simply wander through the Nocturnal House to see a few Rowi on display (wait a few moments on entering to let your eyes adjust to the deep gloom—these guys are truly nocturnal). However, the best option is to join the Kiwi Backstage Tour to witness the incubation and rearing program—and if your timing is lucky, perhaps a hatching chick. Other not-to-be-missed displays here include the West Coast storytelling hut, where you can learn... READ MORE

Whether you make it to Okarito to see the rarest kiwi, Rowi, in their natural habitat, the opportunity to see firsthand the Department of Conservation's successful breeding program of this species is quite special. The center is a public-private partnership helping to build up the threatened kiwi population. Kiwi eggs are taken from their nests and incubated and hatched, safe from predator animals such as stoats and rats, then the chicks are raised in protected nursery areas and released back into the wild once they are able to defend themselves. You can simply wander through the Nocturnal House to see a few Rowi on display (wait a few moments on entering to let your eyes adjust to the deep gloom—these guys are truly nocturnal). However, the best option is to join the Kiwi Backstage Tour to witness the incubation and rearing program—and if your timing is lucky, perhaps a hatching chick. Other not-to-be-missed displays here include the West Coast storytelling hut, where you can learn from the "old-timers," and a quite lifelike "glacial exploration."

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Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

At Cron and Cowan Sts.
Franz Josef, West Coast  7856, New Zealand

03-752–0600

www.wildkiwi.co.nz

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: NZ$35; NZ$55 for Backstage Pass Tour

What’s Nearby