Weather :

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Closed for Christmas

Time Required : 1 - 2 hrs

Entry Fee : Adults - $16.50 - $19.50, Kids (16 years and under) - $0.00 - $10.00

Zealandia, Wellington Overview

Based around a picturesque reservoir in Wellington, New Zealand, Zealandia is groundbreaking wildlife conservation ecosanctuary sprawling over a massive area of 225 hectares which is home to some of the rarest and extraordinary wildlife in the world. Originally called the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, the place was built with the sole intention of conserving the depleting forest reserves and natural wildlife. Known to be the world’s first full fenced ecosanctuary, the vision and objective is to restore the forests and the natural freshwater ecosystems to the pre-human state. The sanctuary has lately emerged to be one of the most popular tourist attractions of the town and has been successful in reintroducing over 20 species of native wildlife back into their zones here, some of which were known to have been extinct in the region for the last 100 years or more. There are a lot of recreational activities and fun things to do at the urban sanctuary for the tourists that include exploring the scenic trails, enjoying a boat ride, birdwatching and spotting exotic avifauna, volunteering for guided tours or just enjoying a quiet coffee by the lakeside etc.

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Tours in Zealandia

  1. Personal Tour

    Although there is the provision of guided tours in Zealandia, you can also venture out to explore the verdant green and rich wildlife of the ecosanctuary on your own. For this, you will only need to purchase the general admission tickets from the ticket booth outside and collect the map of the sanctuary from the Visitor’s Centre. You can stroll about the scenic trails on your own, discovering for your yourself quality information about the various species of flora and fauna from the information panels installed en route. You can start with the exhibition in the premises and then gradually move forward on your own, as and when you want.
  2. Zealandia by Day Tour

    Duration: 2 hours, Daily
    Timings: 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM
    Capacity: 10 members per group
    Minimum Age: None
    Cost: Adult - $55, Child (ages 5-17) - $27.50, Child (under 5 years) - No Entry Fee, Adult Members - $27.50, Child Members (ages 5-17) - $13.75, Families (up to 2 adults & 3 children) - $110

    Zealandia by Day is the most popular of all the tours in the sanctuary owing to the day flexibility. For a duration of 2 hours, the volunteers are taken through a picturesque trail laden with gorgeous plantations and rich flora. There is also a high possibility of spotting various species of fauna and avifauna. Guided by professionals, you are promised the best experience as these guides use their in-depth knowledge and skills to track down the rare and unique species and take you around the best spots in the area.
  3. Zealandia by Night Tour

    Duration: 1.5 hours, Daily
    Timings: After Dusk
    Capacity: 12 members per group
    Minimum Age: 12 years
    Cost: Adult - $85, Child (ages 12-17) - $40, Adult Members - $42.50, Child Members (ages 12-17) - $20

    Zealandia by Night Tour is more thrilling side and is the most adventurous of the lost as the walk takes place in the dark of the night with spooky noises and eerie silence to get your adrenaline rushed up. In the dim beam of the torchlights and headed by professional experts and guides, the volunteers are led around to discover distinctive sounds and sightings coming from within the dense forests. At this part of the night also, some very unique and rare species roam around which you can spot. Among these, the most popular ones include wētā, glow worms, and tuatara and spotted kiwis etc. This trip finishes with relishing a cup of hot kawakawa (bushman’s tea) which is provided at the Visitor’s Centre.
  4. Zealandia by Twilight Tour

    Duration: 2 hours, Daily
    Timings: Between 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM based on sunset time
    Capacity: 12 members per group
    Minimum Age: 5 years
    Cost: Adult - $70, Child (ages 5-17) - $35, Adult Members - $35, Child Members (ages 12-17) - $17.50

    Zealandia Twilight is one of the more enchanting tours in the premises which provides the spectacular sightings of birds returning to their at dusk, the melodious chirpings of the exotic and rare birds and the turning of the orange sky to grey and then black. This is also the time when several night birds awaken and if you are lucky enough, you might spot these as well.
  5. Zealandia Kids’ Night Walk

    Tours are run April - September each year
    Duration: 1.5 hours
    Timings: Around dusk
    Tours Available: April - September
    Term Time: Saturdays
    School Holidays:  Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays
    Capacity: 12 members per group
    Minimum Age: 5 years
    Cost: Adult - $40, Child (ages 5-12) - $20

    Zealandia Kids’ Walk are special walks organized every summer season between April to September each year, especially for the kids. This walk is organized so that younger children can undertake the activity along with their parents and spot the nocturnal birds and animals. These tours are undertaken at slightly straight, flat and easy trails keeping in mind that kids are participating. Guided by experts, the volunteers are given torch lights to use which have a red beam so that they do not disturb the wildlife. Make sure the kids are dressed warmly, are wearing comfortable footwear (sneakers or gumboots precisely) and carry waterproof jacket along.
  6. Private Tour

    Charges For Day:
    Duration - 2 hours
    Adults - $55, Children (5-17) - $27.50, Minimum charge - $275
    Maximum # guests - 350
    Charges For Night:
    Duration - 2.5 hours
    Adults - $85, Children (5-17) - $40.00, Minimum charge - $425
    Maximum # guests - 48
    Charges For Twilight:
    Duration - 2 hours
    Adults - $70, Children (5-17) - $35.00, Minimum charge - $350
    Maximum # guests - 48
    Charges For After-Night:
    Duration - 2 hours
    Adults - $55, Children (5-17) - $27.50, Minimum charge - $275
    Maximum # guests - 350

    These are private tours organized by individuals, couples, corporate teams, families or groups of people who want an exclusive experience for themselves along with the presence of a professional expert or a guide. One can stroll around at their own pace and come across some of the most picturesque sceneries and wildlife in the sanctuary.

Other Facilities in Zealandia

  1. Rata Cafe

    Rata Cafe is the amazing on-site cafe serving some of the best food items in Wellington. Boasting of a spectacular view to go with the delicious cuisine, the cafe is located on the top floor of the Visitor’s Centre. All the food is prepared from the in-house organic garden and post meals, all the food waste, coffee grinds and napkins are used as compost. The items that can’t be sourced are bought from outside. Using biodegradable packaging, the remaining waste is recycled.

    The cafe is also open for weddings, corporate events and private parties and it also provides in-house catering as well. The lawns can be booked on prior intimation.
    Timings: Weekdays: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Weekends: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  2. Zealandia Store

    Zealandia is a dedicated store situated inside the Visitor’s Centre. You can find all sorts of souvenirs, gifts, apparels, footwear and customized Zealandia merchandise here that you can purchase to take back home.

Tips

  1. The premises are wheelchair accessible.
  2. Guide dogs are allowed but prior intimation is required.
  3. Two mobility scooters are available in the sanctuary.

How to Reach

Zealandia is located at a small distance near central Wellington that can be covered in 10 minutes. There is also a private Zealandia shuttle that offers free pick up and drop service from the outside of the city i-SITE and from the top station (Wellington Botanic Station) of the Wellington cable car. To reach here you can take the Wellington cable car from the Lambton Quay downtown and from the top station you can either walk or take the shuttle. You can also take a public bus from Metlink. The bus will drop you off at the Waiapu Road and from here, the sanctuary is one a 2 min walk. There is also plenty parking outside Zealandia so you can also drive on your own.

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