West Coast Wildlife Centre
West Coast Wildlife Centre
4
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Lonely Planet voted the West Coast Wildlife Centre in the heart of Franz Josef as one of the 12 must see things to visit in New Zealand. This is the largest kiwi hatching facility in the South Island and the "must see" indoor all weather attraction in Franz Josef – home to the official hatching facility for the world's 2 rarest kiwis – the Rowi and Haast Tokoeka. See live kiwi during the day inside our nocturnal house, discover the interactive glacier attraction and West Coast storytelling areas or go behind the scenes on the “Backstage Pass Tour” and see live kiwi chicks and meet the friendly kiwi ranger staff. Numbers are very limited on the 30 minute Backstage Pass Tour so booking are highly recommended to avoid disappointment. The best shopping in Franz Josef can be found here inside the all weather facility -and enjoy free Wi-Fi in the cafe to keep connected to family and friends. Enjoy a coffee or a snack in the cafe – or pick up a pack lunch for your day of adventure. Open from 8.30am daily – 365 days. Set aside 1-2 hours for your visit. All tickets purchased are valid for 24 hours so you can come back and see the kiwi as many times as you like within that period !.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from AU$35.86
All you need to step foot in the door.
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  • Marilyn M
    Columbia, Maryland130 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    See Kiwis in the Dark
    This is an indoor museum. They raise kiwis for release in the wild. It has a dark room with a habitat where the young kiwis live until they are nearly adults. We could see a blur when the kiwis would run from place to place. They are fast! Don’t be disappointed if you don’t get a clear view. There were exhibits about west coast trees and the glaciers. Also an exhibit of tautaras (lizards). They have a nice gift shop. I was glad to help support their mission.
    Thank you Marilyn for taking the time to share a review . Kiwi are of course a nocturnal bird as well as our national Icon and it does take 5+ minutes to help get your eyes adjusted. Our team also have a special Infa red torch and because all our eyes are different -we are really happy to come into the nocturnal house and help you with spotting 🙏. The great news is that you ticket is valid for up to 2 consecutive days (48 hours) so you are welcome to take your time -and come back through at any time during this period ! As there is no glass above your waist it’s a pretty special viewing experience and we want you see our kiwi 100% of the time . Enjoy the rest of your time in beautiful Franz Josef 👍⭐️ .
    Written 9 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 June 2023
  • Sophie
    75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Great Experience
    This is a great informative centre for seeing both kiwi and tuatara and learning more about the region. Your tickets get you as many entries as you like within a 48 hour period which is perfect if you're in Franz Josef waiting for the weather for a tour or heli ride. We went in multiple times and the kiwi were always up and active.
    Thank you Sophie for the 5 star ⭐️ review and delighted that you enjoyed your visit. It is great to see that you really made the most of your great value 48 hour unlimited entry pass -and the guaranteed viewing of our kiwi and tuatara .👍🙏
    Written 29 June 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 June 2023
  • Happymumof4
    7 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wet weather attraction
    Very average place with very overpriced entry fees. We paid around $130 for 2 adults and a 14 year old and 16 year old. Was there for about 30 minutes and saw 2 kiwis and a few tuataras. The gift shop was lovely.
    Thanks for placing a review and disappointed by your comments as it looks like you paid the incorrect pricing ?. Our family pass ( 2 A and up to 3C ) for unlimited 48 hr entry is terrific vale for money at $95 and not $130 ?. Do drop us an email -info@wildkiwi.co.nz with the time and date of your visit and we will find the transaction and of course refund you the difference.👍 Our attraction best suits the inquisitive guests to explore our Glacier Attraction,West Coast Storytelling area, Predator Free 2050 and other films and interactives. Delighted that you enjoyed our amazing shop !🙏
    Written 6 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 September 2023
  • lilkyoote
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Kiwi n tuatara world
    We went in there on a rainy day, to see our first encounter with the native bird! Learnt plenty about kiwi birds and tuatara creatures! Guarantee to see one! The entrance prices permits you to entry as many times for 2 days! Staff are very knowledgeable n friendly, we easily spend half the day there reading n being inquisitive!
    Thank you for the 5 star review and delighted that you enjoyed your visit ! The 48 hr unlimited entry pass is terrific value for money and pleased that you spent half the day inside the attraction👍 Our attraction best suits the inquisitive guest and so pleased that you recognised this . Enjoy the rest of your day in Franz Josef !
    Written 6 October 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 1 October 2023
  • Pumpkin20
    Bathurst, Australia331 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Kiwi sighting!
    I was particularly excited to see a Kiwi and was not disappointed! Enjoyed watching him/her running around, they are much bigger than I thought! Enjoyed all the other information about Kiwis I found it all very interesting & disturbing at how endangered they are. The bit we did not enjoy was the public holiday surcharge! We are hoping that a large portion of our entry fee will be used to help protect these gorgeous birds.
    Delighted that you really enjoyed your visit ! Sorry about a credit card surcharge (15%)for a public holiday but you might have noticed most businesses in Franz Josef now close on public holidays due to incredible cost of labour .It costs most businesses around $4,000 in additional holiday loading costs just to open which sadly is no longer economical . I am pleased to say however that we do open but recover just a small amount of monies to help subsidize this.
    Written 3 November 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 October 2023
  • Brian R
    Greystones, Ireland12 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great way to spend a morning
    Came across this centre not expecting much but hoping to get a glimpse of a Kiwi in real life. Well this visit didn’t disappoint. I paid extra for the back stage tour and so glad I did. I was there at 10am and turned out so was the only person the tour. (It’s very busy on rainy days). So I had the undivided attention of Steve who gave me do much great info about Kiwis and the work of the centre in helping them survive. He then gave me the up close meet with the Tuatara- what an interesting creature- and no it’s not a lizard. The kiwi encounter is open to all who pay admission not just the backstage tour. Once your eyes adapt to the dark (give it a few minutes) there they were! Much bigger, faster and louder than I expected. Fell in love with them! It was a great way to spend a morning. Special thanks to Steve for making the visit so memorable.
    Thank you Brian for sharing your review and delighted that you really enjoyed your visit 🙏 Our kiwi ranger fully guided tours (VIP Backstage Pass Tours) are highly recommended and I will pass on your thanks and appreciation to Steve who is a really passionate and talented member of the team. Together with the Department of Conservation and iwi we have helped bring the worlds rarest kiwi (rowi) back from the very edge of extinction and more and more eggs are now being left to survive in predator free areas in the wild. When we first set up the facility there were less than 140 rowi kiwi left alive in the wild and today over 600 -with 385 of these birds hatched and incubated at the West Coast Wildlife Centre.A wonderful community and team partnership 🙏
    Written 6 December 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 1 December 2023
  • Roxana M
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania18 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best activity during a rainy day
    This was a very interesting tour, we learned a lot about kiwis life. Our guide-Steve was very well prepared and the tour was like a story. New Zealand is a lesson for the entire world how to protect nature and also how to make nature reborn. We managed to see 2 kiwi birds and they were quite active. We recommend the tour, it took only 45 minute and the entering ticket has a 48 hours validity.
    Thanks for the 5 star review and really appreciated the shout out to Steve our Ranger guide and the VIP Backstage Pass Tour. In NZ we are very protective of our highly endangered native species and it’s a great privilege to be able to help bring the 2 rarest of kiwi species back from the edge of extinction -in partnership with the Department of Conservation.Our guests tells us the 48 hours unlimited entry pass is great value for money and we really appreciate you sharing your review with future guests 🙏
    Written 7 February 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 February 2024
  • spinfield
    Ilkley, United Kingdom31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Don’t miss the kiwis!
    We’re often sceptical of these ‘wildlife’ experiences but can’t praise this one enough. We bought the ‘behind the scenes, 48 hour’ pass and it was well worth it. We spent a fascinating hour with Steve, who gave us a great insight into the amazing conservation and kiwi population increasing work that they do at the centre. He was so knowledgeable and had a number of interesting videos/props. The viewing of the actual kiwis (2x year old birds) was a real highlight of our trip to New Zealand. To watch them so close up and hear them snuffling in the search for food was unforgettable. Our 48 hour pass gave us 3 chances to pop in and see them again before we left. Fabulous!
    Thank you for the 5 star review and delighted that you really enjoyed your VIP Backstage Pass Tour with Steve.We are very fortunate to have such dedicated and entertaining team members who are so passionate about the work with do -in partnership with the Department of Conservation-to bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the edge of extinction.👍🙏.The 48 hour pass is really great value for money and that you do much for highlighting this for future guests.
    Written 11 February 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 7 February 2024
  • SkemOwl
    31 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Rare Rowi kiwis in a simulated habitat
    The wildlife centre has created a perfect environment for rearing and viewing kiwis. The ticket is valid for 48 hours so you can choose the best time, which seems to be morning. We were made very welcome, and given an introduction to the facility. It's quite dark in there and can take 10 minutes to be able to see properly. The kiwis are very close and quite active. We were enchanted. They also have tuatata lizards (also rare). Try challenging them to a staring match!
    Thanks so much for the 5-star review and for sharing your feedback with future guests.The 48 hour passes we are told represents excellent value for money and so pleased that you really enjoyed your visit.With less than 600 rowi kiwi left alive in the wild we have hatched and incubated over 385 of these helping bring the worlds rarest kiwi -the rowi - back from the very edge of extinction.Your visit and the monies spent with us are helping to fund the work we do -in partnership with The Department of Conservation.
    Written 25 March 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 March 2024
  • valkrie1235
    Dallas, Texas16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best place to see Kiwis!
    An absolute gem of a spot! My family stopped at a few Kiwi centers and aviaries during our trip and this one was by far the best place to see a Kiwi. The habitat takes up a large % of the building and we were able to see two of the birds very easily even in the darkness. They were quite active and utterly adorable! There is a wall up to about belly level and don’t miss the glass near the ground, when the kiwis come up to the wall you can see them so well. The owner was actually working the counter when we arrive and he was so excited to share about the center and his conservation efforts. A must see while in Franz Josef!
    Thank you so much for your kind review and delighted that you really enjoyed your visit . All our team are so very passionate about our facility and the work we are doing -in partnership with the Department of Conservation to bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the edge of extinction. Our customers tell us that our kiwi viewing experience is exceptional and we are all so pleased that you took the time to enjoy your time with us. I hope that you enjoyed the rest of your time in beautiful Franz Josef 🙏
    Written 11 April 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 April 2024
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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,063 reviews
Excellent
419
Very good
294
Average
172
Poor
96
Terrible
82

Jill T
Norwich, UK18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Had the back stage pass - struck very lucky having Kath as our guide. Incredibly knowledgeable and her enthusiasm was infectious. Although our visit was out of the breeding season Kath explained the process in great detail. Absolute bonus getting up close to the reptiles and fascinated by the locust House - on site fast food!
Written 17 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks so much for taking the time to place a 5 star review and delighted that you enjoyed Backstage Pass 🎫 Tour with Kath. Love your comnents around our Locust House for the incredible Tuatara!
Written 19 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michael G
Oldenburg, Germany3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
very courteous, helpful and polite boss. He explained the Kiwihouse very kindly.
This wildlife house is always highly recommended as an entertaining visit.
Written 3 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Michael for your very kind comments and delighted that you really enjoyed your visit with us. With less than 600 rowi kiwi left alive in the wild today we have incubated and hatched over 385 -in partnership with The Department of Conservation.Your visit today and the monies spend have really helped us to continue with this important work.🙏🙏
Written 19 May 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sharon P
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
Kath was so wonderful. Friendly and informative. You can see she loves what she does. The kiwis are absolutely beautiful. Great experience. Diane & Sharon
Written 26 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maxi K
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
We came in only 45 minutes before closing and bought a regular entry ticket. Time was a little too short, but you can actually come in again the next day with your ticket to read everything you missed. However, for watching the two kiwis in the dark, the timing was absolutely perfect, so I encourage everyone to step in. Even if there is not much time left that day.
The information on the boards was very interesting and nicely visualized.
The staff was very friendly and helpful as well.
Considering they are doing a good deed with the ticket money, I can only recommend the visit.
Written 17 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you Maxi for the 5 star review and so pleased that you really enjoyed your visit and had a wonderful kiwi viewing experience 😀.The unlimited re-entry over a 48 hour period represents great value for money and I’m so pleased that you recognized this to share with future guests. Thank you again for making the time to share your review 🙏
Written 22 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Philip D
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Awesome experience learning about the kiwi, its fall and its rehabilitation. Richard gave such invaluable information and insights, thank you!
Written 16 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for the 5 star review and the team and myself are delighted 😀 that you really enjoyed your visit 🙏
Written 22 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jana Kite
Auckland, New Zealand1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
After a long hike in the rain, I decided to stop in. Unlike my hike in the rain, this did not disappoint. Steve was the best, super informative and answered every question I had. I absolutely loved learning more about our native species and seeing all the work they do to help save them. Tino ataahua te mahi!
Written 15 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the 5 star review and delighted that you enjoyed your visit -and fully guided 45 minute VIP Backstage Pass Tour with Steve. We have an incredible team of passionate team members who are focused on protecting and growing our native endangered NZ species numbers. With less than 600 rowi kiwi left alive in the wild today -in partnership with The Department of Conservation-we have incubated and hatched 🐣 over 385 rowi kiwi inside our building helping to bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the edge of extinction. Thank you again for sharing your review with future guests 🙏
Written 16 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

valkrie1235
Dallas, TX16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
An absolute gem of a spot! My family stopped at a few Kiwi centers and aviaries during our trip and this one was by far the best place to see a Kiwi. The habitat takes up a large % of the building and we were able to see two of the birds very easily even in the darkness. They were quite active and utterly adorable! There is a wall up to about belly level and don’t miss the glass near the ground, when the kiwis come up to the wall you can see them so well. The owner was actually working the counter when we arrive and he was so excited to share about the center and his conservation efforts. A must see while in Franz Josef!
Written 10 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for your kind review and delighted that you really enjoyed your visit . All our team are so very passionate about our facility and the work we are doing -in partnership with the Department of Conservation to bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the edge of extinction. Our customers tell us that our kiwi viewing experience is exceptional and we are all so pleased that you took the time to enjoy your time with us. I hope that you enjoyed the rest of your time in beautiful Franz Josef 🙏
Written 11 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tom S
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Tom and Anne from Australia did the VIP Kiwi and Tuatara Backstage Tour. Amber was our guide. She gave us so much interesting information. We learned so much on this tour, well worth the time. We enjoyed looking at the tuatara, just amazing! Thanks Amber
Written 9 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you, Tom and Anne, for sharing your review of your VIP Backstage Pass Tour with our wildlife ranger -Amber. We are truly fortunate to have such knowledgeable and passionate team members (such as Amber) who are so willing to share our wildlife stories with our guests. Really appreciate you taking the time to share your review with future guests🙏
Written 11 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Desi D
Santa Monica, CA2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
This was undoubtedly an unforgettable experience and a must-do when in Franz Josef. I purchased the earliest behind-the-scenes tour (10 AM) and arrived at the Wildlife Centre right when they opened. Before the tour started, I visited the Kiwi exhibit where the Kiwi birds were awake, energetic, running around, and enjoying their breakfast.

During the tour, the guide explained that the Kiwi birds are exposed to bright white light at night to simulate the day, and they are exhibited under dim lights during our day, which is their 'night,' allowing visitors to observe them. The backstage behind-the-scenes tour provided a significant amount of information about how the Wildlife Centre is helping to increase the Kiwi population, as well as information about the little Kiwi bird itself.

I learned much more than I expected, and I couldn't believe how close I was able to get to the Kiwi birds for such a long time! 10/10 I would highly recommend this experience.

P.S. saw two Kiwis, but went through the exhibit 3 times, so pretty much saw 6 Kiwis :-)
Written 3 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your excellent review for future guests and we are all delighted here that you really enjoyed and made the most out of your visit and Backstage Pass Tour 🙏👍
Written 22 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Michele M
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
We had an amazing time at West Coast Wildlife Center! There were 2 couples and all four of us loved being there. The guide was informative and we had plenty of time to enjoy looking at the Tuatars and the Kiwis.
Written 3 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you so much for sharing your review with future guests and delighted that you really enjoyed your visit. Our backstage pass tours are a great way to spend quality time on a fully guided tour with our wildlife rangers who are so passionate about the work we all do -in partnership with The Department of Conservation.🙏
Written 3 April 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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