We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Native bush in the middle of the city” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Zealandia Sanctuary

Zealandia Sanctuary
53 Waiapu Road | Karori, Wellington 6141, New Zealand
+64 4-920 9200
Website
Improve this listing
Book ahead on Viator
Top Rated
$13*
and up
ZEALANDIA: The Exhibition and Sanctuary Valley
Ranked #5 of 125 Attractions in Wellington
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Outdoors
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Zealandia: The Karori Sanctuary Experience is New Zealand's award-winning conservation attraction. Home to some of the rarest and extraordinary wildlife on the planet, our sanctuary is protected by a predator proof fence that encloses 225ha of regenerating forest, less than 10 minutes from central Wellington.Pick up a map from our visitor centre or join one of our popular guided tours.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Bentonville, Arkansas
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Native bush in the middle of the city”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

Zealandia is a large area of native bush within Wellington, New Zealand's Capital city. Zealandia is built around an old gold mining operation and is home to several species of insects, reptiles and birds (even the elusive Kiwi). The main track is well defined and can be traversed by anyone. There are other tracks that require a bit higher fitness level due to the uneven trail, gravel surface, and inclines/declines. The fee to enter the grounds only was just under $30 NZD. I was there in the middle of the day which is probably not the best time because it seemed that a lot of the animals were taking their siesta. One of the walks led to one of the old entrances to a mine shaft which has been stabilized so that visitors can walk in approximately 10 meters (take a flashlight because the red lights within are insufficient). Initially, I didn't see the draw, then I turned on my flashlight and noticed all of the cave wetas. I had heard of these massive insects, but these were the first I had personally encountered. Then there were the tuataras. I had not purchased a guided tour, but was fortunate to encounter one of Zealandia's volunteers who was assessing the reptile's population. He pointed out 15-20 of them that I had not noticed earlier. In sum, visiting in the morning or later afternoon is most likely better, a guide will reveal more animals than venturing off on your own, and, if you really want to see a Kiwi, schedule a night visit. In any event, if you are in Wellington and find that you have half of a day, visit Zealandia.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Public Relations Manager at Zealandia Sanctuary, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Thank you for your review Stephan, the cave wētā are amazing aren’t they? Just a small clarification on the price. At current, the adult cost to enter the valley only is 18.50NZD, adding an extra $10 to enter the Exhibition also.

The Morning Star Mine is usually open on weekends when you can walk all the way to the end, but even on weekdays – as you found out – you can still go part way in.

Another clarification RE tours – we do not charge any extra for a guided tour; these run daily and anyone is welcome to join. They are a great way to make the most of your visit.

I’m glad you enjoyed your time here, and saw so many tuatara!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

663 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    433
    175
    35
    13
    7
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wellington, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great walks and sights”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Everytime we have been to Zealandia we have enjoyed the walks loosing ourselves in the peace and serenity of the place, looking out for the birds and tuataras, always enjoy the place, but very disappointed at the internal experience expensive for what it is and lets the whole experience down... That's one part I wouldn't recommend, the rest of the experience is the enjoyment of the walks, the animals, the views it's so tranquil... Had we'd enjoyed the internal part I would have awarded Excellent...

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Public Relations Manager at Zealandia Sanctuary, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Thank you for your review Keren. I'm glad you enjoy the valley when you come, it is very serene and a good way to unwind.

I'm sorry to hear you didn't enjoy the exhibition as much. It's world-class and has an amazing and powerful 7 minute movie playing every half hour on the big screen plus there are hours worth of push button smaller videos to be watched. Of course the life size animatronics moa is always a hit with kids but many adults find it interesting too. There's a lot of information over the two floors, some interactive and much to read so I hope you give it another go some day - you might just learn something new. But if the exhibition is just not up your street then stick with the valley, it sounds like you are making the most of that so, on behalf of the Trust, thank you very much for your ongoing support.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson
Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
“Well worth a trip.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

This is a must see when in Wellington. It's a great walk for a start! The valley is beautiful with two large lakes and some great tracks. The bird's were amazing. Our patience was rewarded with some great sightings of Kaka, Hihi, Kakariki and Saddlebacks amongst others. We even came across a Tuatara. Spend some time near the various feeding stations and you'll see plenty of wild life!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Public Relations Manager at Zealandia Sanctuary, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Thank you for sharing your visit here, it's really special seeing tuatara just sitting around isn't it? It's a good tip to rest a while by the feeding stations, someone usually flies in to say hello.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“WOW and a Must Do”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

Wellington, New Zealand. From city centre, we easily found the Cable Car ride up to a place for panoramic views/coffee shop/merchandise + an interesting small museum on the cable cars. NZ $4 one way or NZ$ 7 return. From here you can enjoy a beautiful walk down through botanic gardens, BUT
Wait for 10 mins on the hour to get a FREE shuttle (11 passengers) up to the top and experience the most pristine, stunning environment ever. We didn't have time, but on a nice day, allow at least two hours to explore this amazing national park. If I say too much, it will spoil any surprises.
For all nature lovers to enjoy :)

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Public Relations Manager at Zealandia Sanctuary, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Thank you for the review - there are indeed many secrets to be discovered!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Zealand
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“beautiful bird song”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

Dad and I spent a day here recently - it was fantastic. Expensive but having been and seen the work being done and what it has achieved worth every penny!!

Seeing the rare Takahe and several Tuatara sunning in the open like that was a real treat. I suggest you take the tour otherwise we would have missed them - it takes you past the Tuataras and to the Takahe and Kaka feedings and is a nice easy pace and very informative.

The paths are easy walking (dad is 85) and on a fine day there is nothing like walking in New Zealand bush with bird song around you. You need to get off the main concrete path to experience the best of it - but it is all quite easy walking and well worth doing the loop to the upper dam.

If you are parking in the front row beware of the low wood 'stoppers' - we ripped our front fender without realising until it was time to leave!

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lauren S, Public Relations Manager at Zealandia Sanctuary, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Hi Lynn,

Thank you for your review. It sounds like you had a lovely visit with your dad.
It is unfortunate you damaged the car; the large stoppers are fairly common around New Zealand and are meant to protect cars and property.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Zealandia Sanctuary also viewed

Wellington, Greater Wellington
 
Wellington, Greater Wellington
Wellington, Greater Wellington
 

Been to Zealandia Sanctuary? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Zealandia Sanctuary, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.