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“What an experience!”

West Coast Wildlife Centre
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$28.32*
and up
Franz Josef Wildlife Center Adm with Optional...
Ranked #8 of 33 things to do in Franz Josef
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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 !.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed September 28, 2013

We were lucky enough to hear about the Westcoast Wildlife Centre -what an amazing thing they are doing saving our kiwis - all of us who live in New Zealand as "Kiwis" should remember they are so rare and I am really impressed with the dedication that this wildlife centre has towards saving them. Yes I know how hard it can be to see kiwis and at times we can be disappointed not to see them - but they are there and if you take the time you will see them. patience is a virtue - As a family the educational experience and the displays they have makes for a fun informative day - complete with a good coffee and a little shopping - win win for us all - the westcoast people are such open and friendly people and the staff at the Westcoast Wildlife Centre are so welcomeing - Well done all :)

Thank Leeanna G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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508 - 512 of 649 reviews

Reviewed September 27, 2013

Well done. Very informative however the Kiwi birds were hard to see in the dark, although they are of course nocturnal animals and we were observing them in their natural habitat. We had not previously seen a real Kiwi bird so it was fascinating to have the chance to do so. Loved the ice displays and the educational information of the glacier. It was perfect to do this first and then traipse up to the mountain to see the glacier itself. A fascinating area to visit and the information centre was full of useful information! The price seemed a little steep - $80 for a family of four as the boys breezed in and out of the exhibition but worthwhile for all the effort that has been put into the display.

Thank Myrna V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We wanted to see the Rowi Kiwis and we did! They were hidden in a dark corridor, but were actually active when we walked through. Having said that, the total experience of this centre here is quite negative. Extremely overpriced. If you want to see the hatchery you have to pay extra. Well, even if it was an extra, free thing to see, we would still feel ripped off. What you pay for is a "day-pass" but still feels very much like a ripoff! Maybe the money goes to endagered kiwis, but then say so! That would actually be ok... Now it just seems like a money machine!

Thank Anders J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2013

There are only two kiwis, and if you're quiet you'll easily see them. But to call this a wildlife centre is to stretch things a little.

If you consider that your money is going to a good cause and consider it a donation then you'll be fine - but don't expect to spend more than half an hour in here including a stop in the shop.

A lot of people have written unkind things about the glacier section. Although it does feel as though it's a little out of place with the kiwis, it was actually informative and unless you already know a lot about glaciers, you will learn something if you bother to read all the information.

A decent shop, and friendly staff - but don't be fooled into thinking that you're going to spend all day here.

Thank DanMcN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

This is a land from which dinosaurs sprang from. The mystical Pancake Rocks and blowholes,set the scene for the gigantic,rugged,forlorn landscape.
This land has attracted settlers,miners,farmers and loggers. The towns around here are no-frills,with astoundingly beautiful riverbeds,beaches and mountains threaded with walking trails and greenstone.
At the glacier towns of Fox and Franze Joseph,you experience soaring mountains,massive valleys of ice descending down into rain forests. To the south,are fur seals and penguins inhabiting beautiful beaches and forests. The Tasman Sea is a translucent shade of blue.
Be prepared for rain,swirling mist and cold winter winds alternating with warm,clear days. You can experience icy blasts of wind flowing down the Grey River valley to the sea. You must take the glacier flight or you will regret it forever!!
If you are driving,get to Buller River,where the jet-boat experience will thrill you to the max,while you shoot through the deep gorge below the mountain peaks.
Fabulous countryside.....always keep your warm protective cloths with you as the changes can and do happen quickly.

Thank Eli B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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