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“A Must. Save the Rowi”

West Coast Wildlife Centre
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$28.07*
and up
Franz Josef Wildlife Center Adm with Optional...
Ranked #12 of 34 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 February 20, 2014 via mobile

Take the behind the scene package to get a real sense of the effort being made to boost the population of the endangered Rowi kiwi.

Even at the end of the breeding season we were able to see two chicks, one of which was about to depart on its next stage. Asleep they resembled the tribbles from the original series of Star Trek. The next stage is to introduce them into a predator free environment until they become "stoat proof" when they return.

A great endeavour. Go Rowi Kiwi!!

Thank SueKot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"kiwi birds"
in 46 reviews
"backstage tour"
in 39 reviews
"behind the scenes"
in 37 reviews
"eggs"
in 25 reviews
"live kiwi"
in 18 reviews
"red light"
in 14 reviews
"conservation work"
in 13 reviews
"baby kiwi"
in 12 reviews
"breeding program"
in 9 reviews
"endangered species"
in 9 reviews
"nocturnal house"
in 8 reviews
"admission fee"
in 8 reviews
"darkened room"
in 8 reviews
"their natural habitat"
in 8 reviews
"behind glass"
in 8 reviews
"the main attraction"
in 7 reviews
"souvenir shop"
in 8 reviews
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529 - 533 of 711 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2014 via mobile

The work being done at this centre merits a lot of support. The Rowi Kiwi is a rare species and has been decimated by human-introduced species such as stoats. Visiting this place helps to make amends.

Eggs are collected, incubated and the chicks raised until large enough to go to predator free islands. The behind-the-scenes ticket is worth the additional price. Enthusiasm abounds. At the end of the breeding season there were only two chicks in situ. The information was excellent.

Thank BrucknerTheMaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014

All the money one can spend in Franz Josef on overpriced food and accommodations, why not see the Rowi Kiwi, very rare. Spring for the backstage pass to go downstairs to listen to and talk with the ranger. See the chicks they are raising. Find out why their work is important to save the Rowi. Yes, the glacier section has cheesy plastic models, but you can learn about the glacier if you read and listen. Much cheaper than a 20 minute helicopter ride and about the same price as dinner for two in Franz Josef.

Thank GailCheryl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2014

A trip to New Zealand would not be complete without seeing Kiwi's --- knowing they are nocturnal and elusive we stopped to tour the kiwi's in as natural a viewing area as could be provided by the centre. The area is open, and quite dark but be patient, you will see them. We saw one adult and 3 chicks. We stood beside the adult enclosure for quite a long time, just tapping the wooden fence on the visitor side and finally the adult male came right up to where we were, stretched himself up as tall as he could, to check out the tapping -- quite sure in his mind it had to be a bug or worm worthy of his attention. Now that was up close & we got a good look at him.
The centre is quite small but has alot of information and abit pricey. As these kiwi's are endangered ---- take your time, enjoy and consider the fee as a donation!!

1  Thank panbk4g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 19, 2014

This place was a great place to visit to see the kiwis. It is worth a visit. Good place to go if the weather suddenly turns bad (Which happens regularly around this area)

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

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