Visit ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary and connect with nature

The ‘Windy City’ is located at the southwestern tip on the North Island of New Zealand. Wellington is a compact city surrounded by a waterfront promenade, sandy beaches, a working harbour, and hills.

Connect with nature right in the heart of Wellington

Beyond the Wellington CBD lies ZEALANDIA Te Māra a Tāne. This park is a visionary trailblazer with a 500-year vision to restore the original state of pre-human New Zealand forests. ZEALANDIA is the first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary in the world, with a 500-year vision, and only minutes from New Zealand’s lively central Wellington. ZEALANDIA is managed by a not-for-profit NZ organisation committed to continuing the world-renowned conservation success of the sanctuary.

What can I see and experience in ZEALANDIA?

Red-crowned parakeet in Zealandia.

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ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary is home to New Zealand’s most unique and extraordinary species of native wildlife and native plants. With over 500 acres of wildlife sanctuary valley walking tracks to explore and experience, there is something for every member of your family. The mission of the wildlife sanctuary is to connect visitors from across the globe and everyday Kiwis with nature whilst helping rare, native animals and birds flourish in the Wellington region through their world-class conservation efforts.

You’ll find plenty to discover at ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary. Visitors generally spend 2-3 hours in the nature reserve, but we suggest you make a day of it! Take your time in the great outdoors while exploring – stop and listen for native birds that may be hiding in the trees, just out of sight.

Beautiful looking Tui bird.

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ZEALANDIA is possibly the most biodiversity-rich region of New Zealand in terms of wildlife species. So grab a map to discover ZEALANDIA with self-guided free tours of the sanctuary. Walk amongst the 40+ rare wildlife species of birds, reptiles, and native trees at your own pace. Or, join a guided tour where you can enjoy the rare sight of many birds such as the takahe, whitehead, hihi, bellbird, and the wētā—a giant flightless cricket – all in the beautiful native New Zealand bushland.

Although ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary is outdoors, a large portion of the wildlife sanctuary is wheelchair accessible and friendly to deaf and blind visitors and other impairments. Even welcome service dogs are welcome!

Relaxing view of bridge over ZEALANDIA lake with a background rainbow.

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Visiting the incredible ZEALANDIA sanctuary requires sustenance! Enjoy a break at Rātā Café – an amazing spot to relax outside surrounded by lush forest and rare birdlife. Explore their local, organic, free-range and sustainably sourced delicious food menu for breakfast, lunch or anything in between.

 Table with amazing appetizing food and wine.

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For the adventurous thrill-seekers, why not stay until the evening and explore New Zealand’s native wildlife and lush forest on a fascinating night tour of the ZEALANDIA eco-sanctuary? Embrace your nocturnal side and watch how the sanctuary transforms at night. Navigate the park by torchlight and keep your eyes peeled to spot wildlife such as glow worms, morepork, the Maud Island frog, prehistoric reptiles like the tuatara, and the ever-elusive NZ bird, the little spotted kiwi.

Close up picture of a kiwi bird.

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*Fun fact: there are 18 species of native wildlife in the Zealandia Eco-sanctuary previously absent for more than 100 years in mainland New Zealand; see if you can spot any of them during your wilderness walk.

How much does it cost?

Sanctuary ticket prices for adults are NZD 23, and children under 5 go FREE. Children from 5 to 17 years cost $10. A family of 2 adults and up to 3 children pay $50, and seniors and students pay $21.

Discover Zealandia Ecosanctuary daily between 9 am and 5 pm, with the last entry at 4 pm.

If you’re in town, you can take a free shuttle bus from outside Wellington’s CBD i-SITE office for drop off and pick up at the top of the ZEALANDIA Cable Car.

Book a rental car today for easy transport!

Upon arrival at the Wellington Airport, our transfer services will take you to our Pegasus Rental Cars  Wellington branch. The drive from there to ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary takes under 20 minutes. So you and your family will have plenty of time to explore the scenery, lush forest and rare, native wildlife of one of our greatest New Zealand attractions and conservation successes on the North Island. We can’t wait to see you!