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 !.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Admission tickets
from HK$183.62
All you need to step foot in the door.
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  • Kor M
    Brisbane, Australia191 contributions
    Expensive, and more of a museum than wildlife centre
    The facility is well designed and the kiwi and tuatara displays are professionally presented, but this wildlife centre needs a bit more wildlife to be worth $36 per adult. To be fair, a blackboard outside the centre advised us before entry that we could expect to see two rowi kiwi and seven or eight tuatara (I think we saw two of the latter), so I’m not suggesting we weren’t warned in advance. The displays were interesting and informative but just lacking in critters. It was more like a museum than a wildlife centre, and frankly, quite overpriced.
    Thanks for taking the time to place a review -your visit is helping fund us to continue our work to bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the very edge of extinction.As the South Island’s largest kiwi incubation and 🐣 hatching facility the team -in partnership with the Department of Conservation has successfully hatch 385 rowi kiwi -there are less than 600 left alive in the wild today. You may have missed out backstage pass tours which to be frank are pretty amazing 🤩 or our Wild West Coast or Glacier attractions and many films. Enjoy the rest of your time in beautiful Franz Josef 🙏
    Written 18 December 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2022
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 December 2022
  • Wilma
    80 contributions
    Dissapointing
    Excited to see the kiwis. $25 entrance fee after4pm. However it was really disappointing. It was so dark that you couldn’t see the kiwis clearly. There were no staff to point them out in the enclosure either. There were some information boards and films to view and a small reptile enclosure. All in all it was very poor. I’m just glad I didn’t pay the full price!
    Kia ora Cariadda Thank you for taking the time to place a review and disappointed that you did not get to see our baby kiwi’s clearly . You purchased a discounted ticket at 4pm from a 3rd party website. The staff from where you collected your discount ticket have an infa-red torch and would have been delighted to take you back into our nocturnal house to help you achieve a better viewing experience.Kiwi are of course nocturnal and it can take at least 5 minutes to sit and wait until your eyes become accustomed to the dark . To be honest our facility is best suited to the visitor that is willing and able to take their time.The more you put into the attraction the more you will get out of it. The great news is that all tickets are valid for 48 hours so do on back in tomorrow and we would be delighted to help show you around ! 🙏
    Written 24 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 19 February 2023
  • julieheron
    Maidenhead, United Kingdom201 contributions
    Kiwis if you can see them
    Quite pricey for a below average experience. Only 2 kiwis and could hardly see them as so dark. Rest of the indoor experience was self navigated and very basic . No staff at all and Would have made a huge difference to have a couple of humans talking you through it all to bring it to life … . For €36 each felt very underwhelming… don’t bother …
    Kia ora Julian Thank you for placing a review but clearly our attraction was not for you ! Seeing highly endangered NZ Wildlife requires you to take your time to stop,look,read ,listen and engage .Our attraction is designed to be self guided but it sounds like you were looking for our VIP fully guided backstage pass tour -which includes your 48 hour entry ticket. The price is NZ $36 for 48 hours -and not of course 36 Euro’s .You must have missed seeing our Tuatara Encounter,Glacier Attraction,Predator Free 2050 film and Wild West Coast stories.Fell free to take full advantage of your 48 hour unlimited entry pass and we invite you to revisit us and take a much closer look ..🙏
    Written 24 February 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 21 February 2023
  • Marilyn M
    Columbia, Maryland134 contributions
    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
  • southernfoodieadel
    Adelaide, Australia11 contributions
    Don’t waste your time or money
    The biggest waste of time and money, at $36.00 it was very underwhelming and outdated. Upon entry the two bird were active however you’d have to have night vision to see them understanding they need a dark environment however based on other environments similar they use lighting that the animals could cope with the allow some vision otherwise your looking at dirt and sticks. The other area with lizards again not entertaining in any respect, the set up and presentations overall were outdated and underwhelming. We would not recommend, save your money.
    Thank you for placing a review but clearly seeing highly endangered NZ Wildlife was not of interest to you. Our TripAdvisor traveller choice 2023 award-winning facility -is best suited to those guests who are prepared to take their time -as the more you put into our attraction the more you will get out of it - just like life really. Our national icon - the kiwi is a nocturnal bird and as such you need to take your time for you to allow your eyes to adjust to the dark. The great news is that our friendly team have special infra-red torches that they use for those guests that struggle in this area - to ensure that everybody gets to see these incredible birds. There are no places in NZ you will ever kiwi in normal daylighting but our reception team are always available to help. Great news! - Your ticket is valid for unlimited entry over a 48-hour period so please do drop back in again and we would be delighted to take you personally through our award-winning attraction to see our wildlife. The 7 live Tuatara ( not lizards as they are the last survivors of an order of reptiles that thrived in the age of the dinosaurs.) are unique to NZ and pretty incredible. None of our NZ wildlife is "entertaining" as we are not like Disney I'm afraid. Perhaps you missed our Glacier Attraction, Predator Free 2050 new films, wild west coast storytelling areas, or fully guided backstage pass tours. Do enjoy the rest of your time in Franz Josef.
    Written 16 August 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 August 2023
  • Happymumof4
    7 contributions
    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
  • Pumpkin20
    Bathurst, Australia350 contributions
    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
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
1,032 reviews
Excellent
395
Very good
293
Average
169
Poor
94
Terrible
81

Brian R
Greystones, Ireland6 contributions
Nov 2023 • Solo
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.
Written 2 December 2023
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.

Maria W
1 contribution
Nov 2023 • Couples
Lovely to see the two juvenile kiwis and learn how the eggs are collected and the young birds released back into the wild. The glacier exhibition and tuatara enclosure were also interesting. There is also a shop and cafe. Good to know that the proceeds go towards saving the kiwi.
Written 18 November 2023
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 Maria for the 5 star review and your interest in the work we all do -in partnership with the Department of Conservation-to help bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the very edge of extinction.Your monies spent really help us continue with the valuable conservation work the team are proudly engaged in.Enjoy the rest of your time in Franz Josef and thank you for choosing to spend some of your vacation time with us.🙏
Written 19 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Matt K
Puerto Rico5 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
I really liked this. We did the standard package and got to see live Kiwi’s. Plus a ton of great exhibits and information. Highly recommended if you want to see a kiwi up close!
Written 18 November 2023
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 Matt for your 5 star review and the team and I are really pleased that you enjoyed your visit.Our attraction best suits those guests that are prepared to take the time to explore and are really inquisitive to discover NZ’s rarest of precious wildlife.Thank you for sharing your visit with future visitors.👍🙏
Written 19 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Patguada
Le Gosier, Guadeloupe13 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Just wonderful ! Everything concerning the kiwis way of life is clearly explained and the guide Steve is amazing ! He knows his subject very well and is highly capable of transmitting his love for the birds .
Also what the center is doing for the wild life is great …
There were nearly no kiwi anymore on earth and thanks to them there are a few now and a little more each year 👍
If you happen to be on the West Coast in New Zealand, this is a must : you have to go to the wildlife Centre!
Written 18 November 2023
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 for the 5 star rating 👍🙏.Steve is a wonderful kiwi ranger and the team work really hard -in partnership with The Department of Conservation-to help bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the very edge of extinction.Really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with future guests.
Written 19 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tyson V
5 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Informative backstage tour with Steve. Steve is very knowledgeable about kiwis & wildlife in NZ. Happy to answer all your questions.

Great cafe with a variety of food & drink inc venison pies & sweet potato fries!

Bookme usually has the deal at a cheaper rate then walk in tickets! Enjoy!
Written 16 November 2023
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 for the 5 star review and delighted that you enjoyed your visit and tour with Steve 👍🙏 Really appreciate your shout out for our cafe and food as the team here are often our forgotten heroes 😁. Enjoy the rest of your time here in Franz Josef !!
Written 18 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Graham T
Clare Valley, Australia35 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
Having spent over 9 days in New Zealand with two of our very best friends, self drive holiday we arrived in Franz Joesf, an amazing village at the bottom of the franz josef
glazier, after having spent two days tracking both Fj glazier and the Fox Glazier, we decided to attend the Wild Life Centre, main square. what a great decision, to see two amazing young Kiwi - in their natural habitat. The centre itself outstanding, with cafe. gift shop, the kiwi enclosure amazing, you can spend as long as you want watching these little birds do their thing. After all that you get to walk through a glazier exhibit with all relevant data and facts and at the end of the tour there is a Tuatara Exhibit - again something extra - lizard like creatures who remain perfectly still under their heat lamps. We had a most enjoyable visit, the staff only willing to help and provide as much information as possible, and if the kiwi are hiding the staff can encourage them out for a viewing - all in all outstanding - no government funding which beggers belief given this centre is raring kiwi and placing them back into the wild once big enough to fend of predators. Please attend and support them.
Written 5 November 2023
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 experience and delighted that you really enjoyed your visit.It is really humbling for the team to hear your feedback and with yours and other help we are all working hard to bring the worlds rarest kiwi back from the very edge of extinction.Your visit really makes a difference .Thank you again for your amazing support.🙏👍
Written 11 November 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Pumpkin20
Bathurst, Australia350 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
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.
Written 22 October 2023
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.
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.

Helen
Brisbane, Australia12 contributions
Oct 2023 • Solo
Massively overpriced and I'm not sure how you can call yourself a wildlife sanctuary with 4 animals, 2 of which you couldn't see because they're in the dark. It does not take 2 hours to go through the exhibit, it took 10 minutes, 8 of those minutes were taken trying to see the kiwis in the dark
Written 11 October 2023
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.
Kia ora Helen Thank you for placing a review and disappointed by your feedback of course but it seems as if our facility was not for you . Kiwi are our nocturnal National bird and are only visible in an encounter in the dark. You do need to invest at least 5 minutes getting your eyes used to the dark -but if you are prepared to do this then the experience is truly magical . The great news is that our team have Infa red torches and take guests back into the encounter if they struggle to get their eyes adjusted to the dark. It’s a pretty unique and special viewing experience given that seeing our kiwi is as rarer as seeing giant panda in the wild ! Perhaps you missed seeing our 7 Tuatara -our glacier attraction. -our Predator Free 2050 display -the West Coast story telling areas or our VIP Backstage Pass Tours ? It’s great news that your ticket is valid for 48 hours multiple re-entry so do drop back in and take a closer look 👍👍
Written 17 October 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

lilkyoote
1 contribution
Oct 2023 • Friends
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!
Written 1 October 2023
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 ! 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.

Happymumof4
Wollongong, Australia7 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
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.
Written 28 September 2023
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 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.

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