Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Admission
Wellington, New Zealand
- Exhibition: Discover the scale and scope of Zealandia's vision in an interactive gallery of graphics, timelines, and videos explaining the ecological heritage of New Zealand, its gradual deterioration, and how it can be restored.
- Rare animals: See native species like the Wellington Green Gecko, the Cook Strait giant weta insect, the colorful stitchbird, the 200 million-year-old Tuatara lizard, and the extremely rare whitehead bird, brought back from the edge of extinction.
- Vegetation: Nearly 80 percent of New Zealand's plants and trees can't be found anywhere else, and you'll see examples like the vibrant purple fuchsia tree, the elegant silver fern, and the pretty white and yellow clematis flower.
About This Wellington Tour
About 80 million years ago, the strip of land that would become New Zealand broke away from Gondwana, prehistoric Earth's southernmost supercontinent.
This island chunk was about ten times bigger than the present-day country. As the body of water that is now the Tasman Sea grew larger, the island became increasingly isolated, especially from one major class of animal: Mammals. Free from human interference, big-cat predators, and disease-spreading rodents, the land mass called Zealandia developed much differently than the rest of the globe.
But around the beginning of the 14th century, humans arrived on the island, bringing pests, feline predators, and domesticated dogs – upsetting the delicate ecological balance. Through exclusion fences, careful animal handling, and the restoration of native trees, Zealandia is attempting to restore that balance. It's estimated that the project will take five centuries to complete, which might sound like a while – but considering they're trying to turn back the clock tens of millions of years, Zealandia is making pretty good time.
In nightmares, it also eats the hand
At about eight inches long, the giant weta is the world's largest insect, and looks like it belongs in a sci-fi movie – terrifying people with a fear of creepy crawlies. It's an example of the phenomenon known as "island gigantism," in which creatures isolated from mainland predators grow larger – until those predators somehow arrive. Then they're too big to miss, and vanish. The biggest weta ever recorded was found in 2011; it weighed three times as much as a mouse and ate an entire carrot out of a scientist's hand.
Please make your way to 53 Waiapu Rd, Karori, Wellington to begin your adventure.
This tour offers independent exploration, giving you maximum flexibility to GoBe whatever and wherever you like and for the amount of time you wish to spend.
Travelers will need to walk roughly 0.75 mile over flat loose dirt tracks with some inclines and roughly 15 steps throughout tour.
Cultural, Tickets, Walking Tour, Wilderness/Wildlife
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for all ages.
Non-refundable if canceled within 24 hours of requested services.
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