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Zealandia

Visit this protected eco-park for a taste of pre-historic New Zealand before the arrival of humans.

The overarching goal of Wellington eco-park Zealandia is to return the 225 hectares on which it sits to its natural state prior to the arrival of human settlers. The enclosed park was formerly known as Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, and is now home to some of the country's rarest and most elusive creatures, such as the flightless kiwi, the prehistoric-looking tuatara and the saddleback bird. Located within Wellington's city limits, the sanctuary perimeter is ringed by protective fencing, which is designed to keep out predators.

Before you launch into your exploration of the park itself, take the time to walk around the visitor centre. With two floors of multimedia exhibits on New Zealand's natural heritage, you'll get a great introduction to what you are about to see.

Now for a tour of the park; you can either take off on a self-guided tour or join one of the guided tours on offer. With over 32 kilometres of trails varying in difficulty, you can spend hours simply wandering amidst the local wildlife. The majority of the park's creatures live in the wild, though some are housed in protective enclosures of their own.

If you fancy something a little more adventurous, you could try one of Zealandia's nocturnal tours. These tours are conducted by torchlight and allow you to observe park inhabitants that are more active at night time. Take in the sights and distinctive sounds of animals foraging for food and calling out across the night during your journey back to nocturnal nature. These tours must be booked in advance and involve an additional fee. More information on walking tours, trails and guided tours can be found on Zealandia's official website, so check here before your visit.

Zealandia eco-park is located just 2 kilometres from Wellington city centre. It is situated along a number of bus routes, and there is also a free shuttle bus. Again, check the website for details of pick-up points and the shuttle schedule. If you decide to drive, there is free parking on site, and the park is open every day except for Christmas Day.

Popular Activities at Zealandia

Get the most out of your time spent at Zealandia. Here is a list of some of the best things to do:

Do you want to make your visit that much more unique? An After-Dark Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary Tour and a Zealandia Nature Sanctuary Daytime Walking Tour are both worth looking into.

For even more activities, examine our Wellington things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Zealandia


Map

Top Zealandia Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 168 properties near Zealandia
Rydges Wellington NZ$179
Rydges Wellington

Rydges Wellington

75 Featherston St, Wellington
     
    4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Old Government Buildings, Wellington Central Business District, and Wellington Waterfront. Beehive and St Paul's Cathedral are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is only a 3-minute walk.

    ibis Wellington NZ$111
    ibis Wellington

    ibis Wellington

    153 Featherston St, Wellington
       
      3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Wellington, this hotel is steps from Lambton Quay, Wellington Central Business District, and Wellington Waterfront. Old Government Buildings and Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station) are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 6 minutes by foot.

      James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor NZ$143
      James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

      James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor

      147 The Terrace, Wellington
         
        4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly Wellington hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of St Paul's Cathedral, Carter Observatory, and Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand). Old St Paul's and Botanic Gardens are also within 1 mi (2 km). Wellington Station is 10 minutes by foot.

        The Setup on Manners NZ$94
        The Setup on Manners

        The Setup on Manners

        57, Manners Street, Te Aro, Wellington
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Te Aro, this eco-friendly apartment building is steps from The Opera House, Cuba Street Mall, and Wellington Central Business District. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 18 minutes by foot.

          Novotel Wellington NZ$151
          Novotel Wellington

          Novotel Wellington

          133 The Terrace, Wellington
             
            4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station) and Wellington Central Business District. Beehive and Old Government Buildings are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 10 minutes by foot.

            Boulcott Suites NZ$158
            Boulcott Suites

            Boulcott Suites

            5 O'Reily Ave, Wellington
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Te Aro, this luxury apartment building is within a 10-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District, Cuba Street Mall, and Victoria University of Wellington. Wellington Waterfront and Te Papa (Museum of New Zealand) are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 17 minutes by foot.

              Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman NZ$103
              Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman

              Mercure Wellington Abel Tasman

              169 Willis St, Wellington
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Te Aro, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District and Cuba Street Mall. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 18 minutes by foot.

                Willis Wellington Hotel NZ$96
                Willis Wellington Hotel

                Willis Wellington Hotel

                355 Willis St, Wellington
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Aro Valley, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Wellington Central Business District and Cuba Street Mall. Civic Square and Courtenay Place are also within 1 mi (2 km). Wellington Station is 28 minutes by foot.