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Zealandia

A fascinating eco-attraction that takes you back in history to explore prehistoric New Zealand.

Once known as the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary, Zealandia, a huge walled wildlife sanctuary has a 500-year vision to recreate this area as it was before the arrival of human settlers. Spreading across a vast 225 hectares, this space is home to some of the rarest insects, birds and reptiles to be found in New Zealand, including the prehistoric tuatara, the kiwi, and the saddleback bird.

Located in a valley within the outer reaches of Wellington, Zealandia is contained within a fence specifically designed to keep away unwanted pests and dangerous predators. Start off at the Visitor Centre, which has multimedia exhibits and interactive displays which will teach you all about the country's natural history.

The sanctuary also boasts 32 kilometres of trails, perfect for taking a self-guided walk or for joining a guided tour to see the site’s main attractions. There are easy walks over wheelchair and buggy-friendly terrain and more challenging treks into the hills, so there’s something for everyone. Most animals here roam free, though some are kept in protective enclosures.

To see how the animals behave at night, there’s a nocturnal tour through the bush and wetlands. Pick up a torch and head out through the valley where you may see kiwi birds and many other animals that prefer to wander around at night. Keep an ear open for the sounds of animals foraging and birds calling.

Nocturnal tours have to be booked in advance and there’s an extra charge. More information on the guided tours and suggested walking itineraries is available on the attraction's website.

Located about two kilometres from the city centre, Zealandia is served by bus routes as well as by a free shuttle bus. Visit Zealandia's website for details. If you’re coming by car, free parking is available. Zealandia is open daily but closed on 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 175 properties near Zealandia
Rydges Wellington AU$166
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.

    James Cook Hotel Grand Chancellor AU$120
    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.

      ibis Wellington AU$106
      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.

        Willis Wellington Hotel AU$88
        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.

          The Setup on Manners AU$101
          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 AU$143
            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.

              DoubleTree by Hilton Wellington AU$173
              DoubleTree by Hilton Wellington

              DoubleTree by Hilton Wellington

              Corner of Lambton Quay and Grey Street, 28 Grey Street, Wellington, NZ
                 
                4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Wellington, this luxury hotel is steps from Lambton Quay, Wellington Cable Car (Lambton Quay Station), and Wellington Central Business District. Civic Square and Old Government Buildings are also within 10 minutes. Wellington Station is 9 minutes by foot.

                Mercure Wellington Central City Hotel and Apartments AU$89
                Mercure Wellington Central City Hotel and Apartments

                Mercure Wellington Central City Hotel and Apartments

                130 Victoria Street, Wellington
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Te Aro, this hotel is steps from 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.