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Address: Cnr Cowan & Cron Streets, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7886, New Zealand
Phone Number:
+64 3-752 0600
Website
Today
08:00 - 20:00
Open now
See all hours
Hours:
Sun - Sat 08:00 - 20:00
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Description:

Lonely Planet voted the West Coast Wildlife Centre in the heart

of Franz...

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 !.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 508 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 144
    Excellent
  • 148
    Very good
  • 76
    Average
  • 50
    Poor
  • 31
    Terrible
Delightful

5 weeks in NZ and no kiwi sighting, so we thought we should remedy this. The West Coast Wildlife Centre fitted the bill. Bookended by some interesting displays the centrepiece... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 1 week ago
PipPaul W
,
Buckfastleigh, United Kingdom
via mobile
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508 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 449: English reviews
New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

What a great experience. You start by seeing young kiwis and learning about their history and habitat. If you get the ticket for the ranger talk, you get even more info about the variety of kiwis and the important work they are doing to help preserve them. Well worth it!!

Helpful?
Thank AlmostAnywhere44
Virginia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The Centre is working to protect kiwis in the wild and ensure their survival. Several kiwi are on view at the Centre, and the videos and other information is interesting and helpful. Also, the Centre has good info on geology and the nearby glacier.

Helpful?
Thank TravelingGramma005
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thanks for the 5 star review and delighted that you enjoyed your visit and recognise the work the team are doing in partnership with the Department of Conservation to help save the world's rarest kiwi.The glacier and films help put this all into context and i'm delighted that you took your time to explore and discover the attraction. Enjoy the... More 

Buckfastleigh, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
273 reviews
151 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

5 weeks in NZ and no kiwi sighting, so we thought we should remedy this. The West Coast Wildlife Centre fitted the bill. Bookended by some interesting displays the centrepiece is the inner room where the kiwis - 3 of them - are housed in dark light conditions so that they are awake during our human daylight hours. You have... More 

Helpful?
Thank PipPaul W
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thank you taking the time to place a kind review and the team and i were delighted that you enjoyed your experience. Really pleased that you took advantage of our 24 hour all day pass and came back in again to see our rowi kiwi - the rarest kiwi of course in the world - with all our birds going... More 

Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited here to see a Kiwi before leaving NZ. It's $38 entry which is quite pricy. I understand that the money goes toward preserving Kiwi's (and they seem to be doing a good job of that!), but the exhibit itself is very small (in comparison to others). Probably wouldn't recommend unless it was pouring with rain outside.

Helpful?
Thank travellovex4240
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Pleased that you got to see the world's rarest kiwi before you left New Zealand and thanks for making a conservation contribution towards the work that both the Department of Conservation and our team are doing. We are not the largest attraction in New Zealand but we would like to think that the combination of seeing kiwi in a really... More 

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
328 reviews
200 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

This was a great experience.....the three juvenile kiwis were in a re-created low light environment. They were feeding, interacting with each other and did not seem stressed. Two of them spent a lot of time playing tag with each other. It did not take long for our eyes to acclimate to the low light and easily see them. There were... More 

Helpful?
Thank DJS1950
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thanks for the kind review and delighted that you enjoyed the experience and took your time to experience the West Coast Wildlife Centre. Your review really epitomises what we are trying to achieved as we are not a Disney type experience but you need to take your time to get the most out of our attraction. Great that you used... More 

Roswell, Georgia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Kiwis are nocturnal, so this was the only way we could get to see them. We were not disappointed. There were three in an enclosed, dimly lit area and after a while, two of them got into a confrontation brother and sister style. One would come up to the other and poke him with his big beak and there would... More 

Helpful?
2 Thank Waynevol81
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thanks Wayne for the review and pleased that you really enjoyed your kiwi viewing experience.It seems like this was the prime reason for your visit. Kiwi often show similar behaviour instincts to those of humans and looked like our birds were quite entertaining in this regard for your visit ! The Glacier attraction and Wild West Coast storytelling area with... More 

Level Contributor
83 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

We got to see 2 kiwis and it was amazing to finally have a look at them. The work they do to help the kiwis in the wild is remarkable so well worth a visit.

Helpful?
Thank Lavinia1001
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thanks for placing a review and delighted that you enjoyed your experience and seeing our live kiwi !. This is of course the world's rarest kiwi that you saw -and all our kiwi go back into the wild -which we think is pretty important and a really good fit with our conservation values. Appreciate the recommendation to others and enjoy... More 

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Kiwi exhibit at the West Coast Wildlife Centre was interesting, but pay the extra and go behind the scenes. You get to talk to one of the scientists involved, You can take pictures (not allowed in the public exhibit) you learn a lot and the extra money goes to supporting the kiwis. Very interesting.

Helpful?
Thank Puzzler132
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thanks for the review and for taking the Kiwi Backstage Pass Tour - it really is well worth taking the time to join this tour and delighted that you thought so ! Appreciate your support of our programme and the kiwi hatchery and the staff that take these tours are really skilled and very interesting. You are right in noting... More 

Los Altos, California
Level Contributor
105 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We had nice views of several Kiwis in the darkened viewing area. They were quite active and interesting. I also enjoyed the glacier exhibit that dominated most of the center. I know that this is expensive, but it is to help support the continuation of the Rowi, which is the most endangered of all of the Kiwis.

Helpful?
Thank ChessHiker
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thank you for taking the time to place a review and delighted that you enjoyed your experience ! Pleased that you valued our Glacier area and made the time to explore fully our attraction and support our kiwi hatching programme. In partnership with the Department of Conservation we have now hatched over 330 kiwi in the facility and with yours... More 

Basel
Level Contributor
82 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We booked a backstage tour - highly recommended as you get all the details behind their hatching program of rare rowi kiwis. During our visit we saw one rowi egg and a few days old chick! Amazing work! The ticket is valid for 24 hours, so you can get back any time to the nocturnal house to spot for the... More 

Helpful?
Thank shiketing
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your kind review and delighted that we were able to exceed your expectations ! I do remember joining the tour with you and hope that in some small way we were able to add some additional value to your visit. Really appreciate the offer of sponsoring a kiwi chick which i know the team will really... More 

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