West Coast Wildlife Centre, Franz Josef
(3.1/5 based on 440+ reviews on the web)
Home to rare rowi kiwi birds, West Coast Wildlife Centre offers interactive experiences and a behind-the-scenes look at an award-winning hatching and incubation program. A popular all-weather attraction, this sanctuary provides a range of family-oriented activities, including self-guided nature walks, kid-friendly tours, and storytelling performances. The rarest of New Zealand's rare kiwi birds, the flightless rowi remains a critically endangered species, with less than 400 individual birds left in the wild. With the Franz Josef Glacier as a backdrop, this sanctuary is the only place in New Zealand where you can see this nocturnal animal in its natural setting. The onsite gift shop sells books, toys, and souvenirs. Arrange your visit to West Coast Wildlife Centre and discover more family-friendly attractions in Franz Josef using our Franz Josef vacation builder.
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26 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM IRELAND March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Franz Josef BY A USER FROM JAPAN March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in New Zealand & Sydney SEE PLAN May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 17 days in New Zealand & Sydney SEE PLAN May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 15 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA September, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, teens, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 22 days in South Island BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: April, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 36 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS March, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 35 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in South Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA March, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in South Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, outdoors, popular PREFERENCES: March, outdoors ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Wildlife Centre is a public/private joint initiative; it is great that communities come together to care for wildlife in such ventures. The central attraction is the rare kiwis; three 6month olds ...  more »
  • The regular entrance fee is higher than expected. There's a "dark room" to see the kiwis which are nocturnal birds. We did see three kiwis scratching about in the dark in their habitat but they were h...  more »
  • We did the backstage pass at the West Coast Wildlife centre and had a brilliant time viewing the incubators, recently hatched chicks and hearing all about the program that has been developed for the R...  more »
Google
  • DO NOT GO HERE!!! It is a COMPLETE RIP-OFF!!! First you will have an owner or manager try to hard-push sell you on a back-stage pass for $58 which was extremely off-putting. They even tried to pitch the cafe and gift shop as part of the deal. So the experience is: 1. You walk through a small gate and go through a door into a night room with little lighting where there are two kiwis you can't even touch. The room was so poorly lit I barely see the kiwis' features. The older folk next to me couldn't even see the kiwis when they were even a metre in front of them. You may get to hear two other baby kiwis but good luck being able to see them with the low-lit lighting. They don't even let you take pictures, probably so people can't prove how bad of an experience it is. 2. You then walk into this area that is supposed to look like a glacier with a few tvs, a couch or two and descriptions on walls about Franz Josef. 3. End of tour! Total time of experience: 15 minutes There are many other places I'd rather spend $38 in Franz Josef. Trust me... this is a waste of time. I don't know what else you would do with a 24 hour pass when it takes a maximum of 20 minutes to look around. And I'm not too sure who is propping up these reviews, maybe friends and family of theirs and rich tourists who don't mind throwing money at the walls.
  • My first ever time seeing a baby Kiwi so its somewhat a special occasion. They make good use of the little space they have to showcase everything you need to know about kiwi's as well an equivalent geography lesson on glaciers, teaching me words such as a Moulin, firn, crevasses etc. If u take your time, you can easily stay here for an hour :) In response to the reviewer regarding the cost, I would say it's $35 well spent as the money will help towards their conservation programme.
  • First the birds become extinct. Because they killed almost all forrest in NZ an now they charge backbackers $35 to see 2 Birds. What a rip-off. Like everywhere you go in rip-off NZ.
  • Great place to get close to the elusive Kiwi. Entry price helps to support their breeding and incubation program to get more Rowi Kiwis into the wild. Very informative displays to fill you in on everything Kiwi and Franz Josef related. Recommended
  • Pricey, but you so get to see a Kiwi... which, even most NZ natives haven't seen in person.