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ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience

Location of ZealandiaLocated just minutes from downtown Wellington, ZEALANDIA is a world-first, award winning eco-attraction.


The sanctuary’s vision is to restore its 225 hectares, as close as possible, to its original state. It is thought that it will take at least 500 years to achieve this vision.


ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience is located just minutes from downtown Wellington – 2km from the Beehive on Waiapu Road, Karori.


A pest mammal exclusion fence encircles 225 hectares of regenerating native forest that is free of mammalian pests. A further 27 hectares fall within the Trust’s management.

Organisations involved

Karori Sanctuary Trust is an independent charitable trust. The Trust receives support from, among others, the following:

Principal funders: Wellington City Council, New Zealand Government.
Principal partners: Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand Ltd.
Strategic Partners: The Department of Conservation, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington Tenths Trust.

Management history

Date Key achievement
1995 Karori Wildlife Sanctuary Trust formed
1999 Pest mammal exclusion fence built
2000 Eradication of up to 14 pest mammals species completed
2000 First release of North Island weka
2000 First release of little spotted kiwi*
2000 First release of pateke (brown teal)
2001 First release of scaup
2001 First release of North Island robin
2001 First release of North Island tomtit
2001 First release of whitehead
2001 First release of bellbird
2002 First release of North Island saddleback*
2002 First release of North Island kaka
2002 First release of kereru (wood pigeon)
2003 First little shags nesting successfully
2005 First release of hihi*
2005 First release of tuatara*
2006 First release of Maud Island frogs*
2007 First release of Cook Strait giant weta*
2009 Four juvenile karearea (NZ falcon) hatched
2009 First black shags nesting successfully
2009 First successful breeding of karearea (NZ falcon)
2010 ZEALANDIA: The Exhibition and the new Visitor and Education Centre opens to the public
2010 First pied shags nesting succesfully
2010 First release of kakariki (red-crowned parakeets)
2011 First release of takahe (advocacy pair)

* Species returned to their natural environment on the mainland of New Zealand for the first time.


Open 10am – 5pm every day except Christmas Day (last entry at 4pm).
ZEALANDIA by Night tours occur 30 minutes before sunset every evening. Booking essential.