Meet and discover New Zealand’s rarest kiwi, the rowi, at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef.
Kia ora !
We are New Zealand’s most successful public/private partnership with The Department of Conservation & Te Runanga o Makaawhio -and we warmly welcome guests to visit of all ages and all abilities.
As an indoor, all-weather attraction, we are open from 8.30 am to 5 pm every day of the year ( except Xmas Day ), the West Coast Wildlife Centre is a unique and interactive experience that brings together nature, conservation and wildlife all under one roof!
So much to see and do !.
Our conservation hub is fun for all ages to explore and takes place against the stunning backdrop of the Franz Josef Glacier.
Tip* – The VIP Fully Guided Backstage Pass Tour is highly recommended by all our team! Booking essential.
The Attraction – It’s Self Guided.
Some guests take 30 minutes others take 2-3 hours to visit – so we suggest you take your time.
Take a self-guided tour of our indoor attraction and see live young Rowi kiwi in our natural bush walkthrough, discover highly endangered Tuatara, or purchase our famous VIP Guided Backstage Pass Tour to get a ﬁrst-hand, behind the scenes look at our hatching and incubation programme combined with our Tuatara Encounter.
The more you put into the attraction the more you will get out of it. Just like life really.
Don’t miss our Fox and Franz Josef Glacier experience, or Wild West Coast storytelling, to discover the incredible stories and pioneering spirit that brought explorers over to the Glaciers in the past, and still does so to this very day.
Did You Know?
- Rowi are a nationally vulnerable threatened species with less than 600 remaining in the wild.
- There are even less of the Haast tokoeka with less than 400 in the Haast sanctuary making them a nationally critical threatened species.
- Kiwi lay HUGE eggs, about 20% of the female’s body weight. This is the equivalent of a human giving birth to a 3-4-year-old child
- Kiwi are monogamous — they’ll only have one partner for life and won’t breed until around 4-5 years old.
- We are open every day of the year from 8.30 am daily.
VIP Guided Backstage Pass Tour
Don’t Miss this !. This ticket includes the 24 Hour General Pass.
Set aside 40 minutes for this guided tour with one of our experienced wildlife rangers.
The VIP Guided Backstage Pass Tour takes you behind the
scenes to see our kiwi hatching and incubation facility and our Tuatara Encounter.
You are permitted to take photographs. Spaces are limited ( 8 people/tour). Booking essential.
Visit both the West Coast Wildlife Centre and Lake Matheson ,book online ,and save!
Visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef and take an easy and flat walk around Lake
Matheson-near Fox Glacier – and together we will donate $4 pp (Adult & Child Tickets)
toward the Department of Conservation Omoeroa ranges rowi kiwi sanctuary project.
Over 27 Rowi kiwi have been introduced into this area helped us all bring the Rowi kiwi back
from the very edge of extinction.
Lake Matheson is a 25 minute drive south of Franz Josef and has a stunning cafe and place to
unwind and relax.
- SAVE $2 pp Adult
- SAVE $2 pp Child
Sponsor a kiwi chick
The Rowi and the Haast tokoeka are the two most endangered kiwi in the world, with less than 600 of each bird remaining. Rowi are restricted to the Okarito Forest and the Omoeroa, north of Franz Josef Glacier, and the Haast tokoeka are restricted to a small area of forest near Haast, South Westland.
Sponsoring a kiwi chick will help to save the Rowi and Haast tokoeka from extinction. Your donation will help to fund kiwi husbandry costs including kiwi food, brooder equipment, incubation equipment, and health and hygiene products.
As well as our unique indoor attraction, we also run a very popular local gift store. Looking for the best coffee in Franz Josef !. Guest tells us that our Café is a relaxing place to grab a drink and our bakery can make you a packed lunch for your day out exploring!