Menu Close

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 5pm 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.

Wild Kiwi

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.
All Day 24 Hour Unlimited Pass

24 Hour General Pass – Self Guided

Visit at your own pace.See live Kiwi and live Tuatara and re-visit the attraction as many
times as you like within a 24-hour period for no additional charge.
Learn more
Book Tickets

Tuatara Backstage Pass Tour

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.
Learn more
Book Tickets

VIP Backstage Passes Tour
Lake Matheson

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

Book online

Award Winning

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!

Cafe Wild

Cafe Wild

Wild West Shop

Wild West Shop

West Coast Story Telling

West Coast Story Telling