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West Coast Wildlife Centre

#8 of 32 things to do in Franz Josef Features Animals
Cnr Cowan & Cron Streets, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7886, New Zealand
+64 3-752 0600
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Franz Josef Wildlife Centre Admission with Backstage Pass Option
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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 !.
  • Excellent34%
  • Very good32%
  • Average17%
  • Poor10%
  • Terrible7%
Travellers talk about
“eggs” (20 reviews)
Closed Now
All hours
Hours Today: 11:00 - 19:00
Suggested Duration: < 1 hour
Cnr Cowan & Cron Streets, Franz Josef, Westland National Park (Te Wahipounamu) 7886, New Zealand
+64 3-752 0600
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Reviews (568)
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11 - 20 of 568 reviews

Reviewed 19 May 2017

Want to know all about kiwis? This is the place to visit. You can see these delightful birds close up. The Centre also has a wonderful kiwi preservation program and deserves supporting.

Thank Denise M
Reviewed 4 May 2017 via mobile

Admission is expensive considering it took us less than an hour to go through the centre. However I appreciated the kiwi exhibit. Unlike the one I saw it Rotorua where they were behind glass walls, the West Coast Wildlife Centre set up is open, the...More

Thank leetb
Reviewed 30 April 2017

We got to see 2 Kiwis and learn about them. They also have portions about the glacier and the west coast. We found it to be a little more expensive than what we got out of it. It is a great way to support the...More

Thank Schroeder1017
Reviewed 25 April 2017

A nice place to see kiwis up close and learn about their lives/habitat etc. They also had a great display explaining the glaciers and the area. Kids enjoyed it - a good place to fill some time.

Thank 435melinam
Reviewed 18 April 2017

My wife and I entered and had the $38 each (76 for a couple) for a walk through the Kiwi exhibit seemed high. We could have taken the "Backstage pass) for $58 each ($116 for a couple) that included the walk through the Kiwi exhibit...More

Thank Macca M
Reviewed 17 April 2017

We popped in here as we had some time to kill owing to the bad weather over the glaciers. Really good experience to learn about the wildlife conservation efforts and how seriously it is taken, seeing a Kiwi too was also cool. Can't help but...More

Thank DJOswald
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2017

Thanks for taking the time to place a review and glad you enjoyed your visit. The Rowi kiwi that you saw to be honest are not just any kiwi but the rarest kiwi on the planet - 3 times rarer than the Giant Panda to...More

Reviewed 17 April 2017

These adorable little kiwi are being raised till they get large enough to go out in the wild, however this place feels like it is collecting and raising the animals to exploit them. The staff willing to shine a red-light torch at the poor birds...More

Thank ljbirkinhead
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 18 April 2017

Appreciate you taking the time to place a review but concerned about your comments. All our kiwi are hatched in the facility by a dedicated and professional team - and then go back into the wild -so i'm not really sure how you would feel...More

Reviewed 14 April 2017 via mobile

Visiting when there are no chicks means you are spending 38 bucks per person for the opportunity to see 3 kiwis scampering around in a very dark room. The remainder of the attraction does not take up much time to view and therefore you do...More

Thank Sarah H
Reviewed 11 April 2017

Way too expensive for what you get. Admission into the centre to see one tiny kiwi bird in a dark room. You can barely see the kiwi bird. The information is average. I recommend you spend your money elsewhereMore

Thank Jayde M
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 11 April 2017

Hi Jayde Dissapointed of course by your comments and i'm guessing that NZ Wildlife is not really for you ? Our attraction is best suited for the guests who really wants to spend some time looking, listening and taking their time to discover how we...More

Reviewed 9 April 2017

A great way to see and learn about kiwis as they are being bred to release and increase the population. Also some interesting information on the nearby glaciers.More

Thank dotcrom
Rich651000, Manager at West Coast Wildlife Centre, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2017

Thanks for the 5 Star review and delighted that you appreciate the conservation work that is taking place as we work really hard in partnership with the Department of Conservation to save the critically endangered Rowi Kiwi. Enjoy the rest of your time on the...More

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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Darren G
hi id like a refund due to spending $38 for 3 minutes at the 'wildlife center' and after the lady with a large build, around the age of 30, had an awful unprofessional attituded and was rude. very disappointed. please can you process a full refund for me and my partner, or guide me to where I can obtain this. thanks in advance. Darren
14 March 2017|
Answer Show all 2 answers
Response from Rich651000 | Property representative |
Hi Darren Richard here -I'm the GM. Really surprised -to be very honest -by your comments -but no issue at all for a full refund. Take a picture of your receipt and I'd be happy to provide a refund immediately. Email to... More
Darren G
hi, today I visited the center, and was out the exit within 3 minutes. this being much smaller than I thought, and a major disappointment, being that I barely saw a kiwi bird, I enquired about a refund as I felt $38 was very overpriced. The woman who answered was extremely abrupt and had an awful attitude, she was the lady with a larger build. I would like to enquire about a refund still, or if you could please direct me to a manager. thanks in advance, Darren
14 March 2017|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from David M | Reviewed this property |
There were three Kiwis in the special enclosure, you had to allow your eyes to get used to the darkness. I had asked all these questions before I went in and my expectations were already set. I accepted that the fee went... More
Diana S
What wildlife do you have
18 April 2016|
Response from Rich651000 | Property representative |
We hatch the rowi kiwi and the Haast tokoeka kiwi and you are guaranteed to see kiwi in the open and very natural nocturnal house.