The National Kiwi Centre Hokitika

The National Kiwi Centre is right in Hokitika town and host to some of New Zealands native wildlife.

The Centre has recreated natural habitats in which to keep live exhibits in captivity so that visitors can experience these animals and birds up close.

National Kiwi Centre, Tancred Street, Hokitika

The National Kiwi Centre, Hokitika, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand


It would be great if we could see New Zealand native wildlife living free in the wild but that is not always possible due to many being in need of conservation intervention to ensure their survival.

The National Kiwi Centre supports the survival of wildlife by helping to carefully manage healthy birds and animals to ensure national breeding programs have the diversity required for successful conservation.

The danger to native wildlife in NZ has pretty much been caused by humans and the introduction of predators that were not previously present on the islands.

Predators such as possums, stoats, rats, weasels, and ferrets have all been imported either on purpose or by accident, along with domestic dogs and cats.

Lists of New Zealand animals and birds.

National Kiwi Centre Wildlife

Kiwi, Giant Eels, Tuatara, Whitebait, and Crayfish can all be seen at Hokitika National Kiwi Centre.


Kiwis are nocturnal and the Centre has recreated this natural environment so you can interact with the birds with a wildlife keeper and learn all about Kiwi birds.

Longfin Eel

The giant eels kept at the Centre are the Longfin Eel, the largest eels in the world and can live for more than 80 years. These eels are endemic to New Zealand, they are freshwater eels, and some of them are huge. The Centre has an aquarium where they can be viewed, along with several feeding sessions daily.


Tuatara reptiles were once thought to be extinct until discovered on offshore islands. Tuataras are ancient living dinosaurs in New Zealand and a breeding programme was launched in 2005 to ensure their survival.


Koura, Freshwater Crayfish, can be fed by visitors to the Centre through a catch and release method using hook-less feeding in a pond.


A Whitebait shoal is also at The National Kiwi Centre in Hokitika. Whitebait are tiny fish that migrate up rivers yearly.

There are strict rules about fishing for wild Whitebait to provide them with protection and prevent overfishing of this valuable delicacy.

If you want to eat some look for them in the local cafes, restaurants, and fish and chip shops.

More Hokitika Attractions

More things to do in Hokitika NZ such as Hokitika Beach, glow worm dell, jade carving, galleries, walking and cycling, local festivals, and the wider West Coast Region.

Hokitika Attractions

Hokitika Walks

Hokitika Accommodation

The National Kiwi Centre Opening and Feeding Times

To find out the best time to visit, see the website for opening hours and feeding times at… The National Kiwi Centre.


In Hokitika? The address of the Centre is… The National Kiwi Centre, 64 Tancred Street, Hokitika, West Coast 7810, New Zealand.

Other Wildlife Parks

List of NZ Wildlife Parks and Reserves