Zealandia Te Mara a Tane Wildlife Sanctuary Wellington

Zealandia is an urban ecosanctuary fully enclosed in a predator proof fence just 3km from the centre of Wellington in the Karori suburb.

This groundbreaking wildlife sanctuary is a community led not for profit project under the management of Karori Sanctuary Trust.

Zealandia The Karori Sanctuary Experience - Te Mara a Tane

Zealandia The Karori Sanctuary Experience - Te Mara a Tane, Wellington urban ecosanctuary, New Zealand

Zealandia Sanctuary Project

The purpose of Zealandia Te Mara a Tane is to restore New Zealand native bush and native wildlife in the 2.5km grounds that includes a couple of old reservoirs that used to supply drinking water to the city.

The predator proof fence measures 8.6km and was designed by Karori Sanctuary Trust to exclude any non native mammals from entering the Zealandia sanctuary.

New Zealand Predator List, Problems and Solutions

Native Bush, Karori Resevoir and Electric Boat at Zealandia - Te Mara a Tane

Native Bush, Karori Resevoir and Electric Boat at Zealandia - Te Mara a Tane New Zealand

The grounds of Zealandia have been restocked with native trees and plants, eradicated of weeds, and native birds have been moved in including Tui, Morepork, Kiwi, Weka, Kaka, Bellbird, Saddleback, North Island Robin, Fantails, Whitehead, Kakariki, and South Island Takahe.

Tuatara and Weta have also been reintroduced to this environment on the mainland for the first time in more than 200 years.

Rare Native Takahē Flightless Bird

Sharp large red bill of the New Zealand Takahē bird, Zealandia Bird Sanctuary, Wellington Wildlife Reserve

Visit Zealandia Urban Ecosanctuary

It will take a few hundred years for this native forest to really mature but in the meantime you can visit Zealandia and appreciate the sounds of native birds that were witnessed by the first people to get to these islands.

Tui (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae), Native Bird at Zealandia Feeding Station

Find out more about the New Zealand Tui Bird

Tui Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, native bird at Zealandia Urban Ecosanctuary, Wellington, New Zealand

Zealandia sanctuary has about 32km of pathways to follow using their map, path conditions ranging from fairly flat to rugged. There is also an accessible route from the sanctuary entrance to almost the other end that is sealed to halfway, followed by unsealed, specifically made to be suitable for wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

I recommend you spend at least half a day at Zealandia either wandering the paths on your own or by taking part in one of the tours.

Map of Zealandia at bottom of this page.

Tuatara at Zealandia - Te Mara a Tane

Tuatara at Zealandia Wildlife Sanctuary, Wellington, New Zealand

Zealandia Tours

North Island Robin Petroica longipes, Native Birds at Zealandia

North Island Robin Petroica longipes, native birds at Zealandia, Wellington, New Zealand

Self Guided Tours

General admission gives you the opportunity to walk through the grounds of Zealandia on a self guided tour. You can take all day to walk around the reserve if you want to.

Guided Tours

Zealandia by Day provides an experienced knowledgeable guide to point out the native bird and animal species and tell you about the native flora in New Zealand bush.

Zealandia by Night does much the same thing but after the sanctuary has closed a guide will escort you on a tour looking for nocturnal wildlife by torchlight that you may not otherwise be able to see.

Red Crowned Parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae - Te Mara a Tane

Red Crowned Parakeet Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae, Zealandia Native Bird, Wellington, New Zealand

Zealandia Location, Visitor Centre and Car Park

Zealandia Te Mara a Tane, 53 Waiapu Road, Karori, Wellington

Wellington Transport, Bus, Taxi, Train, Bike Hire

Location map provided further down this page.

There is a superb visitor centre with interactive exhibits and a cafe. The car park is free but has limited capacity. If the car park is full when you get there parking is also available in the nearby Birdwood Road car park.

1873 Historic Gothic Style Water Outlet Valve Tower, Karori Resevoir Zealandia

1873 Historic Gothic Style Water Outlet Valve Tower, Karori Resevoir Zealandia - Te Mara a Tane, Wellington, New Zealand

Zealandia Location Wellington


Zealandia Te Mara a Tane

NZ Birds Online