An interesting encounter
Self-guided and indoors, this unique wildlife experience guides you on a learning and history journey. Wander through the incredible stories and pioneering spirit of the explorers that settled in the area. Discover the magic of the critically endangered rowi and Haast tokoeka kiwi bird, the ancient Tuatara and how Fox and Franz Josef Glacier shape the natural environment on the West Coast.
Explore at your own pace by reading the displays or join the friendly staff for a VIP Guided Backstage Pass to get a behind-the-scenes look at the hatching and incubation programme combined with the Tuatara Encounter.
Operation Nest Egg
The West Coast Wildlife centre is at the heart of an important project.
Operation Nest Egg is a program that increases the survival rate of kiwi chicks in the wild, as only 5% of them reach adulthood. The initiative involves removing kiwi eggs and chicks from their burrows, raising them in captivity, and releasing them back into the wild when they are capable of surviving on their own.
With a 65% success rate, this tool has been highly effective in rapidly recovering the rarest kiwi taxa, and it also serves as a valuable educational and advocacy tool. To ensure the preservation of unique gene pools, chicks are returned to their respective wild populations, and because it uses eggs and chicks instead of adult kiwis, it leaves the source population intact.
VIP Backstage Pass Tour
Have you ever met a Tuatara?
This is your chance to have an up-close encounter with the rare and curious dinosaur-like creature!
Go back-stage on this fully guided tour as the Wildlife Ranger introduces not only your new reptilian friend but also the critically endangered rowi and Haast tokoeka kiwi. Included in this backstage pass is a visit behind the scenes to see the kiwi incubation and hatching programme.
How to get to West Coast Wildlife Centre
Cnr Cron and, Cowan Street, Franz Josef / Waiau 7886
West Coast Train
Travelling to the West Coast by train couldn't be easier or more beautiful than aboard the TranzAlpine.
Weaving through the peaks of the Southern Alps, the TranzAlpine Christchurch to Greymouth train ranks among the best scenic train journeys in the world.
From Greymouth, you can simply rent a car or campervan and explore Franz Josef and the West Coast at your leisure. Alternatively, you can book one of our short breaks or tours and let us take care of everything for you.
Getting to West Coast Wildlife Centre
You can include the West Coast Wildlife Centre in any of these amazing train tours and packages:
Discover the West Coast
From idyllic lakes to geological wonders, discover why New Zealand's West Coast is such a spectacular place to visit: