Due to its eons upon eons of isolation from the rest of the world, New Zealand has become home to exotic bird species which exist nowhere else. Many are flightless, since before humans they had no real predators to face.
People have driven some to extinction--such as the Moa, a huge flightless bird that was extinct before the arrival of the British. Others cling to survival, but just barely. One endangered species is the symbol of New Zealand, the famed kiwi bird.
This park has a cage for kiwis, which are mainly nocturnal. No photos are allowed inside. But all the other species equally fascinating. Several times daily, the docents stage a live animal show. They even include a personal favorite of mine, the tuatara. This reptile is the last of a line known as the sphenodontians. They have lived unchanged since the days of the dinosaurs. Today, they are relegated to a few remote islands off the shores of the main island.
It's a bird world... Here you will have a look at the birds of New Zealand, including the very shy and quiet kiwi (you have to go to a dark room to observe them) and the keas, the only parrot specy that lives in the mountains and glaciers. You will walk in natural environment as much as possible and learn about the life of the strangest birds.Some of the specimenes there are on rehab waiting to be released again in the wild or in a breeding program to release the young ones in the wild.
Before visiting New Zealand, I believed it was possible to see kiwis just like any other animal in nature, I did not know they are so rare. After a few days in NZ, I realized that the only way to see them was to look for Kiwi houses (or to go to Stewart island, but unfortunately we had not enough time).
The Kiwi Birdlife park of Queenstown hosts 2 kiwi houses (4 kiwis) and other big cages with endangered species of birds. Some hurt birds are also kept here to recover before being returned to their habitat.
Headphones are available at the entrance, together with park maps, so that you can get additional info on what you are seeing.
A part of the park is consacrated to the Maori culture (Maori village).
The entrance ticket costs 35NZ$.
A good opportunity to see kiwis and some of the native birds of New Zealand. Since kiwis are nocturnal, the 2 houses that are at the park are on a reverse schedule so it is dark in the habitat. Definitely worth waiting for a feeding so that there's a better chance of seeing the kiwis. The rest of the park is a tranquil (if a little hilly at times) walk through the woods. The headset is included in the admission price so nice to be able to learn while you stroll around. The park also puts on a conservation show 2 times a day.
Yes, you can see the kiwi in the Kiwi Birdlife Park in Queenstown. It is behind glass, and as the display is on elevated ground it is even easy to follow their steps, and you can watch in which funny way the birds hop around and poke their long beaks into the ground. However, I hugely prefer the Kiwi Nighthouse at the Willowbank in Christchurch, as there is no glass between you and the birds, and you can also hear the interesting sounds kiwis make, like blowing their noses after digging in the soil. But sure, as the display area is bigger there it can happen that you have difficulty to spot a kiwi. In Queenstown it is so small (in fact they have two small kiwi houses) that the birds have no option to escape your views.
That is the point I criticise most about the Birdlife Park. The aviaries are rather small, and I felt most for the tuis flying like crazy right under the ceiling of their prison, and four keas sitting in a naked display area with just some rocks, a little stream and a few branches to sit on. You can walk into their home, and sometimes the alpine parrots start to interact. But in total I found the situation rather sad than nice.
Obviously the 20 minute Live Conservation Shows (11am, 1.30pm, 3pm) give the visitors the possibility to get closer to the animals. If you cannot make it at these times you get great digital equipment and have your own audio tour. The recordings are very good, and you get an incredible lot of information, and you can make the tour at your own pace. But do not expect to come back with a lot of great photos as happens at The Willowbank. The very beautiful forest (mainly Douglas Fir) in which the Birdlife Park is located is very dark, and all birds are behind mesh fences.
You not only can see the kiwi but also the morepork, a lot of ducks, the very rare black stilts and rare (and funny) green parrots from the Campbell Islands. If you are lucky you might spot a tuatara, the dinosaur's only surviving relatives.
The audio tour also gives you information about the native trees they have planted around the ponds.
If you have time for the bird and Maori shows (the latter at 11am and 3pm), the entry fee of NZ$ 30 is great. If not it is hugely exaggerated. It is more expensive than the annual pass for The Willowbank where you see more animals - and better.
Photo 2 shows a kea in the Birdlife Park.
On photo 3 you see a sleepy morepork.
Photo 4 shows the tui that gets crazy in its cage.
A black stilt is wading through photo 5.
The visit to this Kiwi and Bird PArk was just by accident as we saw the signs to the place after visiting the Sky Gondola and Luge in the centre of Queenstown.
It is a quiet little park with lots of greenery- trees and shrubs and a stream that runs around the park populated by amusing and rare birds and other wildflife.
It is not just a plain and flat park as there are some sloping and higher areas around it with a lovely stream flowing along and plenty of bamboo and other man-made structures to lure the birds to perch on. The landscape is quite scenic and reminds one of a little oasis in the centre of urban Queenstown.
The native NZ kiwi was the main exhibit of the park and a few of them are housed in a very quiet and dark building conducive to the animals' serene habitat. Pictures were not allowed inside so we took photos outside of other rare birds.
The tranquil setting was enough to make the young ones calm down too after a hectic time and exciting ride on the gondola nearby.
The Kiwi & Birdlife Park is located beside the Skyline Gondola in the heart of Queenstown.
Visitors are greeted by the big kiwi tunnel. You will see a lot of pictures especially the different kinds of kiwis are featured here.
You are guranteed to see a live kiwi here else ask for a refund.
The park also features Live Conservation Show, a restaurant, early Maori Hunting Village, a retail centre and a Native Garden Trail.
There is a public free car park at the side entrance where we park our car.
This is a walk thru park, set in bush, with interesting things to discover along the way. At 11:00am and 3:00pm daily, there is a conservation show telling visitors about native birds in the park, including the kiwi, and also a chance to see close up one of our very special Tuatara reptiles. This was quite amazing, seeing him without glass between us!
The whole experience is very informative and there are tours of the early Maori village, 10:00am & 2:00pm daily.
Here we learn about saving the endangered Kiwi, Black Stilt, Brown Teal, Campbell Island Teal, Tuatara, NZ Pidgeon and Blue Duck. Kiwi are nocturnal, therefore photographing is virtually impossible. For the outdoors display and talk from the staff, they use a stuffed kiwi and egg.
It's an easy walk around the park, and there is also a nice caf? for you to have refreshments after your walk.
The Kiwi & Birdlife Park has a large variety of native birds, including the allusive Kiwi which they guarantee you will see. Follow the paths through lush native bush leading to aviaries, where you can view the birdlife up close. The 8 acre park can easily be covered in an hour.There is also an Eco-friendly gift shop with many made in NZ products. This is a fun place to visit and it helps a great cause,saving endangered NZ birdlife !
The Kiwi & Birdlife Park was set up to display and protect endangered New Zealand Birdlife. All through the park ,signage tells the story of NZ's native birds.
The must see place in the park is the "Kiwi House". As Kiwi's are nocturnal you are not likely to see them in the wild. The Kiwi is very shy and elusive so you have to wait about 5-10 minutes in the dark and silence before they begin to emerge from their hiding places in the ferns.
There are also many aviaries throughout the bushland, which reflect each bird species natural habitat.
The Kiwi & Birdlife Park is located near the Gondola terminal and from memory cost around $14.50.
Well the chances of seeing a Kiwi in the wild in NZ are probably about the same of seeing me without a Steinie in my hand. So, if you do want to see the national symbol of New Zealand, one must head to a Kiwi house...
One such place in Queenstown is the Kiwi and Bird life park. Here they have a couple of nocturnal kiwi houses, along with a number of other native bird species.
Unfortunately no photography is allowed inside, although there is a big red six foot tall kiwi outside tthe park that does makes for a decent picture...
A fine place to kill a couple of otherwise unproductive hours...