Tiny, rugged islands, scattered off New Zealand’s coastline would become accidental sanctuaries for many species that had vanished from the mainland.

In recent years, they have provided inspiration for conservationists who continue to eradicate pests from more and more islands to create safe havens for our animals.

The Habitat

In Te Wao Nui, The Islands represents these accidental sanctuaries and highlights the active efforts to create new ones. Antipodes Island parakeets exemplify the adaptive qualities of the animals who called these islands home. The tuatara resides here too, an iconic New Zealander who still needs our help to survive.

For centuries, isolation gave New Zealand’s incredible plant and animal species protection from progress and the threat of extinction. That changed very quickly when humans began their migration to these shores as habitats were decimated and populations dwindled or disappeared.

Tiny, rugged islands, scattered off New Zealand’s coastline would provide some hope. Too harsh for humans, too far away for pests, these islands became accidental sanctuaries for many species that had vanished from the mainland. In recent years, they have provided inspiration for conservationists who continue to eradicate pests from more and more islands to create safe havens for our animals.

Replica kauri log dam

Built on the banks of Meola Creek, this dam is based on the Kaiaraara Dam on Great Barrier Island built in the 1920s and is representative of an impressive engineering structure – a feat in its day. While based on dams developed in Europe and North America, New Zealand’s dams evolved into a distinctive form. Improvements included a simple but effective lifting gate design that allowed the dams to be released by a rigger and then re-used.

The timber used is pine and macrocarpa. Following construction, a scenic artist themed this timber to give it its aged appearance.  While an impressive engineering feat, this dam is a reminder of how much of our kauri forests were destroyed in the 19th and 20th centuries, and why we must work to ensure this magnificent species remains part of the New Zealand landscape. 

Video

We're introducing our pair of Antipodes parakeets!

Check out these two lovebirds! We've paired our existing female with a new male Antipodes Island kākāriki.

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Buy tickets online

Skip the queue and get your tickets to the Zoo online now.

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Te Wao Nui

Te Wao Nui explores the past, showcases the present, and focuses on the future – inviting us all to play a role as kaitiaki (guardians) for our unique wildlife and wild places.