Rugged, windswept and teeming with life, New Zealand’s 15,000km coastline is the world’s 10th longest.

Our isolated location is ideal for marine life; with deep oceans rich in food and scattered islands that offer a respite from global migrations.These migrations are some of nature’s greatest stories, and these stories have become part of our culture.

The Habitat

In Te Wao Nui, The Coast represents New Zealand’s iconic coastal habitat. Throughout this habitat, the unique plants of the coast grow amongst the dunes and rocks, while kekeno (New Zealand fur seal) and kororā (little penguin) explore the waters. The human influence is evident through a boatshed that illustrates our strong connection with nature and our need to respect it.

Our weather-battered coastline is an environment that only the hardiest and most adaptable of wildlife can call home. But there are elements that even these plants and animals cannot withstand. As the kaitiaki (guardians) of our land, we have the opportunity to protect and conserve our unique environment.

The Penguin Beach

The penguin beach features a specially designed base that is suspended above a void to facilitate good drainage. This enables the sand to be rinsed clean and kept free of pathogen build-up, ensuring a healthy environment for the penguins and other shore birds that live here, and an easy-to-manage area for zookeepers.


It’s All ‘A-Boat’ Enrichment for our New Zealand fur seals!

In a great example of reusing and repurposing, seal keeper Odin dreamt up a use for our old boat – giving it new life as an enriching addition for our fur seals Kaiako and Orua’s home.

Meet the Locals

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Save time when you arrive and get your tickets to the Zoo online now.

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.