Darkness is when New Zealand really comes alive.

From the kiwi to morepork and weta, New Zealand is home to an amazing number of nocturnal animals. While many of these animals are icons for our country, few New Zealanders get the chance to see them because they are so rare, and so secretive.

The Habitat

In The Night, Te Wao Nui’s nocturnal habitat, visitors can explore the hidden world and uncover the incredibly unique animals that inhabit it. Entering through a cave, The Night is lit by the stars of a matariki sky. Alongside the kiwi and ruru, we will introduce our invertebrate species, while inanga and kokopu will reveal the truth about the fish commonly known as whitebait.

As much as this habitat reveals the beauty of a New Zealand forest at night, it also highlights just how much these animals rely on us to survive. A trapper’s tent illustrates the nocturnal predators that invade the darkness, while a Department of Conservation hut shows off the incredible work they are doing in conjunction with the Zoo and other partners

The Night Forest

The Night sky is lit by the stars of a Matariki sky.

The hub of Te Wao Nui, including service rooms for keepers, is virtually invisible to visitors as they move through it. Visitors enter enter through a mock Department of Conservation Hut, head past kiwi and other animal enclosures, before heading out into the Wetlands without any knowledge of the mechanical and electrical plant hidden behind.

Video

Establishing Wētāpunga on Motuihe Island

We're working together to save an incredible and rare forest giant! Watch as our ectotherm experts Don and Ben release zoo-bred wētāpunga on Te Motu-a-Ihenga in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf

Meet the Locals

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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.