Building a future for wildlife and wild places
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 little penguins and New Zealand fur seals explore the waters. The human influence is evident through a boatshed that illustrates our strong connection with nature and our need to respect it.
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.
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.
Te Wao Nui’s The Wetlands recreates one of these special habitats. A towering waterfall cascades down the rock face, flowing into a pool that is home to many of our unique wading birds. Plant species, instantly recognisable to many will also feature here; from flax to manuka to kahikatea and the cabbage tree (tï köuka).
The Forest habitat in Te Wao Nui celebrates our forests and the birds that call it home. From the kākā and kūkupa (also known as kererū) to the kākāriki and tui, these birds have long been icons of our wildlife.
The High Country in Te Wao Nui, gives visitors the chance to come face-to-face with the South Island's most famous resident, the kea. The streams throughout this habitat are the ideal home for whio (blue duck), whose sole habitat is New Zealand’s fast flowing streams.
For many years Auckland Zoo’s work conserving New Zealand’s native species has taken place behind the scenes. Te Wao Nui opens the door on this work that we do - both on-site and out in the wild, and will bring to the fore the Zoo’s many important conservation partnerships. Te Wao Nui also sees us increasing our efforts for Aotearoa native species.
As kiwi are nocturnal, our kiwi live in The Night where it is dark. This means it may take your eyes time to adjust, and it could be harder to see the kiwi. Take your time and look closely for movement.
Areas of construction have hoardings or fencing surrounding them, and our Zoo map clearly shows which areas these are and what pathways are accessible to you. Our fabulous volunteers, the friendly folk in red, are also out in force to help you.
It is worth noting that a significant part of the new South East Asia footprint incorporates areas that have not previously been home to animals and/or animal habitats. In creating our future zoo, we’re maximising the beautiful green spaces we have. Our lake is being enlarged to create a bigger wetlands area, we’re creating larger and more enriching homes for our animals, and improving pathways for you, our visitors, to create even more immersive experiences.
Despite this build, there are now more animals to see and experience when you visit. We’ve introduced new bird species in our Australia track, now have iguana on display, have welcomed the African antelope species, nyala and waterbuck, as well as African crested porcupines and Emperor tamarins. In addition, be sure to visit our Vet Hospital just along from our red panda habitat. Here in the public viewing gallery you can view into the hospital’s treatment room and operating theatre and may see staff treating Zoo animals or injured animals from the wild.