"(1) - A Paradise behind an 8.5 km long Fence" Top 5 Page for this destination ZEALANDIA: The Karori Sanctuary Experience Tip by Kakapo2

  The part of the fence you see from the entrance.
by Kakapo2
  • The part of the fence you see from the entrance. - Wellington
      The part of the fence you see from the entrance.
    by Kakapo2
  • How high can pest animal jump_ - Wellington
      How high can pest animal jump_
    by Kakapo2
  • Tuatara taking a sunbath. - Wellington
      Tuatara taking a sunbath.
    by Kakapo2

Being a bird lover, this bird paradise will always be one of the main reasons for me to visit Wellington. It is only a short bus trip from the city centre, and then a walk of about 500 metres to the entrance of the sanctuary.

And it is paradise!

A 1.8 metre high fence, completed in 1999, surrounds the 225 hectare conservation area, at a total length of 8.5 kilometres. It protects the wildlife ? which comprises tuatara and weta (a huge invertebrate), not only birds ? from introduced mammals, so the wildlife can thrive. If you walk a lot and are patient you will be able to spot many different bird species.

Be aware: This is not a wildlife park where every bird has its enclosure and viewing is guaranteed. You are in the wild, and only if you behave bird-friendly by not chatting loudly about your latest shopping spree or the kids? digestion problems, and if the birds are in the right mood, you will see them. You can sit on benches near feeding stations and wait until the birds show up.

In some areas volunteers walk around and inform visitors about places where they have seen certain birds, or a tuatara taking a sunbath. There are even information boards where they note the latest sightings of tuatara. Without this volunteers system we would probably have missed the tuatara. Weta spotting is easier, as there are some so-called Weta Hotels ? tree trunks with little doors which you can open and check if a weta sits inside the trunk, behind a glass panel. The chance is good, as wetas are nocturnal and sleep in the hotels during the day.

The Karori Sanctuary is a world-first conservation project, conserving and regenerating native bush in the city, a so-called ?mainland island? where destructive mammals have been eradicated. To keep this state, you have to control your bags at the entrance. Obviously it has already happened that mice had hidden in far-travelled backpacks.

15 endangered species that had only survived on off-shore islands have been reintroduced to the area. Although the efforts of reforestation and reintroduction of the original wildlife it will take another incredible 500 years until the valley will be in the state it was before humans arrived in New Zealand.

Open daily (except Christmas Day) 10am ? 5pm, admission $ 14.

Part 2: The lakes and walkways
Part 3: How to find and identify the birds
Part 4: Bird species of the sanctuary

On photo 2 you can see how high different kinds of animals can jump and why the fence has to be 1.8 metres high.

On photo 3 you see a tuatara - a kind of living fossil - taking a sunbath in the Karori Sanctuary.

Address: End of Waiapu Road, Karori
Directions: -

Bus # 3 (Karori) from Lambton Quay, first stop after the Karori Tunnel, also buses # 17, 18, 21, 22, 23
By car up Bowen Street (between Beehive and Turnbull House), past the Botanic Garden, first left after Karori Tunnel.

othercontact: Email: kwst@sanctuary.org.nz
Phone: (04) 920 9200, -9222
Website: http://www.sanctuary.org.nz

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 1, 2008
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