ZEALANDIA is the world’s first fully-fenced urban ecosanctuary, with an extraordinary 500-year vision to restore a Wellington valley’s forest and freshwater ecosystems as closely as possible to their pre-human state. The 225 hectare ecosanctuary is a groundbreaking conservation project that has reintroduced 18 species of native wildlife back into the area, 6 of which were previously absent from mainland New Zealand for over 100 years.
Prior to the arrival of humans Aotearoa (New Zealand) was a “bird land”, isolated and unique. Without any mammalian predators an ecosystem of remarkable flora and fauna had evolved – the likes of which could be found nowhere else in the world. Sadly, over the last 700 years, that paradise was almost destroyed by humans and the mammals they introduced with them.
Now many of these unique species are flourishing, all thanks to the protection offered by our ground-breaking fence. Remarkable species of birds, reptiles, insects and more are living wild within a beautiful 225ha (one square mile) sanctuary valley that provides 32km (20 miles) of routes for everyone, ranging from wheelchair and buggy friendly to rugged tramping grade – all through scenic terrain and just 10 minutes from central Wellington.
Our ultimate restoration goal is to create self-sustaining ecosystems representative of the pre-human state that existed in New Zealand approximately 1000 years ago. We aim to create a fenced safe haven as free as possible of non-native species, in which we can:
Re-establish wild populations of representative fauna and flora and restore indigenous habitats.
Restore the indigenous character of the valley.
Get key natural processes such as species dispersal and gene-flow functioning once again.
Gain knowledge and methodologies that can be applied elsewhere.
Contribute to national recovery programmes.
General day admission into the exhibition and sanctuary. Valid for two days from your first visit.
Children (ages 5-17) $10
Under 5’s FREE
Family (up to two adults & three children) $46
Concession * $16.5