Rowi Kiwi Discovery at Franz Josef Wildlife Centre

Rowi Kiwi Discovery at Franz Josef Wildlife Centre

Conservation Efforts for New Zealand’s Rowi Kiwi


Nestled in the lush rainforests of the West Coast, the Rowi Kiwi remains one of the nation’s most cherished treasures. This ‘nationally critical’ species finds a haven at West Coast Wildlife Centre, Franz Josef Glacier – a pivotal conservation effort aiming to turn the tide for these vulnerable birds.

New Zealand’s Rarest Kiwi

With about 500 Rowi kiwis left in the wild, witnessing these nocturnal creatures is a privilege. The West Coast Wildlife Centre, in partnership with the Department of Conservation and Te Rūnunga o Makaawhio of Ngāi Tahu, spearheads the largest kiwi-hatching facility on the South Island. It is the premier destination to meet New Zealand’s rarest kiwi.

Rowi Kiwi Chick Franz Josef Wild Life Centre

Why Visit the West Coast Wildlife Centre?


This all-weather, indoor attraction lets you see the Rowi kiwi up close and educates visitors on the critical conservation work undertaken to protect them. From viewing the incubation and hatching process to exploring interactive exhibits, the centre offers an enlightening experience for all ages.

The Threat to Rowi Kiwis

The Rowi kiwi, like other kiwi species, faces threats from habitat destruction and introduced predators such as stoats and rats. The Franz Josef Wildlife Centre’s egg removal and hatching programme is a beacon of hope. It ensures these the Rowi kiwi reach a size where they can fend for themselves before being returned to their natural habitat.

Eco-Tourism: Support Rowi Kiwi Conservation Efforts

Every ticket purchase to the West Coast Wildlife Centre supports these conservation efforts. Experience the unique, nocturnal walkthrough area. Additionally, if you visit during the hatching season, opt for a VIP tour for a behind-the-scenes look at the kiwi chicks.

New Zealand Rowi Kiwi Chick West Coast

Plan Your Visit


Open daily from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm, the West Coast Wildlife Centre welcomes you to witness the extraordinary efforts being made to save the world’s rarest kiwi, the Rowi Kiwi. Whether you’re traversing the stunning landscapes of Glacier Country or seeking a meaningful, educational encounter, a visit here is unforgettable.

The success stories, including the remarkable 2014/15 hatching season that saw the release of 59 Rowi chicks into safe reserves, highlight the positive impact of conservation initiatives. Stay with us at Rainforest Retreat and visit Franz Josef Glacier for an activity that enriches your understanding of New Zealand’s unique wildlife and contributes to the preservation of these iconic birds.

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