Auckland Zoo’s Te Wao Nui
On the 4th of July 2011 I discussed the plans for Auckland Zoo’s latest exhibition – Te Wao Nui. The good news is that it is finished and open to the public. If you haven’t been to see it yet best get yourself down there – it is worth every penny spent and the highlight for me was walking amongst the intelligent and cheeky Kea, they steal the show. Encompassing a fifth of the Zoo’s 17ha footprint, Te Wao Nui offers both locals and tourists a truly unique and immersive experience of New Zealand’s animals, plants and culture in a way that has never been done before, anywhere. Te Wao Nui’s six habitats are:
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 Islands - Antipodes Island parakeets and Campbell Island teal exemplify the adaptive qualities of the animals who call the islands home. The tuatara resides here too, an iconic New Zealander who still needs our help to survive.
The Wetlands recreates one of this special habitat. A towering waterfall cascades down the rock face, flowing into a pool that is home to many of New Zealand’s unique wading birds. Plant species, instantly recognisable to many also feature here; from flax to manuka to kahikatea and the cabbage tree.
In The Night, Te Wao Nui’s nocturnal habitat, visitors can explore the hidden world and uncover the incredibly unique animals that inhabit it. Enter The Night through a cave and find the kiwi and morepork, weta and short-tailed bats.
The Forest habitat in Te Wao Nui celebrates our forests and the birds that call it home. From the kaka and kukupa to the kakariki and tui, these birds have long been icons of our wildlife.
The High Country gives visitors the chance to come face-to-face with its 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.