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Hidden gem: This Wellington bird sanctuary is the antidote to busy city life
Scouted Trips

Hidden gem: This Wellington bird sanctuary is the antidote to busy city life

Man walking along a bridge in Wellington's Zealandia bird sanctuary

PHOTO BY ALAMY

Tucked away in a bushy valley between the city and Karori, Wellington's Zealandia puts the “sanctuary” in “eco-sanctuary”.

I’m new to bird fancying, but I’m taking to it with alacrity, so with a couple of hours to spare during a recent visit to the Capital, I headed to this 255ha conservation project that’s literally bringing some birds back to life.

You can stand and watch kākā feed for hours or put your eyes on stalks to spot tīeke, tūī, hihi and those big old flappers, kererū, among many others.

Close up of kākā bird sitting on branch

A beautiful kākā keeping watch.

PHOTO BY ALAMY

Even if birds don’t ruffle your feathers, Zealandia is a magnificent antidote to the hustle and bustle of the city just over the hill. In fact, you wouldn’t even know it’s there.

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