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Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs is truly an attraction like no other in the world. Set in beautiful native trees and streams we are home to a huge variety of New Zealand’s most precious inhabitants.

The entire experience is built around New Zealand’s largest and most successful kiwi conservation centre. Since 1995 we have released over 1,200 kiwis into the wild.

The kiwi is truly unique; it is a bird, but it has features more characteristic of a mammal.

For example:

  • It has tiny wings, but cannot fly.
  • It has feathers that are more like fur.
  • It is the only bird in the world with nostrils at the end of its beak.
  • Its sense of smell is second to none.
  • It has no tail feathers, but does have whiskers, like a cat.
  • It has marrow in its bones, just like a human.
  • Very unusually, females have two ovaries, most birds have only one.

It takes between 16 months to three years for birds to be sexually mature enough to breed. Breeding usually occurs between July and February. The female North Island Brown Kiwi has two functional ovaries which is unusual in the bird-world. The kiwi egg is the largest in the world in relation to the size of the bird laying it; it also contains the largest proportion of yolk. Incubation is done by the male and can take anything from 74-90 days.

Kiwi chicks are instinctive feeders and are not taught by parent birds to forage for food.  When first hatched, the belly of the chick is swollen with yolk which will sustain them for their first few days.

Other facts about the Kiwi you might not know:
  • Kiwi are omnivorous and although worms form a major part of their diet, they will also readily eat woodlice, millipedes, centipedes, slugs, snails, spiders, insects, seeds, berries and plant material.
  • Kiwi feed at night and probe into the ground with their bill up to a depth of 12cm.

Stoats, ferrets and weasels are the biggest threat to the survival of Kiwi, closely followed by cats and dogs – only 5% of all Kiwis hatched in the wild survive to adulthood

Added to this intimate view of one of the world’s living treasures, you will also be able to experience the adrenalin rush of The Big Splash, explore our many free flight aviaries, feed the birds their breakfast, come face to face with pre-history in the eyes of many tuatara, talk to Jenny the hand-reared kea, feed the largest wild trout you will ever see, experience the wonder of our bird show featuring some of the funniest feathered performers you will ever see.

Your ticket is valid for repeat entry for the day of the purchase you can come back at night to listen to the bird calls and to watch the kiwi come out to play. With no glass in our outdoor kiwi enclosure, and only a knee high fence separating you from these curious native birds, you can get closer to kiwi than you ever thought possible.

The team at Rainbow Springs are proud of the role they play in conserving many of the precious native species of New Zealand. That’s why they put so much energy into ensuring the 22 acre park is beautiful with a friendly, fun atmosphere.

(*) Prices are US Dollars per person.