Franz Josef - West Coast Wildlife Centre VIP Guided Backstage Pass Tour

Experience the amazing West Coast Wildlife Centre, home of the rare kiwi, complete with a guided backstage tour and fascinating Tuatara Encounter!

The VIP Guided Backstage Pass Tour is a combo ticket including West Coast Wildlife Centre entry PLUS a guided 30-45 minute informative tour with one of our Kiwi Rangers through the incubation and chick rearing facility. You'll also enjoy a fascinating Tuatara encounter where you can view up-close the prehistoric tuatara that is endemic only to New Zealand.

The Backstage Pass is hugely popular – especially during the summer months - and is classed as a ‘Top Pick’ by Lonely Planet Travel Guides.

Visitors will see where and how eggs are processed when they first arrive at the West Coast Wildlife Centre. They will learn about incubation procedures and take a look at the room where the eggs are cared for. Finally, visitors will get a chance to view the Brooder Room where the kiwi chicks are housed and reared during their time with us.

The West Coast Wildlife Centre is an all-weather visitor attraction located in Franz Josef. The centre is the sole provider of the BNZ Operation Nest Egg TM incubation and captive rearing programme for New Zealand's rarest Kiwi, the Rowi and Haast tokoeka. Since opening in 2010 the West Coast Wildlife Centre has successfully raised and released over 240 Kiwi Chicks.

West Coast Wildlife Centre entry gives visitors the very special chance to view juvenile Rowi in a natural walk through Nocturnal House setting. This self-guided attraction also includes educational and interactive displays and wildlife films offering an opportunity to learn about the Glacier and the unique West Coast region.

Adult $57.00
Child $28.00 (5 - 15 years)

What's included

  • Wildlife Centre Entry
  • 30 - 45 Minute Guided Tour
  • Tuatara Encounter


  • Cnr Cowan & Cron Streets, Franz Josef


  • Conditions: All children must be accompanied by an adult. Child age is 15 years and under.

    Please Note: The Backstage Pass requires a good level of understanding of English and is not suitable for children under 8 years of age.

    Please ensure that you arrive ten minutes prior to your tour as the tours depart on time and if you are late, you will miss out.

  • Non-flash photography is permitted on the Backstage Pass under close supervision by your Kiwi Ranger guide. All kiwi chicks will be viewed behind glass.

    Kiwi chicks will be available to view on the Backstage Pass tour from October to March (subject to change and breeding season)

Available Bookings from January 20 to January 26

Change Dates

All prices are shown in NZD ($)

Thu 20 Jan
Fri 21 Jan
Sat 22 Jan
Sun 23 Jan
Mon 24 Jan
Tue 25 Jan
Wed 26 Jan

  • Adult$57.00
  • Child$28.00

  • Adult$57.00
  • Child$28.00

  • Adult$57.00
  • Child$28.00

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme

Authenticated Reviews & PhotosAll of our reviews are from people who have booked and paid for this activity thru Bookme


132 reviews

Showing all 132 authenticated Bookme reviews

Carla from Australia wrote on 06 December 2018

Good experience

The backstage tour was informative and good value. I loved getting to hear loads about these critically endangered little animals. I was expecting to see lots of kiwis, but there was only 4 at the sanctuary. Despite this I would definitely recommend going to check this place out as part of any NZ trip.

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Sarika from New Zealand wrote on 07 January 2022

Totally worth the time

I found this activity to be amazing and very informative. To get up close to our Tuatara and the chance to see Kiwi chick's. I found it relaxing and humbling.

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natalief from New Zealand wrote on 30 December 2021

Great for a rainy day

My partner and I have lived in NZ for a few years but this tour taught us a lot about kiwi and tuatara. Informative and interesting. The cafe was great too. Definitely recommend.

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Nicole Lee from Australia wrote on 05 May 2018

No kiwis

There were no kiwis and you couldn't see the 2 that were there it was too dark and no photos allowed

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From Franz Josef - West Coast Wildlife Centre VIP Guided Backstage Pass Tour

Kia ora Nicole Thanks for the review but i think you must have visited a different facility as we guarantee that you will see a kiwi and we usually have 1-2 rowi kiwi in our nocturnal house. The Department of Conservation do not allow photography ( it is illegal in NZ ) in a nocturnal house and the infa red light is designed so that after a few minutes your eyes will usually adjust nicely to the darker environment. Our team however do have an infa red torch available and will walk with you back into our natural nocturnal house and help you as required. Because all our kiwi go back to live in the wild we have a very natural environment and our attraction best suits the guests who is prepared to invest their time time to stop, look,engage,listen and learn. Thanks for visiting. Regards Richard Owner

Amy from New Zealand wrote on 18 December 2021

Rewarding visit

Great deal through bookme! Wonderful spot to learn about kiwis and tuatara, my guide was well-informed and we got to see where the kiwis are incubated/reared, as well as a closeup view of a tuatara. The exhibit was well laid out and managed to see some very active kiwis. Good place to bring kids, or when the weather is not optimal. For the centre - it could be an idea to extend the opening hours to night-time (given there are not many night-time activities in the area) & this is when kiwis are active.

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10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

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    Child 5 - 15 years

      *This option must be made together with another price type.

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