Explore Bookme forthe West Coast

West Coast Wildlife Centre - Tuatara Encounter & Backstage Pass Tour

The “behind the scenes” Tuatara Encounter at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef, West Coast of New Zealand, is a fascinating exclusive tour. Here you can view up-close the prehistoric tuatara that is endemic only to New Zealand.

Highlights

  • Entry into the Behind the Scenes Area of the Tuatara Encounter
  • Journey with an experienced Tuatara guide who will share key information
  • Tailor made presentation
  • See the live food we feed Tuatara

Here you can view up-close the prehistoric tuatara that is endemic only to New Zealand.

Incredibly 230 million years ago when the first dinosaurs arrived on the scene the ancestors of the tuatara were still roaming the planet and thought to be at least 2m tall.

Tuatara have very special significance to Maori and are named for their appearance.” Tara” means spiny and “tua” meaning back. The tuatara living here at the West Coast Wildlife Centre were translocated to Franz Josef by Nelson based iwi Ngati Koata who have the largest tuatara population in the world.

Tuatara were once feared by the Maori, as they signified messengers of (Whio) god of death and disaster.) Today tuatara are regarded as taonga (treasure) and as the Kaitaiki (guardian) of the trails to the realms of the mind and spirit that give humans life.

Tuatara can live to over 100 years of age and became extinct on the mainland of New Zealand last century. Today they live mainly on offshore islands around New Zealand with around 50,000 to 60,000 live on Stephens Island(Takaporaewa) in the Marlborough Sounds.

Adult $52.00
Child $26.00

Child Friendly

  • This experience welcomes families with children.

Available Bookings from May 26 to June 01

Change Dates

All prices for this activity are shown in NZD ($)

10:00 a.m.
12:00 p.m.
3:00 p.m.
4:30 p.m.
Sun 26 May
Mon 27 May
Tue 28 May
Wed 29 May
Thu 30 May
Fri 31 May
Sat 1 Jun

5spaces priced from:

  • Adult$27.95
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

3spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

5spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

2spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

3spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

3spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

5spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

2spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

3spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

2spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$29.90
  • Child$26.00

5spaces priced from:

  • Adult$39.90
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

2spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

6spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

12+spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

3spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

4spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

6spaces priced from:

  • Adult$52.00
  • Child$26.00

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

4.5

10 reviews

Showing all 10 authenticated Bookme reviews

Leon from New Zealand wrote on 22 April 2019

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Great Tour

Loved the backstage tour, very interesting and informative guide, with fascinating facts about the kiwi and tuatara. Would recommend the backstage tour as without it, the general entry is quite short and does not really warrant its entry fee

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Maciej from Poland wrote on 12 March 2019

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Very informative

Was great :)

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Karen from New Zealand wrote on 13 February 2019

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Tuatara Backstage

A great way to get up and personal with the tuataras. We couldn't handle them but Kath was great with passing on her knowledge of them to us.

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Dipti from Fiji wrote on 23 January 2019

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Not that good

The backstage pass was good. Good explanation and got the opportunity to get so close to a tuatara however that was the one and only good thing about that place. Overall, there wasn't nothing much to see. Would not recommend it. Expensive.

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Veerle from Belgium wrote on 30 January 2019

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Must visit wildlife centre

Wonderful wildlife centre where you can see the tuatara and kiwi. Also great exhibition about glaciers with a lot of information. We did the tuatara backstage tour which was very interesting to learn so much more about these fascinating creatures.

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10:00 a.m.Thursday 13 July

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