A Guide to Staglands Wildlife Reserve
Map of Staglands which all visitors receive on arrival
Say hello to our friendly sulphur crested cockatoos, Sonny & Peppa in The Pond Aviary before entering the boardwalks of The Forest Wetlands, an area that has been extensively vegetated and provides shelter and breeding sites for a wide range of native and introduced waterfowl including Mute Swans, Canada Geese, Graylag Geese, Grey Teal, Brown Teal, Scaup (Black Teal), NZ Shovelers, Mandarin Wood Ducks, Grey Ducks, Paradise Ducks (NZ Shelduck) and the Australian Shelduck.
Take a detour and explore Tracey’s Cave where you might just see some glow worms and the Staglands waterfall.
Make sure you stop off at The Barn to rest a while, take in the ambience and hop on a free off-road tractor trailer ride if it is running
Meet our kune kune family and walk through our interactive kea aviary where you are sure to see some cheeky antics, before entering The Stables area where we look after many of the young animals at Staglands. You can hop into the cosy enclosure and cuddle the guinea pigs and rabbits or keep an eye out for piglets or other young animals that are often out and about. You will also find our brooder here, where you will see young birds being reared under a heat lamp.
The Stables are also home to Ted the Pony and Jock the Clydesdale, who are always eager for a tasty carrot or a scratch behind the ear!
Don’t forget to have a play on Larry the old Land Rover too, parked in front of The Stables.
Trout & Eel
Marvel at the magnificent Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout and gigantic slippery eels in their picturesque pool, set in one of the many areas of regenerating native bush. Rainbow Trout are members of the salmon family and, like their salmon cousins, can grow quite large!
Brown and rainbow trout can be quite aggressive towards one another during spawning which is part of their natural behaviour. So don't be alarmed if you witness this. We have Trout Food available for $2.00 so you can get up very close and personal them. From the platform you can feed them and watch their beautiful rainbow colours as they splash around! A great family activity and something you can’t do this at most zoos or farm parks!
Toe Toe Aviary
As you enter this exciting walk-through aviary, look out for the trout fingerlings in the aviary pool on the left which come from the Fish & Game Hatchery in Rotorua and are initially reared here. They are transferred into The Trout Pool at 2 years of age.
Meander through this large aviary, heavily planted with Toe Toe grass where a wonderful range of brilliantly coloured birds are to be seen and heard.
Look out for Bruce our friendly sulphur crested cockatoo, Eeyore our chatty conure, our amazingly coloured mandarin wood ducks and delightful lovebirds, as well as tiny zebra finches and java sparrows, colourful ring necked parakeets and cockatiels, ring neck doves and golden pheasants to name just a few. Take your time and see how many you can spot!
Old Bush Settlement
The walk-through whio aviary gives visitors the opportunity to meet one of our most endangered endemic birds. Take some time too to say hello to our friendly Arapawa Island Goats and marvel at their climbing expertise, before crossing the scenic Akatarawa river via our swing bridge, where you will arrive at The Old Bush Settlement. This nostalgic recreation of an abandoned bush settlement offers a unique view of the life led by pioneers during the early settlement of New Zealand. Take a ride on The Flying Stag, then explore all the exciting nooks and crannies this interactive area has to offer. The Settlement is a fantastic backdrop for photography enthusiasts and a great Wellington bushwalk.
Leaving the Old Bush Settlement you will arrive at The Tarn, a picturesque open water area. Here the kids can enjoy a ride on the bush railway and walk the waterway boardwalks. Look out for our slider turtles, usually found hauled out on the logs on sunny days, our black swans and numerous other waterfowl that make their home here.
Deer Park & Croft
As you approach this area via The Tarn boardwalks you will see the rolling hills overlooking Staglands where our fallow deer freely roam. Look out for Mork & Mindy our Emu pair, who are extremely inquisitive and hard to miss!
You are also likely to be greeted by the turkeys, peacocks, Guinea fowl, shy fallow deer and not so shy goats!
Remember to say hello to our magnificent Highland cattle, Monty & Maisy and endearing donkeys Jack and Daphne.
And if you need to burn off some extra energy, trek to the top of the hill, where you will be rewarded with a stunning view of Staglands.
Depart this very interactive area via The Rookery and Auckland Island Enclosure, before heading back over the river.
Enter The Secret Garden, a magical place, reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, where you will find oodles of very friendly and inquisitive animals that will come to be fed if you are quiet and patient.
These include silkie bantams, giant Flemish rabbits and fantail pigeons. Make sure you rest a while in this scenic spot at the end of your Staglands journey and enjoy the ambience.
There's also a large goldfish pond with a waterfall teeming with colourful goldfish that you can feed.
As you exit The Secret Garden on your way back to The Café there is a magic wishing well, so stop and make a wish and it might just come true!
One of the best places to go around Wellington, especially with kids! Lovely, very friendly and funny animals, beautiful surroundings. For the 3+ hours we spent there, we smiled and laughed as much as for the previous week? month? :-) Little historical area within the reserve is another remarkable spot.
The staff are very welcoming. The animals were super interactive, sometimes to an amusing extent (being followed by a guinea fowl horde was hilarious). The place is huge, and I think we saw about 98% of it. A beautiful array of feathered friends, fish and furry creatures. Was definitely worth the drive. I'll pop by next time I visit NZ.
Enjoyed wandering through and petting the animals. Great for a family visit, lots of good picnic spots if you don't want to go to the cafe.
100% recommend !!!! You get to pet a lot of animals ! I was hoping the pigs to be roaming around the grass area, but I was still able to pet them over the fence. It’s a huge reserve and got space to do picnics ! I would recommend giving yourself at least 3 hours to see everything ! They got other attractions like a train tour and apparently weddings too. You can walk along the river and feed trouts at the pond. A lot of birds just walking about so won’t recommend if you’re afraid of birds.
"Easy way to fill in a fun filled day with the children. Awesome set up, reasonable price, and can take your own lunch or eat in the Cafe. Perfect!"