Nga Manu Nature Reserve

Nga Manu Nature Reserve, Waikanae: Hours, Address, Nga Manu Nature Reserve Reviews: 4.5/5

Nga Manu Nature Reserve
Nature & Wildlife Areas
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Discover "A Real KIWI Nature Experience" on the Kapiti Coast, within easy reach of Wellington. A diverse range of native animals & over 700 plant species. Nga Manu Nature Reserve offers you a unique opportunity to have a hands-on experience with nature. It is a 'must see' attraction for all local families and tourists visiting the Wellington region. There are 13 hectares for you to explore, including the largest remnant of original lowland coastal swamp forest on the stunning Kapiti Coast. The animal life at Nga Manu is a mix of both wild and enclosed species. Get up close to the iconic New Zealand Kiwi in the Nocturnal house and discover New Zealand's unique prehistoric reptile- the Tuatara. Meet the friendly Kea, Tui, Fantail, Kereru and Kaka. Over 56 different bird species come and go around the wetlands, bush and surroundings. All pathways are easily walked and are wheelchair and pushchair friendly (a wheelchair is available on site - we recommend that those in a wheelchair come with a friend who can assist with the aviary double doors). There are seating and picnic spots throughout the reserve including a BBQ facility and area. Follow the staff on our 'Bird Feeding Tour' at 11 am daily or take part in our Eel Feeding at 2 pm daily. We have a free guided bush walk and talk on weekends over the summer period and public holidays. We are flexible with your requirements, catering for individuals and groups, as well as hosting educational programs for visiting school groups in our Conservation Education Centre. If you have a special request please ask and we will work with you to create the best experience. We are able to provide personalised guided tours, catered lectures and a unique celebration or wedding venue.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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176 reviews
Very good

Samantha M
5 contributions
Jan 2022
The Kiwi encounter at NGA Manu. A fantastic experience, I learned a lot about the different Kiwi in New Zealand and then got to watch a couple of kiwi in the outdoor enclosure. They were very active and came really close. Thanks Gill and Kevin for showing us these fantastic birds. We got to hear the male call as he was answering the kea in the next door area. There are a couple of Ruru in the same enclosure so you see them close up too.
Written 15 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

2 contributions
May 2021
What an amazing experience at the Kiwi Night Encounter. You get up close and personal with kiwis in their natural habitat as an observer in their own little world. Educational, informative and really quite exciting to see these otherwise shy and reclusive birds wandering around, feeding and socializing. Thanks to Robin and Brian for their kiwi hospitality, this is highly recommended and quite unique.
Written 20 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Waikanae, New Zealand19 contributions
May 2021
We visited Nga Manu Nature Reserve on Sunday 9 May to do the Kiwi Night Encounter.

We can't find the adequate or appropriate words - this experience was absolutely incredible.

We have been very close to wildlife in Kenya & Tanzania but being 2 feet away from Kiwis is a spectacular experience.

Our guides Kevin and Jill were very informative. At the commencement of this tour Kevin explained to us the types of Kiwi throughout the country and how the population has dramatically reduced over the post 200 odd years which was very sobering.

One of the many great things Nga Manu are doing is they are part of the DOC captive breeding programme and at a certain age Kiwis born at Nga Manu are eventually released into various predator free forest areas around the country.

You will not experience being this close to Kiwis on mainland New Zealand.
Highly recommended. You will not be disappointed.

Thanks Nga Manu.

Tom and Jill
Written 9 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wellington, New Zealand1,329 contributions
Apr 2021
We went there twice in 2 days due to different activities. The first time was joining the kiwi night encounter that was amazing. The starting time would be varied according to the sunset and you will be informed beforehand. It is only available from Thursday to Sunday and must make a booking.
Phone must be switched off and no photos would be taken for this night encounter. It is good because you will focus on looking at the lovely kiwi only then.
In the first 30 minutes, the ranger told us interesting facts of kiwi, such as the egg size and its body structure.
Then, we followed the ranger and go to the nocturnal house. For the tourists of this encounter, we could go to a special area where you can see the kiwis without any glass wall! there was just a short fence/barrier between the kiwi and us. Once the kiwis get used to having us around, they will walk out and work "busily" . Sooooooo cute! WE can hear their sound too.
We were invited to have some tea after the experience.
The next morning, we went to Nga Manu Nature reserve again for the feed out tour. It is worth as well! I also made a booking before coming although walk-in was accepted during public holiday. WE were the only group on that day anyway.
The ranger is very nice as the other staffs there. She showed us different birds and of course the kiwi too! It was so interesting to see "jimmy" looking at himself in the mirror. He loves his outlook sooooo much! This feed out tour was about 1 hour.
After that, we went to the bush walk and saw some birds again. I love the bush walk because it is very easy. You can see different kind of plants. While we went there during Easter holiday, there was a Easter stone hunt for children. My daughter got a chocolate after finding one Easter stone. Happy girl!
At last we went to see the eel feed. We didn't pay for the feeding but it was great enough to see the other feeding them. In fact there is a free bush walk tour after the eel feed but we didn't join that.
I think it is easy to spend at least half day in the Reserve. Bring pack lunch while there is no cafe inside.
It was just a pity that we can't stay at the cottage there while it was booked already. It must be nice to stay there for a night!
Written 7 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jane L
Waikanae, New Zealand11 contributions
Apr 2021
I can highly recommend this experience. Very interesting talk beforehand then about 30 minutes spent in the kiwi house where there is just a knee high barrier between yourself and the kiwi. It is timed for nightfall when the kiwi are active and you are able to kneel right down near the barrier - the kiwi popped her head up right by me and her beak came right over the barrier- I couldn’t believe it. So interesting to hear them sniffing for bugs- who knew birds make little snuffly noises. Such a great experience and has made me want to head to Stewart island and see them in the wild. A great way to develop even more respect and care for our NZ environment. Thank you Ngamanu!
Written 3 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

13 contributions
Jan 2021
Had a great morning exploring the reserve & attending the feeding tour. Highly recommend! We got to hang out with a Kaka, see a kiwi running around & a Kea solve puzzles.
Written 26 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Waikanae, New Zealand252 contributions
Jan 2021 • Family
A lovely quiet scenic bird reserve set in native bush. There is a great kiwi house. Also some outdoor bird enclosures. You can feed the eels or ducks. Lovely bush walks to do. Can spend at least 1/2 day here. No cafe only icecream available.
Written 7 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

8 contributions
Nov 2020 • Family
Magical! Our family of five (Mum, Dad, 12 and 14 year old boys, and Grannie) did the nighttime kiwi experience. It was mesmerising! We were asked to arrive 30 minutes before dusk. Our guide and a trainee gathered us on a circle of chairs and told us about kiwi in New Zealand, their anatomy - complete with stuffed kiwi we could touch, and about the kiwi we would see. They both had a lovely chill energy, whilst being informative and enthusiastic. At dusk we went into a covered viewing area. We spent 45 minutes watching Mama kiwi, shy yet noisy Dad kiwi, and even a one month old baby kiwi (who moved really fast!). My 12 year old - who I'd been concerned would get fidgety - was transfixed and would have stayed another 45 minutes. We were lucky, in that it was just the five of us, so we could all be right up on the low barrier, with the kiwi rightthere digging for bugs. My 12 year old even got touched by a curious kiwi and was beyond thrilled. It was a rainy evening - which made everything very atmospheric - but you stay dry under the roof. The guide and trainee were active participants - engrossed and happy to answer any questions and point out things of interest. I highly recommend this to anyone wishing to see kiwi up close and personal, and especially to anyone staying on or passing through the Kapiti Coast.
Written 24 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lorna R
London, UK6 contributions
Nov 2020 • Couples
Decided to go at the last minute to go and so glad we did as we had a fantastic time. Learnt a lot about some of our most endangered and beautiful animals and plants. A must visit with beautiful kept surroundings.
Written 10 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Judy Porter
1 contribution
Oct 2020 • Couples
Our experience overall was excellent but the highlight was having the Kaka on my husnand's shoulder for about 10 minutes. He (the kaka) was preening himself and rubbing his head Ian's beard. Such amazing interaction with us. The staff are first rate, so friendly and knowledgable and very welcoming. We will definitely be returning and with our grandchildren this time.
Written 20 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for taking the time to write us this lovely review. Our male kaka certainly sounds like he made a new friend! I shall pass on your kind comments about our staff to our Manager. We hope your grandchildren enjoy their visits too :)
Written 21 October 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Nga Manu Nature Reserve

Nga Manu Nature Reserve is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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