Tuatara at the Otorohanga Kiwi House

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April 24th 2022
Published: April 24th 2022
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The Kiwi House at Otorohanga is popular, particularly with overseas visitors, because of the opportunity to see kiwi. But for me, the best thing about visiting the Kiwi House is being able to see tuatara.

For those who aren't familiar with our tuatara, they are reptiles which look lizards. However, they are the last members of the order Rhynchocephalia and are endemic to NZ. They predate the dinosaurs!

After arriving at the Kiwi House, http://kiwihouse.org.nz/, you will quickly get to see kiwi, along with a wide variety of birds and reptiles. You will eventually find yourself in NZs largest flee-flight aviary. Yes, there are wonderful birds to see but the best part is coming round a bend in the path and finding a tuatara sitting at your feet. I have had a chat with four tuatara there and am fortunate to know where to look for them. If you don't manage to see one, ask a staff member for help and they will point you in the right direction.

These guys are quite used to visitors and are content to sit and pose for photos.

Getting up close to tuatara, being able to see their burrows and being able to get down to their level and take photos is the best experience ever and one you cannot get in any other country.

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