Best time to travel to New Zealand

Kiwis' Breeding Season in New Zealand

Cute flightless baby kiwis are safer and closer to humans at Rainbow Springs, kiwi wildlife park in Rotorua

Best time: August–April

Kiwis' Breeding Season
Kiwis' Breeding Season
Kiwis' Breeding Season
Kiwis' Breeding Season
Kiwis' Breeding Season

Native to New Zealand, Kiwis are lovely birds that cannot fly. The kiwis are distinguished by long and thin beak with the nostrils nested on its end so that a kiwi could sniff the food. Their ​diet consists of various insects, worms and larvae. The birds are considered to be the national symbol of the country. The name of the bird is used as a nationality, meaning New Zealander.

The problem is that these unique birds are threatened to become extinct due to stoats, dogs, cats, ferrets and other animals who hunt defenseless kiwis. Nowadays, all the five species of kiwi (North Island brown kiwi, Okarito brown kiwi, Southern brown kiwi, Little spotted kiwi, and Great spotted kiwi) are endangered and need protection. Thus,​ eggs are often gathered in the wild and hatched in sanctuaries. Later the birds are taken back to their natural habitats.

One of such nurseries for baby kiwis is located in the Kiwi House at Rotorua Rainbow Springs. The best time to see baby kiwis or even observe the very hatching procedure is during their breeding season which stretches from August to April.

Practical info

When is the best time to visit New Zealand to see kiwis?

The breeding season of kiwis is from August to April, so visitors planning a trip to New Zealand during this period would have a better chance of observing them. As kiwis are predominantly nocturnal, guided night tours may increase the chances of seeing these unique birds. Visitors might even watch the very hatching procedure of kiwis during breeding season. Show more

Where can I see baby kiwis in New Zealand?

Rotorua Rainbow Springs houses one of the baby kiwi nurseries. Tourists can explore the sanctuary and see these cute, defenseless creatures. Depending on the time of visit, Kiwi House has guided tours available during the daytime and nighttime. The visitors might even learn about other indigenous New Zealand species like kaka, longfin eels, and tuatara. Show more

How many species of kiwis are found in New Zealand?

There are five species of kiwis in New Zealand, including North Island brown kiwi, Okarito brown kiwi, Southern brown kiwi, Little spotted kiwi, and Great spotted kiwi. Unfortunately, all the species of kiwis are endangered due to predation by invasive mammalian predators and loss of habitat. To save these birds from extinction, zoos and wildlife parks employ breeding programs, such as that at Rainbow Springs. Show more

What kind of animals threaten the survival of kiwis in the wild?

Various animals like dogs, cats, ferrets, and stoats pose a constant threat to kiwis as these defenseless birds are unable to fly. They are vulnerable to these predators in the wild, making it challenging for their survival. Additonally, invasive mammal predators and loss of habitat are much larger threats to the kiwis' survival in the wild. Hence, breeding programs at zoos and wildlife parks are necessary to grow & reintroduce them into their natural habitats. Show more

Can tourists observe the hatching procedure of kiwis at Rotorua Rainbow Springs?

Tourists visiting Rotorua Rainbow Springs during breeding season can witness the remarkable hatching procedure of kiwis. The breeding programs aim to raise kiwis safely and reintroduce them to their natural habitats later. These defenseless birds are taken good care of by dedicated staff at Kiwi House, who visitors might see in action. Tourists might even see the baby kiwis nurtured until they become fit enough to return to their natural habitats. Show more

Ask a question

Find hotels and airbnbs near Kiwis' Breeding Season (Map)

Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin