The Kiwi Birdlife Park just celebrated its 34th anniversary and is still family -owned and operated. Read more about the Wilson clan below.
The Kiwi Birdlife Park was not always a haven for native birdlife. Originally an unofficial rubbish tip, locals Dick and Noeleen Wilson leased the land in 1986 and began clearing the grounds with the vision of creating an oasis in the heart of the town. For two years they and their children, Paul and Dawn, removed old car bodies, oil drums, overgrown broom and blackberry and replaced them with native trees, shrubs and built aviaries.
Fast forward 34 years, and the land is heaving with ferns, kōwhai, beech, broadleaf and more, and home to over 100 native bird and reptiles. All of the species are part of managed conservation programs through the Department of Conservation, including the iconic kiwi, tuatara, South Island kākā, whio, pāteke, and others! All of the conservation work we do is only possible through admission and souvenir sales, and donations. We appreciate your support!
See below photos of the Wilson family in the early days of the construction of the Kiwi Birdlife Park!