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Kiwi Encounters

Kiwi’s supporting Kiwi’s

As passionate New Zealanders, Kiwi Timber / Kiwi Homes Trust have been active supporters of Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs since 2007. This opportunity is extended to our Kiwi Homes clients; for every Kiwi Designer Home built, new owners receive their very own sponsorship pack from Kiwi Encounter!

Kiwi Encounter operates onsite at Rainbow Springs, Rotorua and is New Zealands largest kiwi facility, for both wild and captive Kiwi. Unlike any other ‘attraction’ you may have visited at Kiwi Encounter what you see is conservation in action with our efforts to stop the extinction of New Zealands national icon.

The Kiwi History

Just a few hundred years ago there were millions of kiwi living in New Zealand. Today that population is declining so rapidly it is halving in size every 10 years and kiwi could be close to extinction by 2015.

Rainbow Springs have had a long association with kiwi and have had them as part of captive breeding programs since 1975. In 1995 we became part of the ‘’Operation Nest Egg” program and have gone from strength to strength ever since. In 2004 Rainbow Springs opened Kiwi Encounter, the only facility in New Zealand that operates guided tours daily educating visitors about the plight of the kiwi and our role in their fight for survival.

The "Operation Nest Egg" program runs as follows:

  1. Each egg is transported to Kiwi Encounter by Department of Conservation rangers who monitor egg laying in the wild and retrieve eggs at approximately 40-60 days old.

  2. Next we check each egg for viability and fertility and artificially incubate them in state of the art incubator equipment.

  3. After hatching the chicks are kept in an incubator for up to 48 hours to dry off and learn to stand.

  4. They are then transferred to a brooder where they are introduced to an artificial diet and encouraged to forage for live worms.

  5. Once chicks have adapted to the artificial diet they are placed in a purpose designed outdoor enclosure which emulates their natural environment and are monitored carefully by our staff.

  6. At a weight of 1kg they are then released back into the wild (after completing 30 days of quarantine).

For more information visit Rainbow Springs The National Kiwi Trust