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Today's Hours: 9.00am-5.00pm
Last entry at 4.30pm

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Marine Parade, Napier
Ph: 06 834 1404
Opening Hours
Daily from 9:00am - 5:00pm,
last entry 4:30pm

Close Encounters with Kiwi & Tuatara


Get up close with New Zealand's national icon and discover what makes it click. Imagine the power of their defensive kick. A must-do for all New Zealanders and tourists alike, a very special experience.

Time: Tuesday and Thursday at 10:30am (this experience is seasonal and only runs from November - March)
Duration: Approximately 45 minutes.
Participants: Maximum of 2 people.  Minimum age 6 years. Children 12 years and under must be accompanied by a paying adult.
Bookings: Bookings are essential and subject to availability/confirmation.

Make a Booking Purchase Voucher Online

Go Behind the Scenes with the Kiwi

Did you know that when Kiwi couples meet and mate they usually stay together for the rest of their lives? Also, a mature Kiwi egg is around 20% of the female’s weight (approx 450g and six times the size of a chicken egg). The egg is carried for two to three weeks before being laid, and during the last few days the female will wade in a steam or creek to relieve the weight of the egg. Then, when it comes to hatching, as Kiwi chicks don't have an egg tooth like some other birds, they have to kick themselves out of their shell to enter the world.

Tuatara close encounterNative to New Zealand, the Tuatara is a captivating reptile that few people ever get to see up close. Tuatara are only found on New Zealand's offshore islands. The National Aquarium in Napier also has a great selection of other reptiles.

The 225 million year old Tuatara with three eyes

As the most ancient living reptile in the world, Tuatara have been around for some 225 million years. Statue-like on first impressions, it's true Tuatara love to relax ... a lot. But they're also incredibly active and aggressive predators, as well as being great climbers. The National Aquarium has several Tuatara residents and yes, all have three eyes.

A Close Encounter with the Tuatara is your chance to witness a harking back to the time of the dinosaurs. You'll also get to play chef to these scaly creatures as you prepare a delectable assortment of bugs and greens for their tongues to lap up, all the while learning some amazing reptilian facts.


National Aquarium of New Zealand Fees and Charges approved for 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

All fees and charges are inclusive of GST (except as noted *).

Admissions Fee (incl GST)
Close Encounters
Penguins/Piranha (per person) (maximum of 4)$90.00 

Purchase Voucher Online

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While every endeavour has been taken by the National Aquarium of New Zealand - Napier City Council to ensure that the information on this website is accurate and up to date, National Aquarium of New Zealand - Napier City Council shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of information on this website. Information contained has been assembled in good faith. Some of the information available in this site is from the New Zealand Public domain and supplied by relevant government agencies. National Aquarium of New Zealand - Napier City Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Portions of the Napier City Council information and material on this site, including data, pages, documents, online graphics and images are protected by copyright, unless specifically notified to the contrary. Externally sourced information or material is copyright to the respective provider.

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