Stay and explore key icon.
Stay and explore key icon.

Monday9:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Tuesday9:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Wednesday9:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Thursday9:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Friday9:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Saturday9:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Sunday9:30 am – 5:00 pm.

2362 Akatarawa Road, Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt

04 526 7529

Tucked away deep in the Akatarawa Valley, Staglands is a serene wildlife reserve with a focus on encouraging each visitor to nurture a genuine connection to and appreciation for nature. 

The sprawling reserve covers a 25-acre swathe of bush and farmland that has been meticulously crafted into homes for a range of native and endangered species. Having the diverse zones connected by strategically formed pathways means getting around the reserve is a breeze for the whole family. Start off by exploring the wetlands, housing families of teal, swans, and ducks, before greeting the horses and kunekune pigs at the stables. Next up, enjoy an intimate walk through the kea aviary and trout pond, before you encounter the toetoe aviary – with its array of brilliantly coloured birds – and also the whio aviary, where you can spot this endangered endemic duck. 

At Staglands, you aren’t left to watch the animals from afar – interacting with the inhabitants is highly encouraged, so make sure you pick up a bag of animal food with your tickets. Get up close and personal with Ted the Pony, Highland cattle pair Monty and Maisy, and the other farm animals who are more than happy to let you hand-feed them. A range of other activities, including the popular tractor-trailer rides and the lunchtime feed tour, keeps the itinerary interesting and ensures a dynamic range of offerings for all ages. 

With conservation deeply at the core of Staglands’ founding roots, the reserve has always played a role in advocating for New Zealand’s native wildlife and ensuring people have easy access to it. It’s a mission that is alive and well today, as people from across the country and beyond flock to Staglands every day to rekindle their appreciation for nature.

Words by John Son & Photography by Anna Briggs

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2362 Akatarawa Road, Akatarawa Valley, Upper Hutt

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