Wildbase Recovery

Monday1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Tuesday1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Wednesday1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Thursday1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Friday1:00 – 4:00 pm.

Saturday10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Sunday10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

20 Victoria Drive, West End, Palmerston North

06-356 8199

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery provides shelter and world class care for native wildlife after treatment at Massey University’s Wildbase Hospital. It’s a place where you can observe New Zealand’s unique native species and learn more about the hard work that goes into looking after them.

Some animals come and go but others are here to stay. Resident animals can’t be released back into the wild because they were either bred in captivity or they have conditions that prevent them from surviving on their own. In the walkthrough aviary you’ll meet residents like the cheeky kākā (bush parrots) called Maia and Tāne. Keep a sharp eye out and you may also spot Tūī, korimako (bellbird), red-crowned kākāriki (part of the parakeet group) or one of the four resident tuatara - they’re a lot bigger than you might expect! Whio (blue duck) and pāteke (brown teal) are also permanent residents and part of a captive breed for release programme in partnership with the Department of Conservation.

You can observe native birds that are recovering and preparing for a return to the wild in the recovery aviaries. The enclosures are specifically designed so the birds are unaware of visitors and can relax without disturbance. Past patients have included brown kiwi, kererū (NZ pigeon), matuku (white faced heron), kororā (little blue penguin) and kāhu (swamp harrier), amongst others.

As you wander through Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery, you’ll quickly learn about these animals and their histories, diets, habitats and significance, as well as the challenges they face in the wild. The staff are available to tell you more about the individual animals, their journeys and care.

Head inside the Powerco Education Centre to watch videos, listen to recordings and learn even more about New Zealand’s native species and the conservation efforts that surround them. You can also view the treatment and food preparation rooms where the staff care for the animals and monitor their rehabilitation and overall health.

Central Energy Trust Wildbase Recovery is free to visit. The free, onsite education programme can be booked via email for student and educational groups of all ages. Private group tours can be booked for just $5 per person and are led by knowledgeable visitor hosts.

Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Anna Briggs

20 Victoria Drive, West End, Palmerston North

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