You can meet a takahē at several sites around the country. In the wild, takahē only exist in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland National Park and more recently Gouland Downs in Kahurangi National Park.

Takahe Recovery logo.

Outside of the wild populations, takahē live at sanctuary sites. With the exception of the Burwood Takahē Centre, Cape Sanctuary, and two privately owned islands, sanctuary sites are open to the public.

Takahē at public sites are our ambassadors, providing opportunities for you to admire and learn more about these amazing 'pre-historic' looking birds.

Auckland Zoo

The public can view takahē up close at Auckland Zoo.

Auckland Zoo

Burwood Takahē Centre

The centre was purpose built in 1985 as an incubation and hand rearing facility and is famous for historically using puppets and models to rear takahē chicks. It is not open to the public. 

Burwood Takahē Centre

Cape Sanctuary

Cape Sanctuary is a privately-owned and funded 2,500 ha restoration site situated on three properties on the Cape Kidnappers/Te Kauwae-a-Māui Peninsula. It is not open to the public. 

Kahurangi National Park

Gouland Downs in Kahurangi National Park could be home to the first wild population of takahē outside their Murchison Mountain refuge. It's open to the public.

Kahurangi National Park

Kapiti Island

Only an hour from Wellington, the Kapiti Island Nature Reserve has a unique environment populated with birds and wildlife rarely seen on the mainland. It's open to the public.

Kapiti Island Nature Reserve

Mana Island

Mana has a longstanding history with takahē recovery, being the first secure island site establish to facilitate takahē breeding, and remains to be one of the most productive ones. Mana Island is open to visitors between 8 am and 5 pm.

Mana Island Scientific Reserve

Maungatautari Ecological Island

Maungatautari is known as a mainland island and located in the Waikato. It's open to the public.

Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari website

Murchison Mountains

The remote alpine tussock basins of the Murchison Mountains on the western side of Lake Te Anau hid the takahē for 50 years until their rediscovery in 1948.

Following the rediscovery, the Murchison Mountains were declared a 'takahē special area', off limits to all except a few scientists and deer cullers. It is not open to the public. 

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

The ecosanctuary is a biodiversity project near Dunedin where multiple species of plants and animals are protected from predators. It's open to the public.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre

The centre is an unfenced sanctuary for native wildlife in the Wairarapa. It's open to the public.

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre website

Punanga Manu O Te Anau / Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

This bird sanctuary is located on the shores of Lake Te Anau and is open to the public.

Punanga Manu O Te Anau / Te Anau Bird Sanctuary

Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary

Located a 90-minute drive north of Auckland the sanctuary encompasses the Tāwharanui Peninsula. It's open to the public. 

Tāwharanui Open Sanctuary website

Tiritiri Matangi, Motutapu, Rotoroa islands

Takahē are found on predator free islands in the Hauraki Gulf including Tiritiri Matangi, Motutapu, and Rotoroa islands. The public can visit the islands. 

Hauraki Gulf Marine Park

Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary

Located in Taupō this golf course and sanctuary is open to the public.

Wairakei Golf + Sanctuary website

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

Located in Christchurch this reserve is open to the public.

Willowbank Wildlife Reserve website


Zealandia is a conservation project and attraction in Wellington where the biodiversity of 225 ha of forest is being restored. It's open to the public. 

Zealandia website

Back to top