Image: Sarah Stirrup | ©


Take a peek at some of Fiordland’s special birds that are difficult to see in the wild. A great family friendly place to visit.

Location and getting there

Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary is set on the shores of Lake Te Anau, and is an easy 20 minute walk or 2 minute drive from the Te Rua-o-te-Moko/Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre.

How to get to the 20 minute walk.

Open times and cost

The sanctuary is open to the public from dawn to dusk.

Public tours of the sanctuary run daily at 10.30 am for around 45 minutes.  

General entry

Entry is free for self-guided visitors. However, donations are essential to the continued running of the sanctuary. You can contribute to the sanctuary through donation boxes on site. Donations can also be made in cash or Eftpos at Te Rua-o-te-Moko/Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre or online via the Te Anau Bird Santuary New Zealand Nature Fund webpage.

There are public toilets, picnic tables and a spring water tap.

Birds you can see at the Sanctuary


Takahē are the stars of the show at Punanga Manu o Te Anau and meeting these prehistoric-looking characters is a 'must do' for Fiordland visitors. The Te Anau Bird Sanctuary’s takahē pairs support the Takahē Recovery Programme by raising chicks which are released into predator controlled wild homes at around one year of age.


Kākā are related to the rarer kea or mountain parrot. They are absent from many New Zealand forests due to predation and competition from introduced pests.

The sanctuary supports the South Island kākā recovery programme. Birds bred here are released into predator-controlled areas to help re-establish wild populations.

More about kākā.

Antipodes Island parakeets

Antipodes Island parakeets are not native to mainland New Zealand and found here only in captivity.

Our parakeets are part of a very small ‘insurance’ population which was established in case harm befell the isolated wild population.

Pateke/Brown Teal

Pateke are small members of the duck family which previously had the conservation status ‘Nationally Endangered’. Habitat restoration, predator control and captive breeding for release have helped populations to recover.  

Birds held at the sanctuary are part of a breeding programme that has contributed to an improved conservation status for this species.

More about pateke/brown teal

Kōwhiowhio/whio/blue duck

Kōwhiowhio thrive in the clean, cool, highly oxygenated water of our mountain streams and rivers, but are unfortunately vulnerable to attack by introduced mammals like stoats and possums.

The sanctuary’s pair are part of a successful captive rearing programme which aims to restore wild populations. This programme is kindly sponsored by Te Anau Lakeview Holiday Park.

More about Kōwhiowhio/whio/blue duck

Other birds you might see

The abundance of birdlife makes Punanga Manu o Te Anau/Te Anau Bird Sanctuary the perfect place for practicing wildlife photography. If you can’t see many birds during your visit, look out for kārearea, the beautiful and rare native falcon who may be paying the sanctuary residents an unwelcome visit.

Back to top