Public kiwi releases on Saturday 15 November

3rd November 2014

Come along and be part of a special event to release two kiwi chicks on Rotoroa. Get in quick to secure your spot; numbers are limited.

The chicks, hatched at Auckland Zoo from eggs collected from Te Mata in The Coromandel, will be released on Rotoroa, joining three other kiwi - Aratangi, Tuatahi and Ngawari - released last month.

The introduction of kiwi marks the start of a new programme between Rotoroa Island Trust, Auckland Zoo and Thames Coast Kiwi Care (TCKC) that will help boost the population of Coromandel North Island brown kiwi - the rarest of the four distinct types of brown kiwi.  Up to 20 chicks could be released onto Rotoroa each year. It's estimated that only 1500 Coromandel brown kiwi survive on the peninsula. Kiwi from Rotoroa will be returned to the wild once they reach maturity.


  • 360 Discovery Cruises depart for Rotoroa from Auckland at 8:45am (Orapiu, Waiheke from 9:45am).
  • Visitors arrive at Rotoroa at 10am.
  • Kiwi releases will occur at 11am and 1pm and will be accompanied by a kiwi conservation talk from Auckland Zoo keepers. Members of the public will have the opportunity to see a kiwi chick close up but will not be able to touch the birds.
  • A free sausage sizzle will operate at Home Bay from 3pm.
  • Ferries depart for Auckland (and Waiheke) at 5:15pm.



  • Rotoroa has no shops so please bring a packed lunch and a drink. Drinking water is available on the island.
  • Wear sturdy walking shoes and pack sunblock, a hat, togs and something warm.
  • All bags must be pest proof as Rotoroa is pest free; this means no open or shopping bags. A rucksack with zip is perfect but please check your bags for insects and rodents, and pack food in a sealable container. Make sure your shoes are clean and free of seeds.


Ferry tickets for the kiwi release event are limited. A wet weather back up day has been scheduled for Sunday 16 November.

Please book your tickets through 360 Discovery Cruises:


Adults: $50; children aged 5-15: $30; infants under 5 are free

Families (2 adults and 2 children): $130

Adults: $22; children aged 5-15: $13; infants under 5 are free

Families (2 adults and 2 children): $57

Although the release of kiwi chicks is planned for 15 November, it is possible that operational requirements or health concerns about the chicks may cause the public release to be cancelled without notice; we hope this won't happen but you never know!


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