I took some Korean guests with me to this place last week . It is located on the edge of Waikanae town , but to get there you have to go through about a km of rural land , and then down a long drive .... It is a beautiful layout , with emphasis on native bushland , wetlands , lakes and lawns . It is the only place that I am aware of in NZ where (adult) visitors can have the opportunity to stroke a living dinosaur -- the tuatara . Normally these are placid animals , but they wont hesitate to bite if they feel threatened or afraid , and if they bite , they dont let go in a hurry ( hence the adults only clause ) There are a few walk in aviaries as well as the more conventional types , with most aviaries being of reasonable size -- the exception being the ones that house the NZ wood pigeons , of which a large one would be bigger than a hen . There is also a nocturnal house , but some silly Japanese visitor decided to use a camera flash , so the kiwis decided to hide when I was there . There is no way of seeing them after that sort of incident . The highlight would have to be the over friendly kaka parrot ( about the same size as ne of those large black ones in Australia ) who loves to stand on your head or shoulder and give you alot of kisses . Fortunately it doesnt have the same inquisitive nature that keas have , as it also has a large beak ! The kea aviary is also" walk into " but they had other items to investigate , and only an idiot would even pretend to offer a kea something to investigate due to incredible curiosity and strength . Fortunately keas are not aggressive towards humans -- even though they are not afraid of them either . The place is certainly worth a visit if you are in the Wellington region . There is a place that you can buy refreshments and bags of ??? to feed the ducks , geese , swans ,eels . Just dont offer some to the keas !