What's On at Zealandia


Freshwater Fun These School Holidays

Freshwater Fun These School Holidays

Kids need to expend some energy these school holidays? We’ve got you covered! With heaps of space to explore and things to see, come along to Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne and get out in nature. We’ve also got some fun activities planned to help keep the kids busy!

Do you know your wai?

It's all about freshwater fun these school holidays! 

Explore the sanctuary with our freshwater treasure hunt and introduce your tamariki/kids to some of the freshwater species living in the wai/water. Clues will be hidden throughout the lower valley along with some helpful information to help you along your hunt. 
Visit the Visitors Centre front desk to pick up your treasure map which has all the clues you'll need to complete the treasure hunt. Hand in your completed treasure map at the front desk to get a sweet treat (thanks to Whittaker's) in return for your hard mahi! 

While you're out exploring, see if you can spot the real thing! Many of the featured species can be seen if you take your time and take it all in. 
Our new viewing deck in the wetlands gives you a great view of a fish ladder, and you can often see the ika/fish, banded kōkopu, swimming along Te Māhanga stream if you have a good look. 

Photo by Leon Berard

There's also a special species of ika/fish we'd like you to meet these holidays...

The toitoi/common bully is coming to Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne! Toitoi are very special to the kākahi that live in Roto Māhanga (upper reservoir) so we're translocating some into the sanctuary as part of our lake restoration projects. 

To help you get to know them, we've created a colouring competition where kids can colour in the toitoi and kākahi! There are lots of spot prizes to be won, including Kids Night Walk passes, and Zealandia merch!

You might even get a chance to meet the real deal – some of the toitoi will be staying in the Boat Shed while they wait in quarantine before being released into Roto Māhanga. We’ll also be running daily mini talks where you can get up close to these normally hard to spot ika.  


Check out our line up of school holidays events below:

For more info, visit the events page on our website.

Freshwater Treasure Hunt

  • When: All Holidays!
  • Where: Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne Sanctuary

Download Map 

Colouring in Competition

  • When: All Holidays!
  • Where: Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne Sanctuary

Download the colouring sheet pdf here

Drop off your completed colouring sheet to the Visitors Centre, or submit it online here

Interactive Theatre Performance

  • When: 12 April, 2:30
  • Where: Heritage Lawn

On April 12th, Zealandia Te Māra a Tāne will become a playground for a host of incredible characters from the upcoming children’s play Land of the Long Long Drive performed by award winning company Horse With No Name. Bring the kids along to engage with some of the colourful creatures including wētā, kārearea, tuna, and more. Musical performance, native biodiversity and interactive theatre combine on our Heritage Lawn for an afternoon of fun in the sun!

Land of the Long Long Drive will also be playing at Circa Theatre over these school holidays.


  • When: 18 April, 10am-2pm
  • Where: Round Lawn (just up from the Visitors Centre)

The incredible facepainting artists from Daizy Designs will be here to transform your tamariki into some of our special native species. From pīwakawaka to kōwhai - the only question is how to choose which one!


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