Earthlore Wildlife Gardens is child friendly, with our on site activities designed for families but some of our tours have an age restriction for safety reasons.
Yes. There is a Portaloo at Earthlore and you will have access to a toilet when working for the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust. There are other public toilets around the Catlins. See your guide leaflet for details.
Bring flat walking shoes, camera, comfortable clothing suitable for all weather condition, rain and sun protection as necessary. Don't forget to bring any MEDICATION you may require.
Earthlore is 2-5 kilometers from the Owaka township, on the road to Jacks Bay.
Earthlore is 20 minutes from Balclutha - 1 hour from Gore and 1-5 hours from both Dunedin and Invercargill.
It is the nature of wildlife that we can offer no guarantees of what you will see on our tours. We will advise you of the places you can go to view wildlife and as part of our tours we offer Wildlife Guardianship workshops to teach you how to interact safely with our native animals. Earthlore itself has many resident birds, including Tui, Kereru and Bellbird.
Because Earthlore is a garden on a hill with gravel and grass paths, wheelchair access is limited. Earthlore's vehicles do not have the facility to accommodate wheelchairs.
As The Catlins is a rainforest, come prepared with suitable wet weather gear but if it is extremely windy, cold or raining hard then the tour will be cancelled but this is at Earthlore's discretion. In this instance, a full refund less a 10% booking fee will be given.
Most visitors stay for one and a half to two hours.
The gardens are at their best from October through until April but contact us and we will be happy to let you know what wildlife are around and what the conditions are like.
A reasonable level of fitness is required as there are some hilly sections but you won't be walking large distances.
Earthlore will lend you binoculars to use during the tour - including on your free day. We also have a pair of night vision googles for everyone to share on our night time tour.
You are welcome to bring food and drink (non alcoholic) to enjoy at one of our picnic tables. We also have hot drinks available to buy.
English is the only language spoken by the hosts.
We loved everything about Earthlore! It was a great experience for our 3 kids when they were, 3 years, 2 years and a baby. We look forward to coming back this year!
Sara Sellers Ferguson, Facebook
Awesome afternoon had by all ages at Earthlore. Fantastic chance for the kids to get up close and personal with some bugs. Loved the flea circus, donkeys, fruit forest and dress ups. Must do if you're near Owaka
John-Renee White, Riverton
Excellent place. Run by a friendly couple. Inspector insector is very knowledgeable. It was just us there that day and we still got the full tour and experience, plus some more detailed advice on garden insects and plants. The gardens are interesting for adults too.