Spotlight on Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs
19 April 2011
Rainbow Springs was a favourite spot for our family. Every holiday we’d visit our grandparents in Tauranga, and invariably we’d be taken for a day-trip to Rotorua and a visit to this iconic tourism kiwi wildlife park was always a memorable highlight.
Things have moved on since the last visit around twenty years ago and ancient stories are now hatching at Rotorua's Rainbow Springs with the recent arrival of 11 precious baby tuataras.
New Zealand's own living dinosaurs are very rarely bred in captivity and the eggs hatched between 30 March and 10 April to proud parents Honey (24) and Bugsy (53,) after a 184-day incubation period.
It's Rainbow Springs’ first hatch of tuatara eggs and believed to be one of the largest clutch of eggs to successfully hatch in captivity in New Zealand. The public will have a chance for their first look in about six months time.
While the sex of the new arrivals hasn't yet been determined, as with other reptiles the warmer the soil around the eggs, the greater the chance they will be males and the cooler the soil, the greater the chance they will be females. With further breeding in mind Rainbow Springs is hoping for a mix of both sexes.
The nocturnal tuatara is an ancient reptile, which roamed the earth the same time as dinosaurs more than 225 million years ago. Its relatives died out about 60 million years ago which is why tuataras are sometimes called a “living fossil”.
Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park is spread over 22 acres of Rotorua parkland and is a conservation and breeding haven for endangered New Zealand species such as Kiwi and tuatara. The park offers a unique wildlife experience for visitors, who can see animals in their natural environment, both during the day and night. Features of the award winning tourist attraction include New Zealand's only 'open to view' Kiwi hatchery, and a range of wildlife including trout, tuatara and native birds.
Rainbow Springs, Fairy Springs Road, Rotorua.