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Bugs About

Bugs About is a fantastic bug exhibit that consists of tarantulas, wetas, cockroaches, frogs, locusts and other insects and mini-beasts. We have 2 great daily encounters for our wētāpunga and tarantula, scroll down to find out more.

Wētā are unique to New Zealand and Butterfly Creek is home to the largest of all the wētā species, the Little Barrier Giant Weta (wētāpunga). These mighty insects can weigh around 30 grams and can grow as long as 15 centimetres. Rats, stoats and massive habitat loss have almost wiped out the wētāpunga, but the team at Butterfly Creek, along with the Department of Conservation are doing their bit to help build up populations of this amazing insect again. Click here to read more about our Wētāpunga and conservation work.


Get up close with our bugs

Come experience some of our largest and most fascinating bugs up close with our two free daily bug encounters. At 11am, head on over to our Butterfly House for an up close encounter with one of our resident tarantula, you will be surprised how fluffy they are! Then at 1:30pm, make your way to our wētā enclosure to see our native wētāpunga up close. Our keepers will be happy to answer any questions you may have! To see more of our Daily Encounters, click here.


Did you know…

  • The wētāpunga is the largest insect in New Zealand and can grow up to 100mm in size and weigh up to 80 grams – thats heavier than the average sparrow!
  • Due to increased pressures of habitat loss and predators, the wētāpunga are presumed extinct on the mainland.
  • Some tropical stick insects can grow up to 33cm long – thats the length of your foot.
  • Most species of tarantula can live for up to 25 years and the oldest recorded tarantula died at the age of 43.
  • Female tarantula can lay up to 2000 eggs.

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