Invercargill’s famous living dinosaurs are getting ready to welcome crowds to the 2018 ILT Kidzone Festival.

In a first for ILT Kidzone, a room will be set up at the festival for the tuatara from 11-16 July, 2018.

Venture Southland’s ILT Kidzone Festival Director Claire Blau said the confirmed tuatara presence was very exciting.

“We are excited to provide a special opportunity for people to get up close and personal with Southland’s oldest living dinosaurs,” Blau said.

Southland Museum and Art Gallery Operations Manager Hayley Browne said Tuatara curator Lindsay Hazley, two sociable tuatara and a species of locusts, the short-horned grasshoppers, will be at the festival for people to see.

“We are thrilled to be able to be part of the 2018 ILT Kidzone Festival, keeping kids connected with taonga and natural history. If people can’t come to us, we will go to the people,” Browne said.

The presence of the tuatara has added to the extensive line-up of new activities available at this year’s ILT Kidzone Festival.  

“For your chance to see the tuatara and take part in new activities like flax weaving, sumo wrestling and joining the multiplayer gaming club make sure you get your tickets before they sell out,” Blau said.

Tickets for the festival are also now available to be purchased from ILT Stadium Southland.  

Blau said the stadium provided another high traffic venue to purchase tickets from.

Tickets can also be purchased from the Invercargill i-SITE, Southland District Council area offices, Gore Visitor Centre and online at the ILT Kidzone Festival website.

The ILT Kidzone Festival, in its 14th year, will be held at James Hargest College Senior Campus from 10:30am-3:30pm each day, from 11-16 July, 2018.