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Moko kākāriki ~
Marlborough Green Gecko


(Naultinus manukanus)

Here in Aotearoa we have over 44 species of geckos! Some of which you can only find right here in Marlborough - including the very special Marlborough Green, or 'Manuka', Gecko.



There are a few ways you can spot the difference between a gecko and a skink. Geckos have broad heads with rounded snouts and large bulging eyes. They also have soft velvety-looking skin that sits almost loose on its body, whereas a skink's skin is tight and shiny. The Marlborough Green gecko is mostly an emerald, green colour, with a gold start like markings on them. Sometimes they can even be yellow in colour as well.


Image Credit - Koru Native Wildlife Center


Throughout this page you'll find some fun activities and resources you can explore at home with your whānau and friends.

Some of these resources have been put together with the help of our fantastic local organisations.

A huge thank you to those people who have helped put these together for us, we appreciate your support!

Don't forget to share your activities with us, either tag us on social media

or email them to us at

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Image Credit -  Ben Barr

Māori first described the vocalizations of green geckos to Europeans as being like that of the kaka - laughter, being a repetitive call somewhere between a bark and a squeak. 

Māori call lizards (skinks and geckos) mokomoko.

Geckos and skins were often believed to be evil and brought the feeling of miss fortune or death with them. 


Te Ao


 Art - Gecko Colouring In

Gecko Coloring In 

Download this fantastic gecko scene drawing by talented artist Larissa Larimar. Have fun colouring it in and don't forget to share it with us. We would love to see your creation!


Marlborough green gecko is a tree-dwelling lizard, this is one of the reasons it is also called the Manuka Gecko. 

They like to live in low lying shrubs and small trees, with a particular fondness for Manuka and Kanuka trees.

Geckos have 'sticky' feet! They have toe pads that are covered in thousands of microscopic hairs called setae.

These hairs create an electromagnetic attraction known as van der Waals forces. This is what allows them to climb up walls, trees, rock... even upside down on the ceiling if they wanted to!

Image  Credit - Unknown 



CRAFT - Make a Pet Gecko

Make your own pet gecko!

Have a go at making your own pet gecko!

You can decorate your pet gecko any way you like.

You might like to create your own design or research what geckos are found in your area and decorate your pet gecko to look like them. 

You can find out more about the different types of geckos in NZ on the Department of Conservation website:

Types of geckos: Lizards (

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Click the image to download the PDF sheet!


& Diet

Like most of New Zealand Geckos, the Marlborough Green Geckos are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Their diet mainly consists of insects such as moths, flies, small crickets, and larvae, however, they also eat some berries and take the nectar from certain flowers too.


Image -Credit -  Nick Harker

Gecko GAMES 

Grab some of your friends or whānau and have a go at these fun Gecko games and activities.

Predator Game


This game helps to demonstrate the effects different predators have on our gecko population. You can also add in some cool gecko 'helping hands' to see how this can also affect our gecko population.​

Click on the image to download the instructions.


If you give this game a go with your class or some friends take a pic or video and share it with us!

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Marlborough Green Geckos are very slow breeders, normally only breeding once a year.

One of the things that makes our geckos so unique is that they give birth to live young rather than laying eggs. This is called being 'ovoviviparous' - the eggs hatch inside the gecko mum's body! Most of our NZ geckos only give birth to one offspring at a time, and only occasionally have twins. 

Image Credit -  Jole Knight



ACTIVITY - Test Your Knowledge

Gecko Names Word Find

Have fun testing your knowledge and see if you can find all the different Marlborough Geckos common names. If you want a real challenge see if you can find all of their scientific names awell! 

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Click the image to download the quiz!
Click the Gecko to download the answers.


Did you know that geckos can't blink? They have transparent (see-through) eyelids that are are fused together. They have to lick their eyes with their spoon-like tongue to keep them from drying out.


Can you reach your eyes with your tongue? 

Crazy Facts!


Image Credit -  Orana Wildlife Park 

Other Gecko Resources 

Below you will find links to other Gecko resources. These books can be found at most book shops and library's around NZ. You can also order them online. 


by Raymond Huber and Brian Lovelock

GO Green Gecko

by Gay Hay and Margaret Tolland

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Reptiles and Amphibians of NZ

by Dyland van Winkel


DOC  - Toyota Kiwi Guardian Activity

Become a Habitat Creator and make a Lizard Lounge for your backyard!

Although the Toyota Kiwi Guardian programme has now finished and you can no longer claim the medals.

The activities are still a fantastic way for your tamariki to help support our conservation efforts and our native species.  


Below is a link to the "Lizard Lounge" activity instructions!

Make a Lizard lounge to help attracted Lizards and Geckos to your back yard.  

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Click the image to download a PDF Instruction sheet to learn how to become a Habitat Creator!

Some of the top threats to our NZ geckos are introduced predators, including mice, rats, hedgehogs, weasels, stoats, ferrets, cats, possums, and pigs. These predators are often active at night and hunt on the ground.


Loss of habitat is also a large threat to the geckos. Clearing of grounds for human planting or building can cause geckos to lose their homes. 

But don't worry there is things you can do to help protect these amazing Geckos, keep reading below to find ways you can help out.



Image Credit - CKNZ Event, Marcus O'Donnell


What YOU can do!

So how can you help to protect our fantastic Geckos?

There are lots of things you can do at home to help.

Here are some things you can do:

  •   If you own a cat, keep it well feed and inside the house at night time. Put a bell on its collar to help alert our geckos to the cats presence.

  • Help do predator tracking to find out if you have geckos in your back yard. More importantly do you have pests in your yard that might be harming them?

  •   Create areas in your garden for shelter for geckos, things like piles of bricks and sticks and branches. Old tin from sheds and lots of leaves and bushes. 

  • In the summer leave some small containers of water out for them around the fence line. 


Image Credit - CKNZ Event, Antonia O'Donnell 

Visit a Marlborough Green Gecko

If you live in the Marlborough region, you can see some Geckos at these places below.

Click the logo to be taken to their websites.


Gecko Gallery 
Images from some of our Gecko events

2021 Gecko Day

2020 Koru Wildlife Visit

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