Okay, this was not what I expected. The flyer at the YHA was misleading in the fact that I thought you would be able to see other things than just bugs, birds, and trees. However, it was a very memorable evening. For $45 NZ, Nigel will you pick you up from the centre of town and drive you to the sanctuary. You need to know, which I soon realized, that you will only really enjoy this tour if you are fascinated with birds/ducks and trees; otherwise, I'm telling you, you will not enjoy it like the other enthusiasts on the trip. Bring a good pair of boots that you don't mind getting dirty and that are comfy, as you do a 3km walk in the dark that lasts around 2 hours. There are no lights illumating the park; you do have flashlights, but really, we didn't see much at all. It didn't help matters that it then decided to pour down with rain (the tour doesn't stop for rain), so walking around in the dark, getting soaked, is hardly an enjoyable way to spend an evening.
We walked up a zig-zag path to reach a dam, where we were told we could have a good view and hear some bird calls. However, the rain had turned the path into mud which soon became slippery, and when we went over a few small bridges, there were no handrails--just some rather steep drops on either side, and considering that, by now, it was pitch-black, I was holding onto my boyfriend's hand for dear life. When we reached the dam, again, it was too dark to really be able to appreciate any views. I'm sure it would be great if you did the daytime tour, but at night, the views and setting are completly wasted on you.
As for the bird calls, which I confess I was not really interested in (by this point, I was only interested in getting dry and hoping I would not slip on the way down), Nigel did tell us what birds we were hearing, but for a lot of the time, there were buttons he pressed on machines which replicated the birds' calls, and you could do this yourself. It only costs $8 NZ to enter the park, rather than doing the $45 tour, so you make a good saving and can just press the buttons yourself.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend doing the nighttime tour; you don't get to see much. The park is indeed pretty, so it would be good to see it in the daytime. But the 45 bucks wasn't really worth it, and I would have thought that, when they say you will see wildlife, you would be able to see stoats, possums, or maybe a few imported koalas. I didn't realise that wildlife here was just birds and insects.