The rowi is a large brown kiwi. Pale brown soft feathers streaked with brown and black; long pale bill, short pale legs, toes and claws.

Voice:  Male gives a high-pitched ascending whistle repeated 15-25 times; female gives a slower and lower pitched hoarse guttural call repeated 10-20 times.

Similar species: tokoeka are larger and darker or redder. The calls of weka are similar to the male call, but weka have two-syllable calls, and usually have fewer repetitions.