Suitable for all ages
This zoo is huge with a big selection of animals on show, some of which aren’t at any other New Zealand zoo. If you’re planning a visit, it’s worth showing your kid(s) a map of the zoo so you can try to have an idea about which animals they’re most interested in seeing and plan your route accordingly. Unless you have very eager and able walkers with you, you’re unlikely to get round the whole zoo in one visit (although we have found, you can get round most of it, if you spend the day there and allow for lots of food breaks!) For toddlers, you might consider taking a buggy with you, for when they get tired. The paths are fine for buggies although there are 2 small sections with stairs that are marked on the zoo map which you might want to avoid by using alternate routes (near the ring tailed lemur and going into the band rotunda/willow island areas).
As with all zoos, some animals will be easier to spot than others, so if there’s a ‘must see’ animal for your kid(s), check out if there’s a feeding time here and plan this into your visit if possible.
There are 3 cafes onsite but it’s also OK to take your own picnic to enjoy while you’re there. It’s worth noting that there are quite a few water fountains all round the zoo for refilling bottles. If you are going to need nappy changing facilities, it could pay to note where these are on the map, as only 4 of the toilets have a change table.
Ideally you’d visit the zoo on a fine day but it is possible to still have fun if it’s showery as there are some inside or undercover places to take refuge out of the rain (notably the fur seal viewing area, the viewing house for the Blue Ducks and Takahe and the Orang Utan viewing platform). There’s also an indoor Kid Zone with farm animals to see and pet and other activities. If the forecast is to pour all day, you might be better postponing your trip.
You might want to check out their Facebook page here to see if there’s anything special happening when you plan to visit.
Related tagsAuckland, Auckland City, Outside
Tel: 09 360 3805
Address: Motions Road, Western Springs, Auckland 1022. Big free carpark just outside the main entrance.
Open: daily. Winter hours (1 May to 31 August) 9.30am – 5pm (last admission 4.15pm). Summer hours (1 September to 30 April) 9.30am to 5.30pm (last admission 4.15pm). Closed Christmas Day.
Price: Adult $28, Kids (4 – 15 years) $12, Preschoolers 3 years old and under are free. Family Pass (1A+2K) $47 or (2A+2K) $72 additional kids $10. It’s worth checking here for discounted entrance through Bookme.