There’s wildlife to witness around these parts too. Feed giraffes and lemur, ride into a lion enclosure or get up close with a rhino at Orana Wildlife Park – New Zealand’s only open range zoo. For a New Zealand wildlife encounter, Willowbank is the place – you might even come face to face with the elusive national bird – the Kiwi.
Orana Wildlife Park
Set in 80 hectares, Orana Wildlife Park is New Zealand’s only open range zoo. It is within 15 minutes drive from Christchurch airport. The Park provides amazing animal encounters: hand feed giraffe, meet rhino up close, see NZ’s only gorillas and orang-utans, view kiwi and travel through the lion habitat (cost and conditions apply). Scheduled presentations occur daily. Visitors can enjoy the antics of cheetah, tigers, Tasmanian devils, monkeys, meerkats and more. An extensive NZ section features kiwi, a wide range of birds and reptiles plus two walk-through aviaries (giving the chance to meet the mischievous kea). Guided tours operate daily. A cafe and fantastic wildlife gift shop are on-site. It’s a full day of fun for everyone at Orana.
Willowbank Wildlife Reserve
Close encounters of the ‘wildlife kind’ are a Willowbank trademark. Meet New Zealand’s Big 5 with the Kiwi, the cheeky Kea, the ancient Tuatara, our bush parrot the Kaka and the very rare Takahe. Feed the wild eels and make friends with the livestock breeds unique to New Zealand. Listen to the kiwi as it forages by your feet. Embark on a journey through the history of New Zealand. See the impact of introduced species in ‘Wild NZ’ and meet old livestock breeds in ‘Heritage NZ’. Experience native wildlife in ‘Natural NZ’ and share our hope for their future. Relax and enjoy your experience in conservation. Willowbank is a place close to both Christchurch city and the airport where culture and conservation combine. Willowbank opens at 9.30am