Auckland Zoo has always held a bit of magic for me. As a child, it was a long trip to the big smoke and the promise of a zoo visit made the journey worthwhile. There was nowhere like it in my hometown and the promise of real elephants was a big draw for me. Now we live close to a zoo. Our local zoo is great, but the promise of real elephants is still more than enough to draw me to Auckland Zoo.
Visiting Auckland Zoo
Recently I took my kids along to Auckland Zoo for a visit. The last time we were there, the newest elephant had just arrived and I was excited to catch a glimpse. On that day though, the weather was not the best. It was midwinter and wet and some of the animals, including the elephants were tucked up under shelter. This time around, we visited on a beautiful late summer day. We had the whole day at the zoo, as we arrived right on opening. Parking-wise, there are two large free car parks at Auckland Zoo. There is also some street parking, but I would suggest going early if possible.
We decided to travel around the zoo using the map pretending to ‘fly’ to each area of the world to see the animals. My youngest was very excited by this, getting her imaginary passport stamped at each new section. My eldest thought I was off my rocker, but played along. As we moved around the zoo, we discovered many different types of animals and learnt a bit about the types of habitats those animals were used to. It was fun and educational, and with 126 species and over 1,000 animals, there are truly creatures for everyone there. We learnt about conservation of the animals and efforts we can make at home to help the environment locally and globally.
Time for a snack
You can bring your own food for a picnic and there are plenty of beautiful areas to sit and eat. Auckland Zoo also has a cafe, and the food there was delicious. We stayed from opening until closing, which was a crazy long day with lots of walking. The cafe offered us a chance to replenish energy levels and rest tired feet.
Meeting the inhabitants
My youngest loved the eels and the snake-necked turtles. She was astounded by the size of the Galapagos tortoise. My eldest thought the smaller tortoises on display were adorable, and loved the flamingos. She also got a kick out of searching for spiders in another display. Best of all we made it to a zoo talk about the elephants and got to watch them smashing large ice blocks of treats open. Miss five was thrilled when she got a chance to talk to the zookeeper about the elephants as well. We ended up at the children’s playground twice during our visit. My children are obsessed with the concrete dragon there and have named him “Sparkle”. He is definitely a great photo opportunity.
I would recommend a visit to Auckland Zoo for anyone. It’s a great place, and it has a lot to offer including the Bug Lab that is currently in residence there. They often have events during the day or evening as well. Over school holidays they also run programmes for kids to get more involved.
Watch our Auckland Zoo video on the Baby Likes Cake YouTube channel!
This article was written by Kym Moore. Kym is a working mum of two, and occasional blogger. Fancies herself a writer, when she isn’t editing her kids’ vlogs or running their social media at Baby Likes Cake. Follow them on Facebook and YouTube.
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