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Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
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Visiting Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch

4.5 (100%) 172 votes

Orana Wildlife Park is the only open-range zoo in New Zealand that is opened in 1976 with more than 400 hundred animals from 70 different species from all around the world.

Take a closer look to the wild animals in Orana Wildlife Park

Take a closer look to the wild animals in Orana Wildlife Park

1. The history of Orana Wildlife Park

1. The history of Orana Wildlife Park

Orana Wildlife Park took six years to be built, starting in an almost unusable land, the volunteers cleared the site with just hand tools. Then on 10 September 1976, the first animals of the zoo arrived from Australia, consisted of lions, tigers, camels, donkeys, buffaloes, and ponies. Then the park was officially opened on 25 September in the same year. The drive-through Lion Reserve has been one of the main attractions since the beginning and successfully attracts many visitors. However, it was temporarily stopped in 1995, when the habitat of the lions was changed. The Park keep expanding with new zones and a lot of new animals brought to be part of the exhibitions. In 2006, the siamang habitat at the zoo won a zoo industry excellence in exhibit design. However, from 2010 to 2013, Orana Wildlife Park must suffered the damage from the earthquakes and other natural disaster like the flood and snow storms. The park was then revived and showed its success by bringing the gorilla and orang utan that are not existing yet in any other zoo in New Zealand.

2. Have a thrill of facing a lion in front of your eyes

2. Have a thrill of facing a lion in front of your eyes

Lion Encounter has been an attractions that supports the success of Orana Wildlife Park. Being one of the main activities, this attraction is a must do when you visit the park. This encounter is not for the weak hearted because you will be taken right to the habitat of the African Lions in the zoo. You will ride the specially modified vehicle that will let you take a close view if the animals during their feeding time. Not just looking from the front or the side, you can see the lions from below as they often climb to the roof of the vehicle. Make sure to get a spot because this attraction is only available for 20 people each day. To take part in the Lion Encounter, you must be at more than 1.4 metres in height. Children under 15 years old must also be accompanied by a paying adult. Be noted that the tickets for this attraction is sold separately.

3. Meet the only gorilla and orang utan in New Zealand

3. Meet the only gorilla and orang utan in New Zealand

Orana Wildlife Park is the only place in New Zealand that gives you the chance to meet the gorillas and orang utan. The zoo currently has three males, Fuzu, Mahali, and Fataki that has the silverback. If you want to see them, then you better visit the zoo in the morning. While the Orang Utan troop in the zoo consists of a male and two females that were brought from three different zoos. They are Charlie from Singapore Zoo, Melur from Hong Kong Zoo, and Wanita from Sydney. They were brought in November 2017 and joined the gorillas as a part of the Park's Great Ape Centre. Orana Wildlife Park is also taking part in conserving them as they are considered as endangered species. If you want to learn more about these apes, then make sure that you don't miss the presentation.

4. Take a picnic with your family

4. Take a picnic with your family

In the Orana Wildlife Park, you can use the picnic space and the playground for you and your children. There numerous scenic picnic areas inside, many are even completed with BBQ facilities. You can choose whether to see the ring-tailed lemurs frolicking in the sun or observe the rhinos in their habitat. While the playground has a flying fox that will take your kids to see the giraffes and bison as they slide away. Orana Wildlife Park is also experienced as a venue for your events. If you are choosing this place, you can enjoy the zoo after the closing hours, join the exclusive animal encounters, meeting the rhino, and enjoying more fun activities.

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch Tips and Tricks

How to Get Tickets?

Tickets to Orana Wildlife Park can be bought in the website, which is the recommended way instead of buying on site. Not just saving your time, you can also look for information about any special deals or discounts. There are special prices for senior citizen and student, and you can also get cheaper price with the concession ticket. You can also apply for a membership to get free entrance for a whole year.

How To Get Around?

To get around, you will have to go by foot. For you that come with children, there are child push chairs available for hire, while those who need to use the wheelchair can hire it for free with first-in, first-served basis.

What Should I Wear?

There is no recommendation on what to wear to visit the Orana Wildlife Park. It is recommended to check the weather before you go and wear a comfortable shoes for a long walk. In the official website, you can also check the weather in the zoo through the camera mounted on the office building.

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch Facts

Best Time to Visit

To make the most of your visit, then it is better to visit in the morning and spend the whole day in Orana Wildlife Park to join all the presentation about the animals in the zoo. You can check the full schedule in the official website as there might be some differences on each day. Other than that, Orana Wildlife Park is always a good place to visit all year round.


New Zealand Dollar

Will I Need a Guide?

You can go and explore the Orana Wildlife Park on your own by downloading the map of the zoo, or you can join the guided tours for more information on the animals. There are two guided tours available. One is by riding the Safari Shuttle, and the other is by walking.

How To Get There?

Orana Wildlife Park is located 15 minutes driving from Christchurch International Airport. Unfortunatelym there isn't any public bus routes that can take you to the site. An alternative is by using the Steve's Shuttle that departs at 10AM from the Tram Stop in Cathedral Square and will take you back from Orana Wildlife Park at 3.45 PM. The shuttle will also go from door to door on demand.

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