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Wellington Zoo is the first zoo in the country that has been opened since 1906 and is the house to more than 100 species of animals from all around the world.
Visit Wellington Zoo, the oldest zoo of New Zealand
Wellington Zoo was opened in 1906 by the late Prime Minister Richard Seddon, after a young lion was given to him. As time goes, the zoo was expanded and upgraded and committed itself to be an environmental education that will bring the animals and people closer together. In June 2003 the zoo became a charitable trust and is now governed by a board of six trustees, with the funds come from the Wellington City Council. Over time, the zoo has received many different animals, including the Sumatran tiger in 1990, chimpanzee in 1992, and sun bears from Malaysia that was given in the same year. The success of the zoo in conserving the animals has been shown with the successful breeding programs that increased the number of the animals in the Wellington zoo. In September 2014, Wellington Zoo has opened their newest exhibit to house servals and caracals in an area called the Grassland Cats.
Wellington Zoo is a perfect destination for you and your children. Here, you will not only have the chance to give them the education about the animals, but they can have fun as well. Located in the zoo are some playgrounds to play. Playgrounds are located by The Nest Te Kōhanga, outside Kamala's, and right throughout Meet the Locals He Tuku Aroha. There are also trampolines, safari trucks, and tuktuks spread around the zoo. This facility will make the trip different and you will not get bored of it. You can also join the animal talks to know more about the animals from the experienced zoo staff or join the close encounters program.
Two of the highlighted programs in the zoo are the animal talks and the close encounters. The animal talk includes animal feeding that can be enjoyed right in front of your eyes. The schedule is available on the official website of the Wellington Zoo. In the morning, there are farm feed, kea talk, tiger talk, and an exhibition that will let you see how the animals are treated in The Nest Te Kōhanga. In the afternoon, there are a lot of animal talks programs that you can see, from the giraffe, sun bear, penguin, to the red panda. While for the close encounters, you can pick from several animals. Those are meerkat, cheetah, giraffe, red panda, lion, and lemur. Wellington Zoo also has seasonal program, for example is the Winter Wednesday program that will give you a special price for the admission and a chance to learn about how animals change and cope over winter and how to keep them warm.
If you have no idea for what to do during school holiday, then you can take your children to the Wellington Zoo and let them take part in the special School Holiday Programme made for kids from 5 to 12. There are some options available, whether you want to them to join just for a day or a few days. They will learn more about animals and the conservation program that are delivered with entertaining activities. Your children can also join the sleepover program at the zoo. In this program, they will see the behind the scene and what happens after the visitors left. The sleepover is made for children of 5 years old and up and can take up to 80 people with the minimum participant of 20 children.
Wellington Zoo has experiences as a venue for any kind of event, from meeting to wedding. Plan your event and choose your venue from some options that are available. For a more private event, there is the archibald that is located next to the Monkey Island. While for a bigger party, you can choose the Kamala's that is famous for its award winning architectural building. You can also use the wild theatre that is an auditorium that can hold up to 300 people and available for concerts, movie nights, presentations, and other activities. If those are still not enough, you can choose to hire the entire zoo for your event all day. Wellington Zoo also has a birthday package available for your children with fun games and custom tour.
Wellington Zoo offers three dining area with different themes. If you are looking for a coffee and western cuisines, you can head to Mojo Zoo, located not far from the entrance. If you are looking for a unique nutritious food, then you can try The Grazing Post that is located in the centre of the zoo. Here, you can enjoy food served with fresh ingredients, including sushi and hummus platters. If you prefer to bring your own food, then you can go for a picnic inside the zoo. There are some water fountains available as well.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets can be bought online or on the spot. However, it is better to book online because sometimes there are some promotions that will give you cheaper price.
How To Get Around?
To get around, you will have to go by foot. For those in need, wheelchairs are available for free. If you are bringing your assistance dogs, make sure they are vaccinated and contact the zoo in advance.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommendation on what to wear to visit the Wellington Zoo. It is recommended to check the weather before you go and wear a comfortable clothes.
Best Time to Visit
It is better to go in the summer, though it can be very crowded during peak season. You can also see if there is a special program to decide the best time to go to the Wellington Zoo.
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Will I Need a Guide?
The zoo is a self-guided tour. If you want a guided tour, you can contact the zoo in advance or join the close encounters program
How To Get There?
To reach the Wellington Zoo, you can use bus number 23 that will stop at the entrance. Wellington Zoo is located only 10 minutes driving from the city.