My last full day in New Zealand was spent on a worthwhile expedition to the local Zoo. The guidebooks listed it as “disappointing” mainly as it only has a small number of indigenous NZ species on show.
Having spent a good few hours wandering around in the nice “winter” sunshine, I can say that the place is far from disappointing. The major disappointment was the number of displays with no animals visible, but given that this is winter that makes sense. Many of the creatures are obviously from different climates and had opted to hibernate. Sensibly given the later afternoon temperatures once the sun had started to drop.
Entry is $18 for an adult and a full visit will take around 5 hours, more if you have kids in tow. More again if someone like me doesn’t resist the temptation to get them to shut the hell up and stop frightening the animals. Not that I’m saying some of the children were less than well behaved.
OK, that’s a lie. Some of the children were less than well behaved. In museums I’ll tolerate it. You can’t scare paintings into hiding in a museum. At least, I’ve yet to see this happen. If I did, I’d be impressed.
I managed to take well in excess of 200 pictures over the course of the day (let’s hear a cheer for high-capacity digital cameras), some of them even worth looking at more than once. The variety of animals was quite impressive, and the enclosures pretty good by modern standards. There are many places where you can get near hands-on experience with the animals, and by booking in advance there are “behind the scenes” tours. If I have the time in future, I’ll definitely investigate these. As it was, I got to feed a giraffe – worth the trip alone. Anyone who’s heard me rattle on about Chester Zoo will know how much I like giraffes.
There’s not a lot more to say about the day. We wandered round a zoo and saw animals. Some I really liked (the ring-tailed lemurs and red pandas probably topped the list) and some were moderately dull (alligators refusing to show more than their eyes – boo!). However, if you visit Auckland, it’s worth the time. The zoo’s also semi-attached to the MOTAT (Museum of Transport and Technology) but we didn’t have time to visit both. Maybe next time!
Later in the evening we managed to lose another pub quiz with Indy and Lisa (and some other people, who also helped us lose – very kind). I’m just happy with the pictures I took today. Very much worthwhile. And I want a lemur as a pet. They’re the most laid back animals I’ve ever seen!