Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Auckland Zoo - Part One

Our much anticipated Zoo trip exceeded every expectation.  Yay!!  Love it when that happens!!  Because let's be honest, with little ones it can so often go the other way...  It was all kinds of magic watching the kiddos light up, seeing all these - previously entirely in illustrated form - animals in real life.  

I'll be honest, we're pretty big fans of Madagascar around here, and we were all just a little bit excited to spot our favourite friends.  We all died of cute when we saw the lemurs, and Eleanor was pretty much desperate to get into the cage and meet them properly.  

For the most part we stuck to the plan, but we also found ourselves in new and unexpected corners, like the brand new (to us) Te Wao Nui.  I really loved this display and so did Eleanor, who was pretty thrilled to get inside the enclosures and start spotting critters.  We played a quick game of 'Where's the Gecko' (see below), and Eleanor outstripped me by a mile, 'Lere it is!'.

There is much that is new, and very beautiful, and still there are magical remnants of the zoo I remember from childhood.  I'm pretty sure I only visited a handful of times when I was little, but the memories are vivid, and it was just a tad nostalgic wandering those ivy covered stony stairwells and bridges...

Every now and then we stopped to have a rest, refuel, and check our zoo map.  We met some of the zoo keepers who filled our information tanks with interesting animal facts, and a little bit of info about the amazing work that Auckland Zoo is doing for the conservation of these incredible animals.  I learnt tons and found it totally absorbing.  Hours flew by...  And still we didn't manage to see everything.  I think we will have to plan a two-day visit next time...

By the end, I was seeing Auckland Zoo in a completely new light.  The wealth of experiences they offer nowadays, the continual upgrading of their enclosures and facilities, the fascinating enrichment schedule and breeding programs (and subsequent baby spotting) means that there's always going to be something new to see, each time we visit.  Did you know that they have behind-the-scenes animal experiences?  Where you can meet a lion, a rhino, a lemur (amongst many others)?  Like, how amazing!!!  Or you could visit at night-time which would be pretty rad too.

I know this was a massively photo-heavy post, but it's hard to do justice to a trip like this with words alone.  Part Two will include some photos too, and a pretty exciting bit of magic that happened during our visit.  Hang tight...

Disclosure:  We have been planning to take the kids to the Auckland Zoo for awhile now, and the very friendly staff at the Auckland Zoo kindly gave us free admission on our planned Zoo Day.  We were super grateful to these guys, who turned out to be the warmest and most incredibly interesting people ever!  They went above and beyond to make our visit memorable, and were just the loveliest bunch of folk.  Really.  We felt so at home.  

1 comment:

  1. So lovely!!!!!!!!!!! We love the Auckland zoo! have been twice now already with Cam, so dreamy! I cracked up at that photo of Garly asleep with his animal beanie on!!! Love his purple hoody and Neenor's tights!!!