Auckland Zoo is home to over 875 animals, encompassing 138 different species. It is easily accessible from the main attractions and the city’s Central Business District. The 16-hectare zoological park is the ideal place to view a wide variety of species which are indigenous to New Zealand, and exotic animals from all over the world.
Families, friends and animal lovers of all ages will enjoy a day out at Auckland Zoo. It’s the perfect arena in which to see mammals, amphibians and birdlife indigenous to New Zealand. Be enthralled by the North Island Brown Kiwi, the country’s iconic symbol, the Little Penguin and the Antipodes Island Parakeet. The New Zealand fur seal also has its own habitat within the zoo, as does the local lesser short-tailed bat, listed as a species of the highest conservation priority. Exotic species are in abundance, as visitors can explore African Lions, Asian Elephants, Bornean Orangutans and even cute and cuddly red pandas. Each day conservation experts hold a variety of “animal encounters” and talks inside the zoo grounds. These conversations allow visitors to gain further knowledge on a species, and it’s both interesting and provides exceptional photo opportunities. Inside the zoological park, there are children’s play zones, several cafes and restaurant areas and a gift shop in which to pick up animal related souvenirs.
Located next to Western Springs Reserve and the Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland Zoo is easy to find. It’s well signposted from Central Auckland if driving by car, and for visitors taking the bus, there is a stop on Great North Road a few minutes’ walk away.
Auckland Zoo opened towards the end of 1922. When the local government decided they would like to open a park for animals, they found discovering new species from overseas a huge challenge. Local business people were encouraged to find new animals while on overseas trips so that more exotic animals could be brought into the zoo. The first elephant “Jamuna” arrived in 1923, and was the first big star of the park. In 1988, the Auckland Zoo played host to two giant pandas. These attracted over 300,000 visitors in a three-month period, and the zoo raised money for panda research and conservation. Today, almost a century after it opened, Auckland Zoo wins awards for its conservation efforts, wildlife research and is known to be one of the most progressive zoos in the world.