There was a festival atmosphere at the best little Zoo in the world yesterday. Visitors came to greet the sun bears in their new enclosure and see the tigers, who’ve been away from public viewing since earlier in the year. The staff at Wellington Zoo have kept the new ‘Project Asia Precinct‘ area of the Zoo well hidden from prying eyes, whilst work was carried out on the supporting architecture. As soon as my daughters saw the gateway to the new area they literally started to run toward it.
I felt the excitement of my children too and couldn’t wait to feast my eyes on the vamped up area of the zoo. I love how the zoo has been remodeled over the past ten years or so to create themed areas, from the African village, Monkey Island and the Twilight Zone to the ‘Wild Theatre’ and the ‘Become a Vet in 5 mins’ at The Nest.
I often visit the Zoo more for a walk around the beautifully landscaped and artistically themed areas, than to see the animals (though they are of course a very special reason to visit too – and enrich the whole experience all the more!). My children love to play creatively in each area, imagining they are on safari in Africa or visiting an African village, where they can play the tribal drums and watch the giraffes at the same time.
In the new Asia Precinct my children were impressed to find plenty of supporting infrastructure to imagine they were far away from New Zealand.
Sophie went for a spin…
And made her own Asian styled hat (which was obviously hungry work, as she couldn’t wait to eat a pot of wedges!).
Charlotte and Alice ran to see the tiger, resting in his cave on this occasion – but clearly in view.
They were impressed with the new, beautifully landscaped enclosure for the sun bears too.
Though the sun bears weren’t quite ready to venture out too far. Charlotte made do with sitting on the lap of a model sun-bear.
And I couldn’t resist grabbing one of the wonderful costumes available to escape for a few moments into another world…
If you fancy heading along for your own bit of escapism visit the Wellington Zoo website for more information.
And over the school holidays, till 14 October, you can hop on the ASB Free Zoo Bus from the central city!