The new ‘Meet The Locals‘ area at Wellington Zoo is a lovely space for children and families.
The natural landscape has been planted with lots of native tree saplings and vegetation, with the first ‘locals’ to meet being the little blue penguins that populate Wellington’s rocky shores.
There is a slide to speed through, a tunnel to crawl through, a rope to pull yourself up through the bush, a gumboot climbing frame and a miniature swing bridge.
A real ‘Kiwi’ style playground populated with sheep, chickens and honey making bees! The chickens had a wonderful roost and were free to roam around too. They were very happy chickens as they laid a couple of fresh eggs whilst we were there.
The Kune Kune pigs are in a fabulous new enclosure, which makes seeing them and interacting with them much easier than their old enclosure that was near the Zoo’s main entrance. Alice enjoyed helping the keeper to feed the pigs some vegetables.
There is a really great indoor education area, where the bees are, giving information about farming in New Zealand.
We visited on a Sunday morning and a lovely Zoo volunteer was coordinating ‘bush art’ with the children.
The last section of the ‘Meet the Locals’ area opens at the end of this month, on 30 November, with a Kea and KÄkÄ aviary.
This area really as the Zoo describes,
Meet the Locals is our love story to New Zealand, and our way to celebrate our country and the amazing creatures and plant life that live here.
It is a place where we will celebrate the stories of who we are as New Zealanders, and what the land means to us. It is a launching pad for discussion around the New Zealand of the future – a land of sustainable living and harmonious integration of people and wildlife.
I’m looking forward to spending more time here in the future.
After our lovely experience we headed on to see the tiger and sun bears in the ‘Asia Precinct‘. Alice had asked me to paint her face like a tiger over breakfast (thankfully she found a tiger face-paint YouTube tutorial to help me work out which end of the brush was which!).
We then decided to head up to see our Australian ‘Neighbours’, stopping to say hello to the Cockatoo on the way and wave at the chimpanzees.
These chimps have the best view over the city of Wellington.
Just past the chimps, there are meerkats and African crested porcupines.
They were soaking up some spring sunshine on Sunday morning in Wellington!
In the ‘Meet the Neighbours’ section there is a Dingo enclosure, free roaming kangaroos and emus, as well as Tasmanian Devils (safely enclosed). And, like all the areas of this wonderful little zoo, there is an area for children to play and explore too…
Whilst, alongside the play, a kangaroo sat watching…
And a friendly Emu was more than content to gently have her feathers stroked…
Leaving Australia we headed back into Africa, to meet the baboons…
And feed the giraffes (who weren’t very interested in our offerings, as they’d already had a treat of bananas earlier in the day, so were turning their noses up at anything else).
We headed home after that, stopping for a quick play on the safari jeep, and looking forward to giving Grandma & Granddad a tour when they visit New Zealand in a few weeks time!
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