No matter what their age, children love visiting zoos and wildlife parks. For a holiday with a difference, pick up a rental car in New Zealand and take the kids on a tour of the country’s zoos and wildlife parks. They’ll love you for it. New Zealand’s zoos and wildlife parks are full of great, hands on, family entertainment. It will be an educational experience with plenty of long lasting memories for you all. The variety of zoos and wildlife parks in New Zealand is vast, with everything from traditional zoo animals to rare, exotic creatures, insects and native New Zealand animals and birds.
A rental car holiday focusing on zoos and wildlife parks provides you with a theme that keeps everyone on track and together. The kids can even plan the itinerary, depending on how much of New Zealand you want to cover. No one will have time to get bored, because each venue will be different from the last and there’ll be plenty of opportunity to be involved with the animals and really experience them close up. Many places offer guided tours and behind the scenes encounters as well.
If you’re picking up a rental car in the North Island and heading south, you might want to take a quick detour north of Auckland to the Zion Wildlife Gardens which are situated just 20 minutes north of Whangarei. It’s a gorgeous part of the world and Zion will give your kids a glimpse at dozens of rare species of big cats that they won’t get to see anywhere else in New Zealand.
Back in Auckland, there is a variety of zoos and wildlife parks to choose from. Auckland Zoo has New Zealand’s largest collection of animals and is counted as one of the world’s most progressive zoos. Another great place to check out in Auckland is Butterfly Creek beside Auckland’s Airport. It’s Australasia’s premier Tropical Butterfly House and also features crocodiles, alligators, weta, tarantulas and a range of other bugs.
Just south of Auckland, a short detour to Tuakau will be well worth it. The Franklin Zoo is home to a special group of exotic and native species, many of which have been rehabilitated after being in circuses, institutions or very small zoos. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and the kids will enjoy the elephant. Hamilton Zoo is a short drive in your rental car, but it has its own personality, with more than 600 native and exotic animals as well as the biggest walk through aviary in Australasia. Just south of Hamilton is Otorohanga’s Kiwi House and Native Bird Park. You’ll have a good chance of seeing a kiwi at the nocturnal house and the setting is perfect for a picnic with the family.
Drive your rental car through to Rotorua for a variety of native flora and fauna including Paradise Valley Springs Wildlife Park which puts you in close contact with native species as well as lions. If you come at the right time of year, you can even get to pat a lion cub.