I walk around Adelaide with a camera and a tripod.
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Published January 11th 2016
The closest you can get to Jurassic Park?
Auckland Zoo is situated at Western Springs, conveniently close to the central business district. Opened in 1922, it currently exhibits more than 750 animals and 120 different species over a sprawling 40 acre (16.35 hectare) space.
A diverse range of open enclosures roughly separated by biome is present ranging from giraffes, elephants, baboons and big cats to less commonly seen animals including red pandas and servals. Many information boards are present with interesting facts interspersed with cultural history providing a helpful and informative background for each exhibit.
A Kea, the world's only mountain parrot
The most striking feature of the Auckland Zoo is its exhibits of native New Zealand fauna. Reminiscent of the pterosaur dome enclosures in Jurassic World and Jurassic Park III, massive opera-style netted exhibits are set among the lush greenery of the zoo where entry to each area is through a set of two doors. These are electronically controlled so that only one door can be open at a time to prevent escape.
The Kakariki, a burrowing parrot found only on Antipodes Island
Within these open enclosures, visitors can wander through trails set among verdant foliage, shaded by the canopy of rainforest trees or stroll among rocks, bridges and waterfalls. Endangered birds, unique to New Zealand such as the Kea, Kakapo, Kakariki, Kiwi and Takahe flit from branch to branch, across river rocks to small bushes. There are several of these enclosures, all equally impressive, showcasing the coasts, rivers, forests and mountains of New Zealand and the birds that live in these varied landscapes. Other New Zealand oddities such as the Tuatara and Weta are also highlighted.
The Takahe, a native bird thought to be extinct until 1948. Only 200 remain in the wild.
Also present is the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine, a $4.6 million facility and the first national centre for conservation medicine worldwide. Apart from a range of audiovisual displays and information boards, the operating theatre and laboratory are also viewable by the public. A viewing gallery demonstrates preserved specimens, histology, pathology and information on zoonoses.
A large section of the zoo devoted to Australian animals is also present. Additional experiences include photography workshops, safari nights and behind the scene experiences.
House Sparrow, far from an endangered species
The Auckland Zoo is open from 9:30am to 5pm between the 1st of May and 31st of August and from 9:30am to 5:30pm from the 1st September to the 30th of April. It is closed on Christmas Day. Prices range from $28 NZD for Adults to $12 NZD for Children and $23 NZD for concession tickets. Family passes are also available.
Red Panda (wild population less than 10,000 individuals)
If you're in Auckland and looking to learn about New Zealand's flora and fauna, the Auckland Zoo is a great place to spend a a day, where interesting native wildlife is given a spotlight alongside the usual impressive panoply of animals usually seen at a large zoo.