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Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch

Home > Christchurch > Family | Fun for Children | Fun Things To Do | Photography | Zoos
by Paula McManus (subscribe)
Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Published August 21st 2016
hand feed a giraffe
New Zealand's only open range zoo is the Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch - the south island's largest city.

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Giraffe feeding (©paula mcmanus)

The wildlife park opened in 1976 and is owned and operated by the Orana Wildlife Trust, a registered charity.

Covering more than 80 hectares, the park has more than 400 animals, including New Zealand's only gorillas. It's a fantastic place to take the whole family. There's plenty of picnic areas, there's a brand new adventure playground and families are encouraged to bring their own food and snacks.

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Zebra (©paula mcmanus)

The open range zoo is large - very large - so wear good walking shoes as you will cover a lot of ground during your visit. There is a safari shuttle bus for those with little or tired legs. The bus is continually on the move and picks up and drops off passengers at all the major attraction spots.

Available for hire at a reasonable cost are child buggies. Wheelchairs are also available and they are free to hire. There is a limited supply, so it's a first in/best-dressed scenario.

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Porcupine (©paula mcmanus)

The exhibits are open - it's great to see the lack of cages and cramped pens. The enclosures do their very best to replicate the animal's natural habitat and of course, it's better for viewing and taking photos - no wires or bars in the way.

The most memorable part of your visit to Orana will undoubtedly be an animal close encounter. Be sure to get involved in one or more. The giraffe feeding is free and is most definitely a highlight and must do activity!

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Siamang (©paula mcmanus)

There are twelve daily animal presentations at Orana Wildlife Park. To get the most of out your visit, it's a good idea to try and follow the feeding times schedule.

Popular also is the lion feeding. The lions are fed from the safety of a truck mounted cage which drives through the lion reserve. The lions sometimes jump on top of the cage, which would be an unreal and unforgettable experience.

Asian small-clawed otter
Asian small-clawed otter (©paula mcmanus)

The top list of "must do" activities while visiting Orana are:

Seeing New Zealand's only gorillas (including a silverback male)
Hand feed a giraffe (free!)
Lion, tiger, cheetah, trout and lemur feeding
Kiwi feeding and rare bird encounter

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Giraffe encounter (©paula mcmanus)

The Orana Wildlife Park is approximately 15 minutes drive north-west of Christchurch International Airport. There is a shuttle bus for those who don't have transport (cost is additional to the park entry fees).

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Cheetahs (©paula mcmanus)

Orana Wildlife Park, McLeans Island Road, Christchurch.

Open every day, except Christmas Day

Opening times:
The Park is open daily from 10am until 5pm

Entry fees:
Adult $34.50
Child 5-14 years $9.50
Pre-schooler (under 5) free
Senior citizen/Student $29.50

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Cheetah (©paula mcmanus)

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Why? New Zealand's only open-range zoo
When: Every day except Christmas Day
Where: Christchurch, New Zealand
Cost: check the website for details
Your Comment
Great photos as per normal Paula, love it.
by Steve Hudson (score: 3|1251) 1881 days ago
Sounds and looks wonderful, Paula - makes me homesick for Africa!
by Elaine (score: 3|8499) 1882 days ago
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