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Animal Encounters

Our free daily animal encounters provide an enriching, educational and exciting element to your day. You’ll be able to either get up close with one of our reptiles, tarantulas and wētāpunga or watch, our keepers feeding our otters, tamarins, meerkats and eels!

Be sure to come along to our Croc Show to watch New Zealand’s only saltwater crocodiles being fed at 1pm – it’s an encounter not to be missed!

We also offer paid, private animal encounters for a more up close and personal experience with either our otters or meerkats. These encounters are perfect for animal lovers and make great gifts for a friend or family member.


Free Daily Animal Encounters

We have 9 free daily animal encounters spread throughout the day for you to see and experience our animals up close.

Visit our Tropical Butterfly House at 10am to see our newly hatched butterflies being released into their new habitat.

At 2pm you’ll get the opportunity to up close to a tarantula and you can also get the chance to see our otters and tamarins being fed whilst learning more about their behaviour and conservation.

Our popular 1pm Crocodile Show is an amazing opportunity to learn about the special features of saltwater crocodiles and one of our giant crocs (Scar and Goldie) being fed.

Our 1.30pm Wētāpunga Encounter is a unique opportunity to see one of New Zealand’s strangest looking creatures up close and learn about how we are helping to conserve this threatened native species.

Butterfly EncounterButterfly House10:00am
Eel EncounterWetland Platform11:00am
Otter EncounterOtter Enclosure11:30am
Tamarin EncounterCotton-top Tamarin Enclosure12:00pm
Crocodile EncounterGiant Crocs 1:00pm
Wētāpunga EncounterWētā Enclosure1:30pm
Tarantula EncounterButterfly House2:00pm
Meerkat EncounterMeerkat Enclosure2:30pm
Small Reptile EncounterButterfly House3:00pm

Private Animal Encounters

Love animals and want to get up close and personal with them? Go behind the scenes and hang out with our otters, tamarin monkeys, porcupines or meerkats in a unique and intimate experience.

You will be guided around their enclosure alongside one of our keepers and hand feed the animals. Our Private Animal Encounters start from $90.00 per person – check them out below!

Come behind the scenes and meet our cheeky family of Asian small-clawed otters – Mum Asia and her babies Mai, Charvi and Kiri. You will have the chance to hand feed the otters and learn about their unique characteristics.

From $90.00 per person

Come behind the scenes and meet our adorable and inquisitive meerkats. You will get a behind-the-scenes tour of their enclosure, will learn about their behaviors, feed them, and provide them with some fun enrichment!

From $90.00 per person

Private Tamarin Encounter

Come and hang out with our family of Emperor Tamarins, and get to see them up close. Feed them some of their favourite snacks and don’t forget your camera – they have been known to climb onto visitors shoulder looking for treats!

From $90.00 per person

Get up close with our two Cape Porcupine – Arewa and Alika. Enjoy this exclusive experience where you will join the porcupine in their enclosure, feed them treats and learn about these amazing animals from one of our experienced Keepers.

From $90.00 per person


“There is such an incredible variety on show. It is incredibly interactive which I think is what makes it a hit for the little ones.

We especially love the feeding time for the crocs!” – Sonya

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