FAQ’s

General | Animal WelfareKids Birthday Parties | Groups

If you have a question see below for a list of our most common questions and answers. If what you want to know is not here, please contact us.

General Questions

What time do you open and what time do you close?

In Summer (November – March) we are open at 9am until 5.30pm in school holidays, public holidays and weekends. During Monday – Friday in summer we are open 9.30am – 5pm. In Winter (April – October) we are open 9.30am – 5pm every day.  Christmas day and Boxing day are the only times we are closed.

What is the best time to arrive and what are the best things to see?

It depends on what you want to see the most. If you have younger children, you may want to arrive early so you can see the encounters in the farm such as the goat milking, then they can be home in time for their nap. The croc sh0w at 1pm is popular, so you can finish your day with that, or arrive just before that and start your day with that. Click on the encounters page to see what else is happening at Butterfly Creek

Can I bring food in?

Our courtyard area and cafe is reserved for cafe patrons only, however we do allow you to bring in a birthday cake to celebrate your day with. Any externally bought food must be consumed outside of the Butterfly Creek complex.

How long does it take to see Butterfly Creek?

To see all attractions, take a train ride and eat lunch, you should allow for 3 – 4 hours. If you don’t take a train ride and don’t eat lunch you can see the attractions within 1 – 2 hours. Please note Butterfly Creek is not a zoo and is not a massive place. Our focus is for younger children.

Are you still open if it rains? Can we still see everything?

Yes, we are still open in rain, hail or shine. About half of our enclosures are undercover and half covered, so yes you see everything – just dodge the rain by going to the undercover exhibits when it is raining.

  • Covered areas include the cafe, shop, butterfly house, monkeys, alligators, crocs, aquaria, bugs, the petting shed in the farm and the fossil display part of Dinosaur Kingdom.
  • Uncovered areas include the playground, the walk to the farm, the outside animals in the farm, most of Dinosaur Kingdom and the train ride.
  • The train does have a roof so it does operate in the rain, but if the rain is coming in a sideways direction, people may get wet.

How much is it? Do you have a family pass?

Please click here to view the prices. Yes we do have a family pass, it consists of 2 adults and 2 children. You can add more children and they are discounted further.

Do you have special needs pricing?

Yes we do, please click here to view the prices.

Do you have seniors and student pricing?

Yes we do, please click here to view the prices.

Can I come and go all day?

Yes you sure can, your wristband will be placed on you and you can use it for the entire day, you can come and go out of the complex.

Can I feed the animals?

You can feed some of the farm animals, little feed bags are a small donation of 50c, these are in the farm. They only come out at 10.30, 12.30 and 2.30pm and once they are gone, then they are gone, this is for the safety of the animals. We cannot guarantee there will always be food available for you to feed them.

Are babies free?

Under 3’s are free for attractions and the train. To clarify, this does not mean 3 year olds are free, it is ages 0 – 2.You can feed some of the farm animals, little feed bags are a small donation of 50c, these are in the farm. They only come out at 10.30, 12.30 and 2.30pm and once they are gone, then they are gone, this is for the safety of the animals. We cannot guarantee there will always be food available for you to feed them.

Do you have highchairs and a changing table?

Yes we have highchairs, these can be moved to the courtyard if desired. We have two changing tables situated in the parents room by the courtyard.

Is there somewhere we can we heat baby bottles up?

Yes, please ask any cafe staff member and they can do this for you.

Can we take buggies/prams around the place? What about on the train?

Yes they can go everywhere in Butterfly Creek. There is one carriage on the train for buggies/prams that fits 1 or 2. So if there is 5 buggies in one group, some will need to be left on the platform. The train comes back to the same point so you can leave them there.

What do I do if I have lost something at Butterfly Creek?

All lost items are kept at the shop, you can email [email protected]ek.co.nz or phone 09 275 8880 ext. 228 to ask.

Do I have to pay for parking?

No, parking is free at Butterfly Creek.

Animal Welfare

Animal welfare is of the top most importance for us as a business.

We would never exhibit any animal unless we were confident we could provide the very best of conditions and care and unless we were satisfied that particular species has a place here at Butterfly Creek.
We regularly get asked about our animal enclosures, or where they came from, what they eat etc.  So here is a list of some of the most commonly asked questions.

Why don’t your butterflies always fly around?

All year round there are always approx. 800 butterflies in the butterfly house – but they are not machines and so may be resting / roosting. They have periods of varying activity during the day and this is one reason we allow all day and repeat entries.

Why are the crocs not fed every day?

Crocodiles are ambush predators. This means they do not need to hunt for their food every day and are fed every two days. They are well fed, happy, and warm and in an enclosure that is more than big enough for their well- being.

What do you keep a croc in?

Scar and Goldie enjoy much larger enclosures from where they came from, their enclosures are kept between 27 and 30 degrees C and include concrete basking pads as well as generous grassed and soft landscaped “relax” areas. The exhibit is themed as a snapshot of a typical Northern Territory landscape and is fully enclosed to protect them from Auckland’s colder winds. Radiant heating is provided to keep out the winter chills and the water is fresh water. Crocodiles are ambush predators which means that they wait for their food to come to them, they do not need a massive land area in order to be happy. These guys have the life – sunbathing, eating, sleeping and swimming!

What do crocs eat?

Chicken, beef and pork are their main food sources at Butterfly Creek. Keepers feed them small amounts in the encounters, ensuring that both Scar and Goldie ‘work’ for their meals. This can be anywhere between 1 and 4 kilograms per week. This way they not only gain extra exercise, but also display their natural behaviours and instincts. Crocodilians can survive on surprisingly little food. They burn little energy and can get by for up to 18 months without eating. Please note – feeding is not guaranteed in every encounter.

The crocs are quite big, are their enclosure big enough?

The croc exhibits had to meet the prescribed zoo exhibit guidelines as stipulated by the Australian Government taking into account all aspects of the animal’s welfare and well-being. The exhibits also had to be signed off by a recognised “Croc expert” before we were allowed to import the crocs.

Our exhibits are much the same as any croc facility in Australia. Both animals came from croc farms and were in holding areas much smaller than the exhibits they enjoy at Butterfly Creek. One was in a farm due to close and we were told was likely to end up as a wall hanging.

There is a misconception that animals such as crocs and lions spend all day wandering / swimming around for the fun of it or for stimulation and exercise. In fact lions spend the vast majority of their days sleeping and mostly only move around looking for their next meal. And life can be extremely harsh – and very tenuous – for animals such as lions and crocs. Crocodiles look to claim a territory that provides them the opportunity to hunt and to use the water / land to cool off and warm up etc. They don’t require a huge area of land or water to meet all their needs and hence the zoo guidelines.

Kids Birthday Parties

How do I secure a party slot?

You can secure a party slot by booking it online. A non- refundable deposit of $150 will be required, this must be paid online via an authorised Credit Card. Once the payment is through, you will receive an automated email with the confirmation and a link to fill your booking form and requirements.

When I need to submit final details and pay the balance of the payment ?

Catering and all the other requirements must be confirmed at least 7 working days prior to the party. Full payment is due at- least 3 working days prior to your party.

Is food included with the kids package?

Yes, the $35 per child party package includes 5 items of food with a drink, entry to all the attractions and a train ride for all the paying children.

Do we have to pay for the Birthday child?

It’s FREE for the Birthday child however a minimum of 10 children including birthday child is required for a birthday party.

Is there a minimum or maximum number of children to have a party?

We can host 10 to 25 kids in all our party rooms. For large birthday parties like 1st and 5th Birthdays with 25+ kids and lots of adults, we can hire out our Papillon private function room.
For any parties with children less than 10, you can book a table in the café and still bring in your own cake. Please note; the party package is not available for the café bookings, however we do have a kids menu that you can order from and purchase attraction tickets directly from the gift shop at our regular price.

Can I bring my own birthday cake and loot bags?

Yes, you are allowed to bring a birthday or cupcakes and loot bags.

What if some or all of the kids are under 3, why can’t they be cheaper as their entrance is normally free?

The party package includes; private room for 2 hours,  Food & Beverage for all the paying children, table settings and entry to all the attractions including a train ride. If you would like a child to be catered for all that and a place to sit around the table then you will need to pay the full party package price for them. If they are a baby (e.g. 6 months old) and will not eat or sit at the table, then they are free. Also, with birthday parties, discounted attraction tickets are offered to the adults at $21 (regular price $30) and children at $12 (regular price is $19).

What do I do if a child doesn’t turn up on the day, can I get a refund?

Due to the preparation and planning of the parties, no refunds will be given to children that do not turn up on the day. Our advice is to try and replace the children as soon as you can, so if you know of anyone else that would like to join the party, give them the opportunity to join you.

Do adults have to pay to attend a party? Can they pay on the day?

For the Billi deck and Buds room party, adults can attend the party for FREE but if they want to see the attractions and animals then they need to pay for the attraction tickets. For  the Boneyard room party, adults must at least purchase a spectator pass for $15pp or purchase the ticket for all the attraction & train ride at a discounted price of $21 per adult so they can attend the party.

Can I bring in my own food?

No, as we are a fully licensed venue we do not allow any food or beverages to be brought in and consumed on our premises.

What are the table settings you provide with the birthday party package and can we bring our own decoration too?

Our setup is based on colours only. Girls have pink spotted themed plates with pink serviettes and a pink table cloth. Boys have blue spotted themed plates with blue serviettes and a blue table cloth. We also have some other common colours, you can check with the party coordinator.

Groups FAQ’s

What time should we arrive and what do we do when we arrive?

On arrival your group should enter through the side gate by the ice cream shop. The children can sit around the BBQ tables or play on the playground while the leader reports to the shop, meets the coordinator and gives final numbers and makes payment. Then the coordinator will meet the group in the courtyard and put on the wrist bands and give a talk.

The best time to arrive is between 9.30am and 11.00am. Most groups start by having morning tea in the courtyard where the playground is.

Is there bus parking and how far do we have to walk to the entrance?

The bus can drop you right beside barn in the bus drop off zone. The walk is less than 1 minute along a foot path. There is a large gravel area beyond the car park where the buses can park after everyone vacates the bus. They can collect you in the same place as the drop off.

Do we get a tour guide or someone to show us around?

We will give your group a talk about the rules and latest information on our animals – show you locations of toilets, exits etc. After this, you can guide yourselves around the complex, on busier days we will give more direction. While it is good to have a plan, it is also a good idea to be flexible in terms of fitting in with our advice on the day – we are aiming to give you the best possible visit. Butterfly Creek is not a huge complex and is easy to find your way around. If your group is short of time, small or you are a regular visitor, you can skip the talk if desired.

What do we do if it is raining? Is there somewhere to eat and can we still visit everything?

Butterfly Creek is 50% undercover, so it is suitable in wet weather, exhibits undercover can be visited when it is raining and non undercover exhibits can be visited when it is not raining. The train still operates when it rains, jackets may be needed. On cold days clothing layers is a good idea as the Butterfly House can get up to 30 degrees C. We have the Buds party room, Dinosaur education room and parts of the cafe to eat in on wet days.

Should we split into groups or can we all go together? What if we have a large group?

For groups with over 70 people we recommend you split into groups, we can help with this and provide a schedule for the two groups. For numbers less than 70 you can all go around together as one group if desired. Please refer to the encounter times for things that you may want to do and see as a group. If you have a very large group we will do our best to make sure you can see everything, it is best to get advice and help from the coordinator before your visit for large groups.

How long should we visit Butterfly Creek for?

Generally it is best to plan to be here for 2 – 4 hours.  Groups vary greatly but in general, here is a general guideline for timings:

  • Introduction talk: 5 – 10 minutes
  • Keepers talk: 10 – 15 minutes (depending on children’s age and questions)
  • Train: 5 minutes (one loop around the track only)
  • Farm: 30 minutes
  • Aquarium & bugs: 10 minutes
  • Butterfly house: 15 – 20 minutes
  • Crocs & alligators: 10 – 15 minutes
  • Dinosaur Kingdom: 15 – 20 minutes

Can we bring in our own food? Is there somewhere to buy a coffee or lunch?

Yes we permit group bookings to bring their own packed lunch (not takeaways) but it must be consumed in the courtyard area, not in the café. Yes there is a café with tasty treats and fresh tea and coffee. We also have an ice-cream parlour with ice creams, lollies, ice blocks and drinks.

Is there somewhere to leave our bags? Can we take prams around?

Yes, we have the Buds Party room and Boneyard available for bag storage, but please do not leave valuables in here. Yes you sure can take prams around everywhere.

When does the train go and how many times can we go on it? How many people does it fit?

If you tick the train option on the booking form, we try and take your whole group on the train straight away (the kids love it!), it will do ONE loop around the track. The train fits approx. 30 – 40 people, but we will ensure everybody gets a ride. We come back to the same point, so things can be left on the platform including buggies.

We are studying a topic; can we have a talk with an animal keeper for more information?

Yes – some school groups like to have a talk with an animal keeper, if you choose this option on your booking form then it is normally done after the rules/intro talk for approximately 10 minutes. You can specify what you would like us to talk about and the children can ask questions to the keeper afterwards.

Are there any education resources we can use?

Yes we do have resources on Butterflies, Bugs and Crocodiles suitable for Primary schools, we also have an ECE resource available. When your booking is confirmed you can request for these to be emailed to you.

Testimonials

“Butterfly Creek really did have something for everyone. My 9 year old daughter loved the farm, my 8 year old boy loved the dinosaurs, and my 4 year old loved everything! The butterfly house and crocodiles were a hit with everyone. Thanks for a great day out”

Sophie