Weather :

Timings : 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Time Required : 3 - 5 hours

Entry Fee : Adult - NZD 32.50

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Willowbank Wildlife Reserve, Christchurch Overview

Located right outside of central Christchurch, the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is a conservation and wildlife park that hosts exotic animal species and animals endemic to New Zealand. The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is also known for its kiwi, New Zealand’s famous endangered national bird, breeding program. It is also the only facility outside a government-operated conservatory to have a pair of the rare takahe bird on display.

The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve is also well-known for its Maori cultural performance and participants can experience the tradition of a hangi dinner. The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve was the first conservatory in New Zealand to implement the idea of a glass-free exhibition, guaranteeing sightings of the ever-elusive kiwi for visitors.

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Tickets and Pricing

Children ticket (ages 5-14) - NZD 12
Adult ticket (ages 15+) - NZD 32.5
Family Pass (2 adults+ 3 children) - NZD 81
Senior/Student - NZD 26

Things to Do

Animal Exhibits

lemur at Willowbank wildlife reserve
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The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve accommodates 95 different species of animals. The reserve is divided into three categories of animals; exotics, New Zealand natives, and heritage farmyard.
  • The exotics include animals from around the world, such as the Siamang Gibbon, the Leopard Tortoise, and the Capybara amongst many others.
  • The heritage farmyard animals comprise alpacas, the giant Flemish rabbit, and peacocks.
  • The New Zealand native category is made up of animal species that are native to New Zealand and include the North Island brown kiwi, the kea, the tuatara amongst many other endemic species. The Willowbank Wildlife Reserve was the first of its kind to introduce a revolutionary kiwi enclosure without glass partitioning. This allows visitors a sure-fire way to see the shy-by-nature kiwi bird.

Guided Tours

Guided tours
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Guided tours of the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve are conducted daily. These guided tours offer visitors an in-depth. They are conducted every day at 4:30 PM and cost NZD 11 for an adult and NZD 5 for a child. These tickets are chargeable on top of regular entry costs.

Ko Tane Maori Cultural Performance

Maori Dancers
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The Willowbank Wildlife also conducts the Ko Tane Maori cultural performance, an interactive cultural showcase the lifestyle of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori community. The experience includes a traditionally prepared dinner called hangi. This four-course meal involves cooking the food, sweet potatoes and meats, in a pit dug in the ground with hot stones placed over it. It also shows visitors the traditional customs of the Maori, including the world-famous haka war-cry.

Feeding Times

Feeding times for the different animals are held during various times of the day. Spend some time having cute lemurs and alpacas eating out of your hands. Animal feed can be purchased from within the wildlife reserve for NZD 3 per bag. 

The following are the feeding times for animals at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve:-

Daily:

Eels - 12:45 PM
Ferrets and Falcons - 3:20 PM

During school holidays:

Otters - 1:00 PM
Gibbons - 1:10 PM
Lemurs - 1:20 PM
Keas - 1:30 PM

Timings

Open daily from 9:30 AM - 5 PM (April - September) Winter Hour

Open daily from 9:30AM - 7 PM (October - March) Summer Hours

6 PM close on Christmas Eve

Closed on Christmas

Kiwi nocturnal house open from 10:30 AM daily

 

How To Reach Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

A quick 5-minute drive away from Christchurch International Airport and less than a 20-minute drive away from central Christchurch. The bus lines number 107 and can be boarded from Northlands Shopping Mall in Papanui.

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