At Orana Wildlife Park in Christchurch, visitors will get chance to come face-to-face with gorillas, orangutans, giraffes, and lions. You might even enjoy a rare sighting of New Zealand’s national bird, the kiwi, the In fact, more than 70 exotic species can be found at the only open-air wildlife park in the country.
A visit to the park is like taking a wildlife trip around the world. You’ll feel like you’re on an African safari without ever leaving Christchurch. Watch lions or rhinos strolling through the grass, hear the cry of spider monkeys and gibbon apes throughout the park, and learn all about Sumatran orangutans and Western Lowland gorillas—two species of critically endangered great apes.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Twelve animal presentations are offered daily at Orana Wildlife Park, including meerkats, monkeys, tigers, cheetahs, and more.
- Children 14 years of age and under must be supervised by an adult at all times.
- Make sure your camera or smartphone batteries are charged for this visit, with plenty of photo ops.
How to Get There
Located 15 minutes from Christchurch International Airport on 743 Mcleans Island Road, Orana Wildlife Park is not far from the turnoff to State Highway 1. Although there are no public buses that reach the park, shuttle services are available from downtown Christchurch.
When to Get There
Although the park closes at 5pm, the last entrance is at 4pm. Allow three to five hours for your visit so that you’ll have enough time to explore the park and see some of the animal presentations.
African Lions, Safari-Style
Hand-feeding giraffes and standing just feet away from a white rhino are arguably some of the most popular activities within the park. But it’s the Lion Encounter that will truly get your heart racing: While standing in a specially built cage on the back of the truck, you’ll have a front-row view as the keepers feed the big cats.