Finally got round to sorting out my New Zealand 2012 photos. Sometimes I hate it that I take so many photos. It takes eons to whittle out the handful of photos that will make the cut from the hundreds that I have taken. I remember my 1st digital camera 10 years ago. With the memory card being so small, I was happy to get 50 photos at Disney World. And it’s Disney World mind you. Now, just day trip to the zoo gets me like 300 photos, and this is after much restraint!
Anyway, last month, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Auckland Zoo. The Auckland Zoo was low down in my priority list since we already have a world class zoo right here in Singapore. Also, I’ve been to a number of zoos around the world, and in New Zealand, I rather visit the petting farms where I can touch the animals than merely view from afar. But it being my FOURTH visit to New Zealand, I had to dig up something to do.
Let me get straight to the point. The Auckland Zoo is FANTASTIC! It is such a beautiful zoo and such a wonderful experience walking the grounds that at some points, the hairs on my arms literally tingled with the excitement and awesomeness of it all. If you are going to Auckland, you definitely have to take some time to go visit the Auckland Zoo. It would be time and money well spent.
The difference between The Auckland Zoo vs The Singapore Zoo
- Visitor Comfort – If there’s one thing that New Zealand has got going for itself, it is the weather. It is very pleasurable to be out and about without having to mop sweat off your forehead every 5 seconds. Unless a huge air-conditioned dome is built over the zoo, the hot and humid weather will always be a bugbear for Singapore.
- Lively animals — It’s a no brainer actually. If you don’t want to be out in crazy 34 degrees celcius, guess what, the animals at the Singapore Zoo feel the same way! I noticed a lot of the animals at the Auckland Zoo were up and in full view, pacing around, or swimming, or swishing their tails or just being plain awake. At the Singapore Zoo, most of the times, the animals were lying down, sleeping or hiding somewhere in the shade, out of view. Even the Night Safari animals seem sluggish. I know, because I’ve been there more than 10 times!
- Pretty as a picture — Okay I may be a little biased, given the weather and all, but I think the Auckland Zoo is prettier. It is like a beautiful park, which just happens to have animal exhibits! There is a river flowing through the park too, with lots of little duckies swimming in them. I don’t know why there are no ducks in our ponds and rivers and to me, a pond or a river just ain’t complete without ducks! Don’t get me wrong though, I do think our Singapore Zoo is pretty too, and part of the zoo overlooks the Upper Seletar Reservoir. I just think that the Auckland Zoo is nicer.
- Location — Auckland Zoo is just 5 minutes from Central Auckland whereas the Singapore Zoo is located in a ”remote” region of Singapore. It’s like if you were in Orchard Road, the Auckland Zoo would be where our Botanical Gardens is. But given that Singapore is pretty small to begin with, this actually isn’t a significant point. And, if you were cabbing, that 5 minute ride to Auckland Zoo would probably cost you S$20, same as if you were cabbing to Mandai!
Other than that, both the Singapore Zoo and Auckland Zoo are world class zoos in their own right. The best part about these zoos are that the animal are housed not in cages but in enclosures made to look like their natural habitats. Also, both zoos boast of walk-in enclosures where visitors are able to mingle with the free-ranging animals. I would most definitely encourage tourists visiting Singapore or Auckland to visit the zoos! I make it a point to visit the Singapore Zoo every year or so.
Taller than a hippo.
The mother (I think) giraffe is so loving, kept on preening the little baby giraffe!
The baby giraffe explores the tree stump on his own.
One of the few animals that were snoozing when we were there.
If you’ve always wanted to know how a Lion’s genitals look like…
The female doesn’t look too pleased about it.
Rhinoceros — Rhinos’s skin is very sensitive, that’s why they love wallowing in the mud.
Chickens having a sand bath. Have you ever seen a chicken having a sand bath? It’s damn cute!!!! My pet chicken used to do that on the carpet and it was the cutest thing ever!
The cheetahs look like they’re loose on the road.
Coming to get you.
Why are their butts so UGLY????
Don’t know what bird. Hiding in the corner
The famous Kea. The world’s only alpine parrot, and very smart too. Their beaks are so strong they can tear the rubber lining off your car window.
Absolutely love the natural beauty in the park.
These guys just loved to perform and kept going and going!
Meerkat. Check out the bubble dome tunnel for humans!
Kangaroo enclosure. You can walk through the enclosure but the kangaroos are too shy to approach.
Lorikeets. So sweet, preening each other. Does your mate do this for you?
Another pair of parrots in love
These looked fake until they moved!
Is this cute or what! Mops and bottles for the lemurs to play with!!! The Auckland Zoo has 8 lemurs. The females are dominant, meaning they get to eat first. That’s the way things should be.
Oh dear, are Orang Utans supposed to be in a temperate country??? They were all hiding in this corner.
Only this brave guy was out in the open, and even then, he took shelter in a sack. Can you see the clothes strewn all over the place? The Orang Utans are given CLOTHES!!!! It must be damn cold for them! Did you know that Orang Utans could be extinct in the wild if the rate of growth of palm oil plantation continues?
What to eat at the Auckland Zoo
Lunch! If there’s one thing you have to try in New Zealand, it’s their pies. They’re out of this world! I actually stuffed some frozen pies in my suitcase to bring back to Singapore. They’re that good.
The Auckland Zoo also provides free hot water and a microwave to heat up your food if you’ve brought some from home.
Directions to the Auckland Zoo
Information Centre phone +64 9 360 3805
Aww the meerkat is sooo cute. And now I am craving for NZ pies.
Unfortunately, we can’t get NZ pies in Singapore!
wa the zoo animals dun look familar to me (looks like Sg zoo does not have some of them)
You bought the frozen pies back? Wun they spoilt as they will thaw
Erm which animal looked unfamiliar???
Most of the birds are native to New Zealand so those would be unfamiliar. The colourful birds I believe are lorikeets and the Jurong Bird Park has a whole Lorikeet enclosure where you can mingle with the Lories and have them sip juice for $2.
Apart from the birds, most of the other animals can be found at the Singapore Zoo! I was there on Saturday and I saw the Lemurs, which seems like a new exhibit to me.
The pies are in the freezer, waiting for a special occasion. Don’t know if they are spoilt or not hahaha. The flight was 11 hrs plus a few hours of travelling/waiting. I guess the plane is cold so it wouldn’t have thawed that fast.
Thank you for a wonderful recommendation for Auckland Zoo. As a one day a week volunteer at Auckland Zoo for over 10 years, I never get tired of going to work. I have been to many Zoos around the world and have yet to find one as good as Auckland Zoo.
Hi Penelope, thanks for reading the post and great that you liked it. I’ve always wanted to volunteer/work at the zoo but the Singapore one is just too far away from my home. It’s wonderful that you managed to dedicate so much of your time for the animals. The Singapore Zoo is good too, do check it out if you ever come to Singapore.