A day at the Auckland Zoo

Our good friend Deb, wanted to treat us to a day at the Auckland Zoo. Even when we were just living around the corner from it four years ago, I've never actually been in it, and now that the kids are old enough to recognise and name animals (their favorites are giraffes and elephants), I thought it would make a great family day out. It'll also be a good chance for us to test the waters by having the boys out for a longer period of time instead of rushing home in time for their lunchtime nap. 

We've been on a pretty strict schedule with feeds, naps and bedtimes over the past three years, mainly because it's worked so well for Liam. But he doesn't really have an afternoon nap anymore (even though we still put him down for a rest at the same time everyday) and Nolan will really nap anywhere if he's tired, so we decided to give it a shot.

Entrance to the Auckland Zoo
The baby giraffe was adorable!
We arrived bright and early, to an extremely hot and sunny morning at the zoo. The children immediately got out of both strollers and wanted to run everywhere. I lost count of the number of times we yelled Liam and Nolan's name this morning to get them to stay near us. Thankfully, there were no mishaps apart from a little scrape of Liam's knee, and they were mostly well behaved, which basically translates into no screaming and kicking meltdowns. We call that a win in this family.

Father and son
With our beloved 'Aunty' Deb
Can you spot the elephant?
It was a really, really hot day, which made walking around quite uncomfortable. Thankfully the kids didn't seem fazed by the heat, and we tried to find shady places to rest wherever we could.

The zoo was a lot bigger than I expected, and really quite beautiful with plenty of grassy areas to rest and have a picnic, spots for kids to explore and play, plenty of beautiful animals to look at and learn about (although I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole animals in captivity thing), quite a few cafes and ice-cream stands, which was perfect for a day like today, and plenty of benches to sit and rest!

Found a little rocky nook to explore
A traditional Maori carving
Graceful otters! Wished I could jump in too!
Mummy, look! A wheel!
An old boat to explore 
All in all, it was a really wonderful morning and a pretty awesome zoo! We didn't get to see all the animals or explore every part of the zoo, but the boys certainly had a good time, and so did we. If the boys were older, we'd definitely have stayed longer, packed a little picnic and probably stayed for the day.

As it is, we went home after a little midday snack as the boys were getting really wired tired, and the heat was getting to all of us. Nolan fell asleep in his stroller as we were walking to the carpark! 

Pretty in pink 
I never visited the zoo much as a child, but it really is a wonderful, child-friendly, family activity. No one really cares if your child is running around or in the way (it's just what children do at the zoo!), there is so much to see and learn about, children naturally love looking at animals, and a zoo with great facilities like the Auckland Zoo makes it an easy, stress-free day out. 

Animals also have a way of helping you to tap into your inner child. I loved the elegant giraffes, laughed at the orang-utans who'd covered themselves with big sacks to protect themselves from the scorching heat, and was amazed to see a Kiwi-bird for the first time after living in New Zealand all these years! And yes, they're magnificent creatures!

Lemur aka King Julian 
So much to see and do!
We're definitely visiting many more zoos in our future me-thinks. Thank you, Deb, for adding another wonderful memory to our Auckland scrapbook!


  1. Good to see that Liam and Nolan enjoyed themselves tremendously at the zoo. I love to go to the zoo when I was a child.


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