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Auckland Zoo has finally reopened its door in 2022 after months-long lockdowns. It’s been a while since we’ve visited Auckland Zoo and our kids are stoked to see their cousin monkeys this summer.

Auckland Zoo Tickets

Under the current traffic light system in New Zealand, a vaccine pass is required and you need to pre-book a time slot and purchase the tickets online. There are no time restrictions once you’re inside.

We always use BookMe to find special deals and purchase tickets.

Unfortunately, zoo talks and shows were cancelled during our visit. So it didn’t make a difference whether we went in the morning or afternoon.

Upon arrival, we collected our pre-purchased tickets from the booth and were given a map of the newly refurbished Auckland Zoo.

South East Asia Jungle Track Auckland Zoo
South East Asia Jungle Track

Auckland Zoo Tracks

There are a lot of changes since our last visit. Auckland Zoo now has 5 distinctive tracks:

  • South America Rainforest Track
  • Australia Bush Track
  • South East Asia Jungle Track
  • Te Wao Nui (New Zealand natives)
  • Africa Safari Track
Africa Safari Track Auckland Zoo
Africa Safari Track

It’s recommended to start from the furthest track – South America Rainforest and work your way back.

But hey, we were distracted right from the start. We kind of just followed the crowd and ditched the map altogether.

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Auckland Zoo Animals

There was a good variety of animals at Auckland Zoo during our visit. On top of my head, the first animals we encountered were the otters. They were chewing blocks of ice and were super adorable.

Then we spotted a red panda high up on the tree. We saw lemurs feeding, Australian native animals chilling, alligators in stealth mode, lizards and iguanas in camouflage and cheeky tamarins grooming each other.

We loved getting up close to the orangutans. Their hammocks looked so cozy we all wishes we could be orangutans at Auckland Zoo for a day!

Orangutans Auckland Zoo
Orangutans at Auckland Zoo

Our favourites were the African Safari animals, the Asian elephants and the monkeys. The kids were especially fascinated with the baboons’ red bums.

Some animals like the lions and cheetah were sleeping. Overall, we felt Auckland Zoo had done an incredible job bringing in such a diverse range of mammals, birds and ectotherms.

Asian Elephants Auckland Zoo
Asian Elephants

Cafés & Food Outlets

There are plenty of shades and picnic areas in Auckland Zoo if you wish to bring your own lunch and snacks.

Alternatively, there’s a café in every Track where you can top up on food and drinks. However, most of them have limited items on the menu and they’re mostly fried food. Te Puna Café has the most variety of food and you can fill up your water bottle there with refreshingly cool water.

Here are the 5 cafés at Auckland Zoo:

  • Whetapunga Café near the entrance
  • Te Puna Café – the new and main café where you can see playful orangutans.
  • The Watering Hole Café near Asian elephants and flamingoes. This is also a great place for some water play.
  • The Lookout Café
  • And the Old Elephant House Café
Te Puna Café Auckland Zoo
Te Puna Café

Kids Play Area

Auckland Zoo has kids play areas and interactive activities scattered around the zoo. The main playground is near Te Puna Café, where most people choose to relax, replenish and rest.

How long do you need at Auckland Zoo?

We spent a little over 4 hours at Auckland Zoo with 2 kids under 5. If you have older kids, you can probably finish everything in under 3 hours. However, we’d love to spend all day there, take our time and let the kids enjoy the play areas.

Flamingoes Auckland Zoo
Flamingoes

What to bring for a day at Auckland Zoo?

  • Stroller
  • Sun hats
  • Sun screen
  • Water (refills available)
  • Lunch & Snacks
  • Camera

Final Verdict

We had a great family day out with the kids at Auckland Zoo. In all honesty, it was so much better than before the lockdown. We had an annual pass previously and weren’t motivated to renew. But since the refurbishment, Auckland Zoo is now modern, much more vibrant and has many more animals.

There are still areas under construction, so Auckland Zoo will transform into a world-class zoo in 2022. We can’t wait to go back again when everything is fully up and running, and hopefully by then, the Safari Nights and Behind the Scenes will be back as well.

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