Posted by: Vallere | May 27, 2011

Wellington Zoo (part 2 of 3)

We got up bright (actually, it was overcast and rainy) and early (well, if you consider 9am early) on Saturday, May 14, and packed our things (we could do a clinic on procrastination). The kids ate breakfast while I made a cup of tea for myself, and The Doc did some last minute packing and poking around with the GPS.

We hit the road, and about 3 hours later we arrived in Wellington. The road into the city goes around the side of the harbor – it was quiet a sight! I wish I could have gotten a good picture of it, but the way the guard rails are on the road made it impossible. After a few wrong turns and a bit of backtracking, we found  a nice parking spot 2 blocks from the zoo. I plopped the baby in the mei tai on my back and the boys hopped into the jogging stroller, and we were off!

It was great that the rain cleared up just before we arrived, so while things were damp, we didn’t have to worry about getting soaked during our tour.

The very first animal we saw as we entered the zoo was a Fairy Penguin (or, Little Blue penguin), which is one of the native NZ penguins and also the smallest species. He was so cute!

And in a tree just beside his enclosure, a VERY loud, rather cheeky tui was squawking at everyone who passed by. We literally got within 5 feet of him! He wouldn’t sit still, though, so this is the best picture The Doc could get.

A bit later, we found ourselves in the nocturnal animal house. I can now say that I have officially seen a kiwi, a tuatara, and ruru (morepork)! I’m quite pleased! *crosses things off her bucket list*

Poor guy only had one leg!

Back outside, Ian spotted a pelican. I’ve seen pelicans at the beaches in NC before, but not from so close. This guy was HUGE! He was taller than Ian and came right up to the rail, stuck his beak over, and tried to bite him! Ian was torn between being freaked out and totally stoked. I wish this picture had one of the kids in it for size reference. But you can note that The Doc, at 6’1″ tall, isn’t looking down on this bird by much at all.

We were right on time to catch two zookeeper talks. The first was about the sun bears. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sun bear before, but they look like a mix between a regular bear, and a shar pei.

Next we got to see a woman hand feeding a Sumatran tiger. The boys were fascinated! She was explaining how hand-feeding was really important at a zoo, because it allowed the zoo keepers to get close to the cats each day to make sure their eyes, paws, teeth, etc were healthy. She said that being so close allowed her to even smell the cat’s breath to see if there was a gum infection or anything similar.

While she was giving the tiger talk, we could hear roaring in the background. Up the hill a ways was the lion exhibit. Ian and Zollie were very concerned about how loud the lions were, and weren’t sure they wanted to see them. But when we finally got to them, this is what we found:Lazy, lazy…

Around the next corner was a great view of Wellington. This zoo is actually IN town. It’s small, but we were really impressed with how nice all the enclosures were with such limited space.

We saw scores of other animals, and I just can’t include all the pictures. But here were a few of our favorites.

The Doc took this one just for you, Mom.

Feeding time…we could have reached out and touched them!

Fresh shofar!


 Thus ends part 2. Tomorrow, check back in for part 3 about Te Papa!



  1. thanks for the cock, Doc!

  2. AWWWWW come on no picture of the morepork just for meeee! he he he he

    • The moreporks are up now! They were there originally, but Photobucket has been being a beast the past two days. It went down for maintainance and I think they made it worse. I don’t know when I’ll get part 3 up now. It took me about 5 tries to get this post up the way it is now, and it’s STILL missing a picture!

      • AWWWW Thanks Girl you know I have a special place in my wee little heart for the moreporks :0)

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