Beat boredom go Colosseum in NZ spend me-time with lions 

November 02, 2011
Beat boredom go Colosseum in NZ spend me-time with lions

Being part of the feeding program at Orana Wildlife Park puts visitors in the lions territory. You are in the cage. The lions look at you as they feed. It's Roman really with the comforting add-on that the cage (with the people in it) prevents a Christians v Lions Colosseum outcome.

Set in 80 hectares Orana is New Zealands only open range zoo. Orana Wildlife Park is located within 15 minutes drive of Christchurch Airport as GoSee found on a recent visit. Over 400 animals, representing more than 70 species, are displayed at Orana Wildlife Park.

Sixteen scheduled animal feeds occur daily and are accompanied by a presentation from a wildlife guide. This means Orana Wildlife Park has something to keep visitors of all ages entertained for the entire day.

Orana's unique and exciting animal encounters are a park specialty and will get visitors up close to endangered animals, for example:

Travel through the Lion habitat on board a specially modified vehicle to meet the 'King of the Beasts' up close (2.30pm). (Conditions apply this is an additional cost to Orana Wildlife Park entrance, 20 tickets are available daily and people must be over 1.4 metres in height to participate. Tickets can be reserved only if they are pre-paid for in advance).

See a Tiger search and leap for its food (11.30am).

Hand feed the majestic Giraffe (12pm 3pm).

Help feed a range of friendly animals in the Farmyard (1pm). This interactive area has a wide range of domestic animals such as sheep, calves, llama, rabbits and pigs.

Meet the mighty Rhinoceros face-to-face (3.20pm) this includes the chance to view Orana's one year old Rhino calf named Eco.

View New Zealands national icon, the Kiwi.

Stroll through an alpine themed aviary for close views of New Zealand Kea the worlds only mountain parrot. Guests will also view the antics of many other amazing animals such as Apes, Monkeys, Meerkats, Otters, Porcupines and Wild Dogs.

The Parks extensive native fauna collection features Kiwi as well as a range of other endemic birds such as Tui, Bellbird, Kereru and Kakariki. The Park is home to one of the most comprehensive public collections of native geckos. Guided tours occur daily and visitors can ride on Orana's complimentary Safari Shuttle, join a guided walkabout tour and/or meander around the Park at their leisure.

For those wanting something extra special, Orana also offers a range of behind the scenes experiences (additional cost non commissionable), as outlined:

Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch Giraffe feeding
Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch Giraffe feeding

A taste of Madagascar - Venture onto the Ruffed Lemur island to feed these delightful primates. $30pp (excludes Park entrance), occurs at 1pm Thursday - Sunday.

Cripes its stripes! - Venture into the Tiger Dens to see how Orana manages these big cats. $20pp(excludes Park entrance), occurs at 3.15pm each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Meet a Cheetah - Enter the habitat with a beautiful hand-raised Cheetah for a personal encounter. $100pp (includes Park entrance), occurs at 11am Friday - Monday.

Travel through the Lion reserve - Oranas Lion Encounter is genuinely unique and gives extremely closeviews of the King of the Beasts. $30pp (excludes Park entrance), occurs at 2:30pm daily.

People must be over 1.4m in height and be fit and able bodied (eg able to stand up and sit down unassisted) to participate in the behind the scenes experiences.

Park admission costs: $25 per adult, $21 per senior/student, $8 per child (5-14 years), pre-schoolers are free and a concession pass (2 adults and up to 3 children 5-14 years) costs $58.

Orana Wildlife Park  encounter with the endangered Lemur.
Orana Wildlife Park encounter with the endangered Lemur.

Kids  love Orana Wildlife Park calf feed time
Kids love Orana Wildlife Park calf feed time

Rhino at short range Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Rhino at short range Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch

Pure  power and beauty as Orana Wildlife Park  Tiger leaps
Pure power and beauty as Orana Wildlife Park Tiger leaps

Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch Kiwi.
Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch Kiwi.

Cheetah Encounter Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch.
Cheetah Encounter Orana Wildlife Park, Christchurch.

Tiger Den  Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch
Tiger Den Orana Wildlife Park Christchurch