Back to nature – Auckland Zoo gears up to welcome back visitors

After being closed for nine weeks, Auckland Zoo is excited to be reopening to the community on Wednesday 27 May and offering Kiwis a safe and nurturing environment to reconnect with wildlife and their whānau and friends following life at home during Alert Levels 4 and 3.

To ensure the safety of all staff, visitors and animals, the Zoo will be limiting the numbers of tickets available each day. Only visitors – including annual pass holders – with a valid online booking will be admitted, and the use of the NextUp virtual queuing system will enable contact tracing and help avoid large queues building.

The Zoo is also implementing a comprehensive range of safety measures to meet Government and Ministry of Health Covid-19 guidelines. For full details on everything you need to know before visiting Auckland Zoo, please visit: aucklandzoo.co.nz/get-zoo-ready

“It’s been a tough couple of months for many people in our community, so we’re beyond excited to be able to play a role in helping them reconnect with nature and with each other. It’s exactly what the Zoo is here to do!” says Auckland Zoo Director, Kevin Buley.

"Since Monday, it’s been amazing to see the excitement and optimism on the faces of the staff that arrived for work for the first time in weeks, and I can’t wait for our visitors and volunteers to experience those same feelings when they start returning next week."

As a country, we have all individually played a vital role during these unprecedented times, in helping to minimise the disease impact of Covid-19 in Aotearoa. Now it’s Auckland Zoo’s job to play our part in our nation’s road to recovery. The Zoo is an incredible outdoor space that not only inspires a love of wildlife and wild places, but also delivers the kind of experience that can help rebuild our physical, mental, social and emotional well-being too – something we all need more than ever right now.

The Zoo has been busy gearing up to get ready for visitors over the past few weeks and is now urging prospective visitors to ‘Get Zoo Ready’ by checking out what their Zoo experience at Alert Level 2 will mean and require.

“We’re working hard to ensure your visit during Alert Level 2 is the fabulous Zoo experience it has always been, but there are some important changes that visitors need to be aware of before coming to the Zoo.” says Auckland Zoo’s Head of Visitor Experiences, Phil McGowan. “Everything you need to know is on our website, and when you arrive, there’ll be plenty of staff on hand to help you. Perhaps the most important thing is that we won’t be able to admit anyone who hasn’t already booked a time online, including members.

“We recognise that this might cause some disappointment for some if it means they are unable to initially visit us on the day they want to, but I hope our community will understand that putting these measures in place will help maintain the necessary physical distancing and ultimately help to keep us all safer.”

Visiting Auckland Zoo at Alert Level 2

  • Go to aucklandzoo.co.nz/get-zoo-ready to book in advance. Everyone must book online, including Annual Pass members and those with vouchers or free tickets. If your first choice is full, then please book into another session
  • On the day of your visit: You must go online to join the virtual queue. Full details here: aucklandzoo.co.nz/get-zoo-ready Keep your phone handy so to see when it’s your turn to enter the Zoo
  • Our cafes and shop: Will be open, with no indoor seating and will be unable to accept any cash payments. Cafes will be serving takeaway food and drink only. Outdoor seating will be spaced to allow for the required social distancing. Our shop will be carefully managed to ensure physical distancing
  • Closed areas: Our Night Forest (kiwi), Kidzone, African Savannah meerkat tunnels, Vet Hospital viewing gallery, Australia’s Rainbow Lorikeet aviary and High Country Hut (to see whio, takahē) will all be closed
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The Zoo is an incredible outdoor space that not only inspires a love of wildlife and wild places, but also delivers the kind of experience that can help rebuild our physical, mental, social and emotional well-being too – something we all need more than ever right now.

Kevin Buley, Auckland Zoo Director