Wellington Zoo is New Zealand’s oldest zoo. It was established in 1906 and covers a 32 acre (13 hectares) site.
It began with a single animal, a lion that was presented to Prime Minister Richard Seddon, who created the zoo just to look after it. This lion was named “Dick” after the PM and it is now stuffed and on display in one of the city’s museums. Several other animals soon joined Dick and the museum was created. Today the zoo provides a home for over 500 animals comprising of over 100 different species.
Unlike many other zoos Wellington Zoo is not arranged in geographical regions but it does have some specific exhibits like the Monkey House and the Reptile House. Other animals that can be found here include pandas, giraffes and cheetahs.
Wellington Zoo runs a Close Encounter program which, as its name suggests, enables visitors to get up close to many of the animals. It also operates a breeding and conservation program and works closely with other zoos around the world.
Opening hours, admission charges and other information for visitors can be found on the website.