If you’re looking for the perfect ‘zoo’/’wildlife; experience, look no further. We found the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve to be a real treat, especially for young children (honestly it’s fascinating for any age). The place is organised in a very natural way - you don’t feel as if you are actually walking through a zoo.
The animals seem to be genuinely happy and content. They are friendly, social and greet visitors. Also, a huge variety of animals seem to appear out of nowhere! You round the corner and there are a lamb. Then you have wild geese at your heels. Then you’re feeding wild boars and wallabies, waving at monkeys, and greeting large horses and calves.
Each animal is in his own habitat and the entire place seems to blend into one, so that you get the sense that you’re walking through a huge forest and that you happen to be running into all of these animals.
We were there on an overcast and rainy day and it was still a highlight of our entire time in NZ. Highly recommended!