Stretching across 17 hectares just to the west of Auckland city centre, Auckland Zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals from 140 species. Many of the animals here are rare or endangered, such as the white rhino or Sumatran tiger, and there is a particular emphasis on New Zealand's own indigenous animal life.If you can manage it, it's a good idea to time your visit around the many Animal Encounters that take place each day. With between 5 and 10 sessions happening per day, this shouldn't be too difficult. The sessions are led by Auckland Zoo's keepers, and give visitors the opportunity to ask questions, learn about the animals and how the zoo cares for them, and sometimes even feed them. Animal Encounters cover zoo residents as diverse as penguins and tigers, and maps and timetables are available at the main entrance.The Savannah section of the zoo is where you'll find the ever-popular giraffes and lions, as well as the white rhinos and cheetahs.
Direct your steps towards the medical centre, where an attached viewing gallery allows you to observe the zoo's vets and researchers at work. Who knows what you might learn?The Te Wao Nui section focuses on New Zealand's indigenous wildlife. This is a chance to learn about the ecosystem of each island, and get up-close with animals that are increasingly tough to spot in the natural environment. Head over to the Night Habitat to see the elusive kiwi, and the almost extra terrestrial-looking giant weta.Auckland Zoo is located just eight minutes from the city centre. Buses run regularly from the centre to the zoo's main entrance, and there are 2 large on-site carparks offering paid parking facilities. The zoo is open every day except Christmas Day, with late openings on Wednesday evenings throughout February and March.