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Children's Programmes

Our team at Willowbank love providing entertainment for your whole family, which makes us a great place to start when you are looking for Christchurch things to do in the holidays, or year round. Our great value Family Day Pass means that 2 adults and up to three children can spend a full day in the Reserve or an Annual Pass gives unlimited entry for a full year for 2 adults and up to three children. 

Lemur encounters

Lemur encounters are held at 1.30pm on any day. This is a great opportunity to get up close to these amazing animals as you enter their enclosure and help the keeper feed the lemurs their lunch. The encounter is approximately 20 minutes long. The cost is $30 per adult and $15 per child (minimum 6 years old). Children must be accompanied by a paying adult. Children 6 - 9 years one supervising adult to two children. 10 - 14 years one supervising adult to four children.  For non-holders of a Family Annual Pass, an entry cost will be additional: Adult : $29.50 Child: $12.00  There is a maximum of 6 people on one encounter. Bookings are essential. To book or for more information contact us by email or phone.


Junior Keeper

Become a Junior Keeper for the day! Help the Park Warden with the day to day duties of looking after the animals at the wildlife reserve. Learn how to care for some of the most exotic and endangered species. Junior Keepers need to be 10 to 14 years old.  This program runs during the school holidays and bookings are essential. To book or for more information email us.  For the July school holidays all bookings must be made via Kidsfest www.kidsfest.co.nz

Feeding Times

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Every day at Willowbank you can watch the keeper feed our fish at 12.40pm, and the eels at 12.45. During the school holidays there are extra feedings:

  • Otters: 1.15pm
  • Gibbons: 1.20pm
  • Lemurs: 1.30pm


Donkey Rides

Donkey rides run on the weekends, public holidays and school holidays between 11am and 3pm (weather permitting). The donkey hut is located in our picnic area.

Birthday Parties

Children’s birthday parties can be held on Saturdays and Sundays. Bookings are essential. To book or for more information contact us by email or phone.


A visit to Willowbank is a wonderful experience for young children. Special rates are offered for preschools, kindergartens, and play centers. Under 5’s are free of charge, adult supervisors and extras are just $14.75 each. Animal food can be purchased for $3.00 a bag. For safety reasons we require a ratio of at least one adult for every five children. To book or for more information email us

Schools (2017 year)

Willowbank has a variety of options for local schools whether you visit to complement your current class studies or as a fun day out!

Full Information Pack

Safety Guidelines at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve

The following are guidelines to ensure the safety of your students as well as the residents of the Reserve.  Please discuss the following with your group (including parent helpers) before arriving at Willowbank.  Thank you.

  1. Please do not run through the park.  Running can disturb nesting and/or feeding animals and can cause personal injury.
  2. Please keep voices at usual talking level as screaming and unexpected loud noise can frighten the animals.
  3. Keep to the track at all times to avoid accidentally stepping on birds nests or newly planted vegetation and to avoid personal injury. 
  4. For the health of our animals please do not feed them unless it is with food purchased from the Willowbank counter.  Animals will tend to  accept most foods offered to them but some foods can make them sick. 
  5. Please emphasize sensible behaviour from your students.  Things like throwing sticks or stones at animals is cruel but can also be dangerous if the animal gets upset or tries to protect itself.  Please explain that  students seen disturbing animals in this, or like manner, will be asked by Willowbank staff to leave the Reserve immediately.
  6. Please use litter and recycling bins provided throughout the park.   Litter can be dangerous to the animals.  Please ask your students to respect their environment. 
  7. Please ensure your ratio is 1 adult : 5 children and that your group stays together with the adult in charge. 
  8. It is essential that students are made aware of water hazards throughout the Reserve.  No running, pushing or fooling by waterways.  Please reinforce this to your parent helpers and students.
  9. It is also essential that all KEEP OUT, STAFF ONLY and NO FEEDING signs are obeyed at all times.

The above points are in addition to your school's normal risk management policies. Willowbank Wildlife Reserve will take no responsibility for the welfare and behaviour of any visitors to the Reserve.



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our Experience...

“Kids will love feeding the eels, wallabies, birds, horses, etc. There are donkey rides for the kids too. We felt that this was the best attraction in Christchurch.”

Trip Advisor, Nov 2009

VIP Passes


Do you have important customers visiting your company that you need to entertain without the personal hassle of being there to pay?

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Would you like an easy way to be able to reward your staff for all their hard work with a family day out - on the company?

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Great Value Deals

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Willowbank Wildlife Reserve Annual Passes are valid for one year from date of purchase.

A Club Willowbank Pass is valid for 2 adults and up to 3 children. $149.00 (unlimited entry for one full year)

Individual Adult $69.00

Individual Child $21.00 

 Click here to read our conditions for this pass.

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Corporate Functions and Work Do's

When it's time to put aside the serious stuff from work and monkey around with your workmates, then Willowbank is the perfect function venue. At a time when many Christchurch venues are closed, consider the fantastic options.

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