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COVID-19 Response - Willowbank Wildlife Reserve & Restaurant

COVID-19 Response


As New Zealand moves to Alert Level 2, Willowbank will be reopening to the public on Thursday 14 May!
Our opening hours will be 9:30am – 5pm.

At Willowbank, the welfare of our staff, wildlife, and visitors is paramount, which is why we have implemented increased safety measures following advice from the Ministry of Health.

Our safety measures include:
Implementing contact tracing protocols.
Increasing our cleaning and sanitation procedures.
Adapting our processes to reduce proximity to/between customers.
Revising all food handling procedures.
Adapting cafe protocols to involve seated-only orders and single servers per table.

YOU can help us!
Keep distance between you and others when queuing.
Allow spaces between you and other groups when walking around the Reserve.
Wash your hands regularly.
Make use of the extra hand sanitising stations provided.
DO NOT visit if you are feeling unwell!

Please note that there will be no lemur encounters or group feeding times at Alert Level 2. Additionally, the Nocturnal Kiwi House will initially be closed in order to maintain social distancing recommendations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make a booking to visit Willowbank?

No, you do not need to book ahead in order to visit. Willowbank will be open as per usual, but with increased safety measures, and tickets can be purchased either online or at the reception area upon arrival.

Is there a limit to how many people can visit Willowbank?

There is a limit of 100 people inside the cafe and main building which will be maintained by our staff. However, the Reserve is a predominantly outdoor experience with a one-way path, making it easy for visitors to maintain space between themselves while making their way through Willowbank. To ensure safety for visitors, our staff will be actively monitoring this.

Will I be turned away if there are too many people at Willowbank?

While we anticipate that it may be busy, we will be actively monitoring the number of people who enter Willowbank and encouraging visitors to keep a safe distance between themselves and other groups. As it takes between 1 – 2 hours to walk through the Reserve, we don’t foresee having to turn away any visitors.

What are the new procedures for the cafe?

The new cafe ordering system allows for seated service only – visitors cannot approach the til to order. You can order food and drink either through the Willowbank Wildlife Reserve app, or be served by one of our staff members. There will also be single servers per table to reduce the number of interactions.

What times will Willowbank be open?

Willowbank will be open every day from 9:30am – 5pm.


If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our admin staff on 03 359 6226.

We look forward to welcoming you to Willowbank!

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