Staglands Wildlife Reserve and Café

Get up close and personal with some of the friendliest animals in Wellington. Set in a beautiful green valley, this outdoorsy experience is less about fences and more about giving animals the space and habitats they need to lead happy lives.

Staglands is the perfect spot to introduce the kids to some of New Zealand’s quirky native creatures or meet farmyard favourites. From a very friendly, very fluffy merino ram to characterful kunekune pigs, whose name translates to the apt description ‘fat and round’, these animals are used to interacting with visitors and happy to be patted or fed with the special food you can buy at the entrance. And depending on the time of year, you might even be lucky enough to meet some rather cute lambs, piglets, calves and ducklings.

Retreat into the quiet of the bush, stroll to the trout pond and watch as the eager fish fight over their dinner at feeding time. A walk through the aviaries will find you surrounded by twittering native and exotic birds, or head to the stables and cuddle up with guinea pigs and rabbits. At the deer park, it’s not just deer but inquisitive emus, turkeys, peacocks and not-so-shy goats who’ll be competing for your attention.