Make the most of your day at Hamilton Zoo
- Check out our 'Meet the Keeper' and 'Face2Face' schedule. These are an excellent way to learn more about your favourite zoo animals and to meet some real characters!
- Bring a camera and wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Check out the weather before you come. Be sure to slip slop slap if visiting in summer, or bring a jacket or umbrella during winter months.
- There are a limited number of prams and mobility scooters available for hire at reception. Please book these in advance to avoid disappointment.
- Our onsite cafe, the Hungry Morepork has lots of yummy food and drinks, alternatively, you may like to bring a picnic to enjoy.
- Hamilton Zoo is alcohol and smoke free.
Talk to Reception Staff on arrival
Our team are more than happy to give you the best advice on how to make the most of your day.
Rhinos and savannah animals (e.g. giraffes) have to be taken to and from their night enclosures every morning and evening so to avoid missing out on seeing these animals on display, as a general rule:
- If you enter the zoo before 10am, go to the left through the rainforest or through the native bird area first.
- If you enter the zoo after 2pm, go to the right to the rhinos and savannah first.
- Giraffes have health checks, training and conditioning with the keepers between 9.30am and 10.15am on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. This training can be seen from the viewer next to the giraffe yards, accessed via the Waikato Wetlands. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, they should arrive at the savannah enclosure around 9.30am.
- During wet weather or for animal management purposes, the giraffes may stay in their yards all day, they can be seen from the viewer next to the giraffe yards, accessed via the Waikato Wetlands. This viewer is open from 9.30am-4.00pm on the days they stay in their yards.
- If giraffes are in the savannah enclosure, they will generally begin to leave to go back to their yards at 3.50pm.
Keepers carry out rhino training and health checks on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9am. This means that not all rhinos may be on display all the time, check with reception upon arrival for that day's activity.
Walking slowly and quietly through the free flight aviary will increase your chances of seeing native birds.
- You may come across an enclosure where you cannot see the animal(s). Some animals, like the red panda, prefer to sit in shaded areas or up in trees, others, like tigers or chimpanzees may venture indoors during wet or cold days, or they may be off display while keepers are working in their enclosure.
- Sometimes our glass viewers may get condensation due to the weather, or have hand and finger prints restricting visibility. Please help us by understanding that we are an outdoor park and we cannot control condensation as well as we'd like to and try to avoid touching the glass to keep it clear for seeing though.
- We have large enclosures, and our animals choose where they go, so may not always be easy to see. Please listen out for announcements, check with reception or ask a zoo host to help find the animal you are looking for.
- Children under 14 years of age need to be supervised. There are a number of natural waterways at the zoo, so please watch children at all times.
- To ensure the safety of our animals the following are not permitted into zoo grounds: rollerblades, skateboards, bikes, balloons, whistles, balls, frisbees or other throwing games.
- Please do not feed any of our animals, enter any enclosures, or put any part of your body into any enclosures.