Hamilton Zoo operating at ORANGE setting

calendar iconPosted 13 December 2021

Hamilton Zoo is now operating under the ORANGE setting of the Traffic Light Framework.
Starting Tuesday 14 December, a My Vaccine Pass becomes a condition of entry to Hamilton Zoo for all people aged 12 years and three months or older. We thank our visitors in advance for your understanding.

Further information can be found at the link below
Annual pass holders, wishing to discuss options, please email zoo.information@hcc.govt.nz. Our team is here to help.



Is the Zoo open under ORANGE setting of the traffic light framework?

Yes, the Zoo is open.

Will the Zoo be open every day with the same opening hours?

Yes, the Zoo is open 9.30am to 4.30pm (except Christmas Day), final admission is 3.30pm.

What is a My Vaccine Pass?

An official record of your COVID_19 vaccination status for use within New Zealand that has a QR code that can be SCANNED.

Will a My Vaccine Pass be a condition of entry?

Yes, the My Vaccine Pass will become a condition of entry for people over 12 years if they are visiting Hamilton Zoo from Tuesday 14 December. 

Can I get an exemption?

Everyone who enters our facilities, including staff and visitors, must be fully vaccinated. The only exemption will be for those who hold valid vaccination exemption for medical reasons – the government has stated there will be an exemption process to get certification for the small number of people who are unable to get a vaccination for medical reasons.

I have had one vaccine shot, my second is booked in, can I still come in?

No. To enter a premise under the rules you must show proof of two vaccinations. We are operating under ‘My Vaccine Pass’ rules, which means only double vaccinated people can visit at this stage.

Can I produce a negative test instead?

No, a negative test is not an accepted alternative to a My Vaccine Pass. Vaccinations are widely accepted the best way to keep our community safe and protected from Covid-19.

Do ALL children have to be vaccinated to visit the Zoo?

Children under 12 years old do not have to be vaccinated to enter public facilities.

What happens if someone was vaccinated overseas?

They will need to apply to the Ministry of Health to have your vaccination record from overseas added to New Zealand’s COVID Immunisation Register (CIR). You need to do this before you can get your ‘My Vaccine Pass’.

I’m vaccinated but I left my pass at home, can I still come in?

We require official proof that you are fully vaccinated before entering public facilities, so unfortunately you cannot come in without a valid My Vaccine Pass. Please have your official My Vaccine Pass ready to scan or show a staff member before entering.

What if I don’t have a smart phone or the app, I need for My Vaccine Pass?

You can print the My Vaccine Pass and bring this with you instead.

Does it have to be a My Vaccine Pass? Can I show another proof of my vaccination?

Yes, you must show the My Vaccine Pass as proof of vaccination.

I don’t believe in the vaccinations. Why can’t I come in?

Hamilton City Council has made the My Vaccine Pass a condition of entry at most of its public facilities, aligning with the government’s new Covid-19 Protection Framework.

By doing so, we can continue providing our everyday services and activities to the community while keeping our community safe.

This change means we require everyone who enters our venues to be fully vaccinated, except for children under 12 and those who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons and qualify for a pass via the official exemption process.

I’m an Annual Pass holder and I don’t have a My Vaccine Pass and will not be getting vaccinated. What are my options?

  • Your annual pass can be put on hold until a My Vaccine Pass is no longer required.

  • You can transfer your annual pass to another person or family who is fully vaccinated.

  • You can request a refund for the remaining months of your membership. This will be worked out based on the full price of your annual pass, divided by 12 months. Your refund will reflect the remaining time on your pass. Minimum of one month remaining on your annual pass.

Are there any restrictions on group numbers and total visitor numbers?

We will be following Government guidelines which is based on 1m distancing. 

Are there any restrictions to paths around the Zoo?

No, but please have patience with each other as you travel around Zoo grounds. 

Can I pay with cash? 

No. We require contactless payment for the safety of our staff and community. Only card, online tickets or vouchers can be used. 

Is the Zoo collecting visitor details? 

Yes, contact tracing is a government requirement and all visitors need to scan the NZ Covid Tracer QR code or sign in manually. 

Do I need to wear a mask?

We ask that all visitors 12 years and over wear a mask while visiting the Zoo, to help protect other visitors, our staff and our animals.

Is the Keeper Talk schedule running? 

No. The keeper talk schedule remains on hold. 

Are Animal Encounters available?

No. Encounters remain on hold. 

Can I book an Animal Encounter for later in the year? 

No. We aren't taking bookings at the moment. 

I have an Animal Encounter voucher; will this be honoured? 

Yes. Even if they have expired. 

Can I get a refund for my Animal Encounter voucher? 

We are working to reinstate these and will honour them even if they are expired. If you would prefer a refund, or to put the credit towards Zoo admission, then let us know. 

Will the food truck be open? 

Yes. The Bearded Weasel food truck is operating onsite until the new Café opens. Food is takeaway only.

Are there hand sanitizing stations around the Zoo?

Yes. There will be hand sanitizer available for visitors stationed at the entrance and around the Zoo.

Is the playground equipment around the Zoo open?

Yes. But we ask parents and caregivers to be mindful their children maintain physical distance from others. 

Can I book a mobility scooter or wheelchair?

Yes. These are available and will be cleaned after each use. 

Do we enter and exit from Zoo reception?

There is a temporary entrance/exit currently in place due to construction on the Zoo-Waiwhakareke front entrance. The temporary set up allows for visitors arriving and leaving to be separated. We will announce when our new entrance building opens.

Can I go out to my car and come back in?

Preferably not. But if you absolutely need to then you will need to get a stamp from the security guard stationed at the temporary entrance and then show the guard on your return. 

My group is coming in soon, but can I use the toilets now?

No. We cannot enter people until contact tracing has been filled in and we need to maintain two metre distancing in line. There are toilets over at Waiwhakareke, along the path accessible from the Baverstock Road entrance. 

Are education visits resuming? 

Yes. These are possible at Orange level. All teachers, parents and students 12 years old and older must have a My Vaccine Pass sighted and filed by organisers before visiting the zoo. We ask that visitors 12 years and over to wear face coverings when visiting the Zoo.

Are holiday programmes able to resume?

Yes. These are possible at Orange level. All holiday programme participants 12 years and over (students and supervisors) must hold a My Vaccine Pass that is sighted and filed by organisers before visiting the Zoo. We ask that visitors 12 years and over wear face coverings when visiting.

Can the animals get Covid_19?

Yes. There have been documented cases in international zoos of animals contracting covid (carnivores and primates). Research is ongoing in this field, so we are playing it safe and asking for masks to be worn to help protect our animals.