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If you are looking for an awesome day out, Rainbow Springs is the place to go. We live in Tauranga, and the retailers and tour operators there often complain about the cruise ships. One third of cruise ship passengers who come into Tauranga get on a bus and go straight ot Rotorua. NOW WE KNOW WHY! I mean, we love Tauranga, and we're not planning on moving, but if you only had one day, this is what you should do. (Well, this or Paradise Valley Springs ... we'll post a page about that another time.)

If you are looking for an awesome day out, Rainbow Springs is the place to go. We live in Tauranga, and the retailers and tour operators there often complain about the cruise ships. One third of cruise ship passengers who come into Tauranga get on a bus and go straight ot Rotorua. NOW WE KNOW WHY! I mean, we love Tauranga, and we're not planning on moving, but if you only had one day, this is what you should do. (Well, this or Paradise Valley Springs ... we'll post a page about that another time.)

Our human last went to Rainbow Springs about 35 years ago (our human is really, really old - at least by little human standards). She was totally blown away by how amazingly awesome the park is now. Whether you are walking through the many free flight aviaries, feeding the biggest wild trout you will ever see, watching the birds being fed or coming face to face with history in the eyes of a tuatara everyone at Rainbow Springs is proud of the role they play in conserving many of the precious native species of New Zealand.

The team at Rainbow Springs believe that a key part of this process is making it as much fun as possible to interact with the animals so that visitors will come to love them as much as the staff do. This is why they put so much energy into ensuring that their 22 acre park is beautiful with a friendly, fun atmosphere. And we have to say ... all the staff we met ... some of the best park staff ever! So friendly and helpful.

Rebek, who loves trees, was beside himself at the size of some of them. Here he is hugging one. Ferhad Junior had a bit of an uncomfortable encounter with Jenny the Kea. She bit him! You can see him getting jerked backwards in the photo as she pulled his tail. Rebek told her she wasn't very nice. She apologised and said she'd kiss FJ better. And then she bit his nose! Poor Ferhad Junior. He doesn't like keas any more. There was a sign on the cages warning humans not to put their fingers in, but there were NO WARNINGS that giraffes shouldn't put their tails in. Ferhad Junior thinks a sign should be added to warn other giraffes that might visit the park.

As you walk aorund the paark, there is heaps of information about the trees and animals there. Not only boards and little signs to read, but you can also push the buttons on the big boards to get an audio story of what you are seeing. And check out the name of the baby kiwi born on June 29! Ha ha ha - how appropriate. What better way for a Kiwi girl to celebrate two Grammys than by having a baby kiwi named after you.

After his encounter with Jenny, Ferhad Junior was a bit worried about going to see the Free flight Bird Show. But we finally talked him inot it, and boy, are we glad we did. We've been to bird shows at Taronga Zoo and San Diego Zoo and other zoos around the world, but this was our favourite show. Sure, San Diego was more spectacular with squadrons of colourful macaws flying in formation. But what we loved about this show was it highlighted the love and respect between the human present, Mark, and his birds. This was more about what man and bird can accomplish together, instead of what man can train bird to do. Awesome stuff, and very touching.

If you like lizards and geckos, we met some cool ones at the park. And look ... they come in single packs, double packs, and triple packs!

We sooooooooooooooo recommend you do the Behind the Scenes of Kiwi Encounter tour while you're there. It only costs $10 and all the money goes todirectly back to the National Kiwi Trust which operates Kiwi Encounter, to help hatch and raise more kiwi to return to the wild.

One of the best and most exciting attractions at Rainbow Springs is The Big Splash. Wooooooo hoo!!!!! We went 12 times! And everyone ended up TOTALLY SOAKED. As Ferhad Junior said, it was totes amazeballs!

Find Us in the Fotos

Finally, we visited the Gift Shop, and were very surprised at how affordable everything was! The funky park mascot soft toys were just $15 each. Ha! They'd be $50 at "other" parks. Can you find Ferhad Junior hanging with some of the residents of the Gift Shop?

Five Fun Facts about Rainbow Springs

  1. Rainbow Springs is New Zealand's largest and most successful kiwi conservation centre. Since 1995 they have released over 1,200 kiwis into the wild.
  2. Cockatoos are not obedient. "No" to a Cockatoo means "try again later". We suspect Ferhad Junior may be part cockatoo!
  3. Although tuatara look like lizards, they are actually part of a distinct lineage, Rhynchocephalia. The two species of tuatara are the only surviving members of their order, which flourished around 200 million years ago.
  4. You can have your birthday party at Rainbow Springs!
  5. During summer the park doesnt close until 10.30 at night!!!! (9.30 in winter.)

Learn more about Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs Official Website


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