LIONS – THE PRIDE OFTHE PARK

Rotorua Visitor Guide - - News -

Par­adise Val­ley Springs is one of Ro­torua’s best known at­trac­tions – a beau­ti­fully pre­sented New Zealand trout, bird and wildlife park – which also fea­tures a pride of African lions. Par­adise Val­ley Springs first opened to the pub­lic in 1939 as a trout sanc­tu­ary. It was pur­chased by broth­ers Stu­art and John Ham­lett in 1975 and re­mains a pri­vately-owned fam­ily busi­ness. They have ex­ten­sively de­vel­oped the park over the past few decades with new de­vel­op­ments and up­grades hap­pen­ing all the time. Of course, it’s not just about lions. Vis­i­tors can in­ter­act with a va­ri­ety of New Zealand wildlife in­clud­ing deer, pigs, thar and wal­la­bies, all of which can be hand-fed. You can view rain­bow and brown trout in the crys­tal clear pools and in the Ngongo­taha Streamwhich me­an­ders through the park and you can in­ter­act with the friendly farm an­i­mals in­clud­ing al­pacas, goats and sheep, view native birds like the alpine par­rot, the kea and see wa­ter­fowl on the park’s wet­lands. There is also an el­e­vated rain­for­est tree­tops walk­way, six me­tres high amongst the bush and native trees. There’s a great gift shop to browse for sou­venirs or buy a snack or a bot­tle of spring wa­ter drawn from the park’s own TeWaireka (mean­ing sweet wa­ter) spring. Long ago, be­fore Euro­pean set­tle­ment, lo­cal Maori tribes would bring their bat­tle-wounded war­riors to TeWaireka spring to drink, be­liev­ing the wa­ters to have heal­ing qual­i­ties. Wa­ter drawn from the spring is bot­tled on site at the park and you can­watch the bot­tling process fromview­ing win­dows. The park is open ev­ery day from8am with lion feed­ing at 2.30pm daily and kea and pos­sum feed­ing at 3pm. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.par­adi­sev.co.nz

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