Saturday, March 31, 2018

Willowbank Part 2

Then we headed round to the farm yard area. Not sure that these guys fit that well into that description however.
I suppose they fit with the reptiles. These tortoises decided to move outside just as we arrived. It's always nice seeing them on the move.
Hezekiah just had to have a photo on this old tractor. He would have sat playing on it for ages if we didn't have two little ones that wouldn't cope with a long wait for him. The creative juices started flowing as soon as he saw it and I heard a whole range of wonderful imaginative play ideas.
Then we saw these Zebu. What caught our attention was how they would sweep their tongue across the fence to pick up food. So the children did that a bit as it was really fun to watch that big tongue.
This ended up being the absolute highlight for Asher. She just LOVED feeding them. In this photo you can see Ruth trying to demonstrate how she needs to hold her hand flat. This zebu didn't seem to worried though and managed to get the food out of her hand. I think she liked the fact that it had to work a bit to get it. I was a little worried about those teeth, but it was really gentle and we didn't have any bitten fingers. Just one very happy little girl.
The donkey was next door. He was really friendly.
Some cuddles from Hezekiah.
And Asher just sat at the Zebu for a while longer.
I think these must have been young ones as they don't have the very clear bump on their necks yet.
Hezekiah doesn't mind getting up close and personal. I was just waiting for the goat to give him a big lick.

Hannah having a stare down with the goat too. I think he was just patiently longing for a bit of food but their packet was almost empty.

I can really understand now why they also call these areas a "petting zoo". Hezekiah really did love petting the different animals and they were all so nice and tame and enjoyed his attention.
Guinea Foul roaming around. Someone asked me to take a photo.
And I asked the children to get in the crate for a photo.
Aren't these birds just amazing.
Hezekiah having a go at milking.
The girls enjoyed feeding the peacock and other birds that were roaming around the picnic area.
Brendon wondered if Hezekiah would get spat on by the Lama, but escaped with just a fun memory of their little face to face.
A quick swing before we go through the last part.
Another fascinating bird.
Then through the Maori section.
And then the native birds. Kea are always lovely to spot. This one decided he liked hanging out at the exit door.
Checking out the Kiwi information area before going into the dark room to have a look at them.
This got us chatting about taxidermy.
A small chick that must have died. Poor thing, but lovely that we could get to see it.
As we were walking Ruth spotted this gas trap. She knows about them from her Kiwi Watch trips - where they empty and re-set traps. Well spotted Ruth. And thanks for the extra information.
Hannah so pleased to spot another black swan.
I do miss the owls in South Africa. There are only a very few in NZ.

We had a really lovely time with so many special memories made. The only improvement would have been to have Rachel with us, but I also know that it was a very beneficial Easter Camp for her with St John Youth.

Asher wanted to have her own photo like this. :-)
Nice to see the eels from this angle too.
And the whole experience ended with a very special treat of having a meal at the restaurant. They had the nicest hot chips and it was great to have a GF burger. Ruth enjoyed her GF toasty and Hannah and Hezekiah said the fish was really good too.

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