Rainbow Springs is truly an attraction like no other in the world. Set in 22 acres of beautiful native trees and streams we are home to a huge variety of New Zealand's most precious inhabitants.
The entire experience is built around New Zealand's largest and most successful kiwi conservation centre. Since 1995 we have released over 1,000 kiwis into the wild.
Added to this intimate view of one of the world's living treasures, you will also be able to experience the adrenalin rush of The Big Splash, explore our many free flight aviaries, feed the birds their breakfast, come face to face with pre-history in the eyes of our many tuatara, talk to Jenny the hand-reared kea, feed the largest wild trout you will ever see, experience the wonder of our bird show featuring some of the funniest feathered performers you will ever see.
Not only that, because your ticket is valid for repeat entry for the day of the purchase you can come back at night to listen to the bird calls and to watch the kiwi come out to play. With no glass in our outdoor kiwi enclosure, and only a knee high fence separating you from these curious native birds, you can get closer to kiwi than you ever thought possible.
All of us here at Rainbow Springs are proud of the role we play in conserving many of the precious native species of New Zealand. That's why we put so much energy into ensuring that our 22 acre park is beautiful with a friendly, fun atmosphere. We would love to meet you and introduce to a few of the locals.
I think the Big Splash has added a lot to Rainbow Springs. I'd been here prior to the Big Splash and remember thinking that it wasn't really worth the cost. The kids enjoyed looking at the birds and fish, and they did enjoy the live bird show, however I think if it weren't for the Big Splash they would have gotten bored quite quickly and been rather disappointed.
As with any attraction, the lines for the Big Splash were rather lengthy at times. We found as it got closer and closer to closing time, the lines became shorter and shorter, so maybe coming later in the day is better than right at the start. We must have gone on the ride over half a dozen times. As I said, it was pretty much the main thing to keep the kids' attention. The playground though was also quite a big hit with the kids, with Miss 6 getting pretty excited about the little flying fox - although again she did find she had to wait in line for it quite a bit.
I think that Rainbow Springs is the kind of place where you go to it once to check it out, but because of the relatively high cost, you probably wouldn't keep coming back year after year. We'll probably wait a few more years before we go again. It's quite expensive when you break it down, with the kids really only being interested in the one thing (the Big Splash). However, that said, we did spend most of the day here (however a lot of that was in lines waiting to go on the Big Splash).
I was determined to take my family to Rainbow Springs before it got too cold to enjoy The Big Splash and before my eldest turned five and we had to pay for her to get in. At $38 for an adult it certainly isn't a cheap outing especially as once your child is five they are $24.70. I had to tell myself it was a tourist attraction in Rotorua so it is priced for the tourists. I took food for us to safe some money.
When we arrived the woman that served us was very helpful. She informed us that The Big Splash was not working at the moment but they expected it to be up and running in about 90 minutes. Because of this $5 was taken off the entry fees for me and my husband. She gave us a map and pointed out where the main attractions were.
When we were through into the park we were greeted by a photographer who offered to take our photo and with the magic of photoshop make it appear that we were each holding a tuatara or kiwi. We did this and they were available for us to view in the gift shop later in the day without any obligation. I purchased a set mainly because we rarely have photos of all of us together because either Mum or Dad is taking the shot. Also it was a fun thing. It was rather pricey but included in the package was a code so I could go onto the website and download our photo.
The animals consisted of a number of aviaries many of which you could walk through with both native and exotic birds, numerous pools of rainbow trout. What we really wanted to see very the kiwi. In the kiwI house we saw a chick snuggled up asleep right by the glass and another not far from us foraging. There was an option of coming back at night to see the kiwI in the glass free enclosures but we didn't stay that late.
We wanted to see the exotic bird show and had been warned to turn up early as no one can enter late. The show talked about and displayed the different talents of some parrots as well as giving a good environmental message. We didn't go to any of the interactive encounters but I probably would have if I didn't have the kids with me.
Thankfully The Big Splash was reopened earlier than expected. This had to be the highlight of Rainbow Springs for all of us. My three year old went on the ride continuously with me for most of the afternoon. Most of the ride was giving you a lesson in how New Zealand has evolved from a land with dinosaurs to today where many of our native birds are extinct. There were a few things that leapt out at you but nothing that made you scream. The big drop at the end was a thrill and we got wet each time. If I was doing it on a colder day I would have a rain poncho to cover my top and lap because it got a bit uncomfortable being in damp clothes.
My girls loved the playground too. Most of our day was spent on The Big Splash or the playground. I think I would take my kids every couple of years because of the price but it definitely was a fun day.
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