Located on Napier's sunny Marine Parade, we are the ideal highlight to any holiday with a show, swim, or a tour on which you can touch and feed our dolphins or learn how we look after sick and injured penguins.
Follow the Norfolk Pine trees down the Marine Parade to find us.
Marineland has ample parking beside the complex and we are also within a very short walk from the city centre.
Marineland is open daily and includes the antique Lilliput Model Railway.
We also cater for all types of groups from schools to community groups. Contact us for group prices, bookings, or information. For students we offer school visits and help with school projects.
On a special day-trip north to celebrate my son's 5th birthday, we planned this as our first stop. We had booked in for the "Feed the Dolphins" session due to start at 9am, with an 8:45am check-in. Due to traffic flow issues in the Manawatu Gorge, we arrived on the front doorstep only to find the doors locked. We had missed the tour by minutes. So, after a wander around the Marine Parade area of Napier Township, we returned to Marineland just after 10am when the doors were reopened for public access.
As we paid our entry fee, I mentioned that we had missed the morning feed, despite our booking, and though we were disappointed, we knew it was no fault of the staff. The lovely lady at the counter took down our details, checked that yes, we had actually booked so this wasn't a hoax, and promised to talk to Regan, the (I assume) lead staffmember, and "...we'll see what can be arranged. No promises though." Our smiles must have shown her how happy we were at even the possibility of their helping us to make our son's big day special.
As we sat and watched/taped/photographed the show, we were pleased to hear Regan announce "...the special young man who's turning 5 today..." which caught our son's attention and made him beam with pleasure and pride. The show progressed well, with the dolphins performing many nifty stunts for our entertainment. After it finished, Regan approached us and informed us that they would arrange a private feed-&-pet-the-Dolphin session, just for our son!
After having photos taken of our son with a Blue Penguin on his lap, we wandered around for a bit watching the other residents being fed. The seals, sea lions and otters were all great hits, and it was funny watching the otters chasing off the marauding seagulls while trying to control a mouthful of fresh fish at the same time.
Then it was time to take our special lad off for his one-on-one feeding session. Both his Mum and I were invited to join in, but I declined. Someone had to stand back and get it all on film, after all. However, we were blown away by this gesture, and were further impressed when he was presented with a poster, some stickers and a special "Happy Birthday" certificate by the staff. It was really neat, and it made our little man so happy.
After much wandering around and photographing the animals, it was time for us to head back inside to investigate the stunning model railway they have set up in a side room. Made with stunning attention to detail, and some really nifty subtle tricks (Watch the boats on the water, and look at the little people!) made it just a really neat way to pass half an hour. Then it was time for us to leave, to head for the National Aquarium further down the road. A round of 'Goodbye and thanks again!' to the staff, a quick detour to buy some souvenirs, and we were off.
Overall, this was a really great way to start the day. Be sure to talk to them regarding any special events, as they are wonderful people and are genuinely willing to do whatever they can to ensure you have a great time. You can also book for a chance to don scuba gear and swin in the main pool with the dolphins. This should be booked well in advance, especially if you want to do it during the summer months. We plan to, and will be making our bookings shortly. Well done to all the staff, you are a great team of people, and each and every one of you helped to make our day something really special.
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