All posts tagged Rainbow Springs

Rule of Mum: Top Tips from Rainbow Springs

SurvivalTips for enjoying Rainbow Springs:

  • Check out the ‘What’s On’ guide when you arrive – there is an interactive encounter programme that is designed to delight and entertain the kids – but shhh, don’t tell them they may learn something too!
  • Pick up a bag of fish food at reception –  it doesn’t smell very good, but the fish love it!  It’s like lollies for them – and the kids will love watching them go crazy for every pellet. Just make sure you save some for the underwater viewer.
  • Arrive in time for the Bird Show – it starts promptly at 11.30am, so jump in line from 11.20am.  During the holidays, there is a second show at 2.30pm too.  Watch the kids be amazed at the colourful parrots’ antics as they fly right over your heads. (just make sure if you look up, you keep your mouth closed!)
  • Grab an activity sheet at reception – goes without saying, that the kids will love to fill out the activity sheets, or even complete the colouring-in pictures as they roam through the park or sit and eat their lunch.
  • Play a game of ‘who is the quietest’ as you wander through the kiwi nocturnal house – Kiwi don’t like much noise, so it’s really important that you stay quiet as you roam through the darkened nocturnal house – let your eyes adjust to the dark and spot a kiwi as they forage for food and play in their enclosures. Continue reading →

Spring Has Sprung at Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs - family and baby kiwiIt’s spring; a hint of summer is in air, the flowers are blossoming and at Rainbow Springs, the kiwi are starting to hatch.

Rainbow Springs’ involvement in kiwi conservation began in 1995 with the arrival of an orphaned egg and the hatchery has grown over the years to become the largest kiwi hatching facility in New Zealand, successfully incubating and hatching brown kiwi eggs from around the North Island.  More than 1,200 kiwi have hatched at Rainbow Springs and released back into the wild – a huge boost to the conservation of kiwi numbers.

Spring marks the start of the new hatching season, and by all accounts, the 2013-2014 season is shaping up to be another big one.  Kiwi eggs arrived at Rainbow Springs as early as June this year, one from Taranaki has hatched and another two from Maungataniwha (Napier) are incubating on-site and will arrive before the school holidays at the end of September.

There is also a lovely example of the love and care the extended family can offer siblings in the native bird world, with a caring ‘Grandad’ kiwi continually incubating and hatching eggs for his daughter.  The story begins with Tika the adult kiwi male who hasn’t quite got his priorities right!  So far his faithful partner Ahi has laid nine eggs, but instead of sticking to his fatherly duties and incubating the egg, as is the traditional kiwi male role, he wanders off relinquishing that duty to the chicks’ Grandfather Tahi instead.

It’s quite odd behaviour for a kiwi.  Adult male kiwi are supposed to incubate kiwi eggs, this gives mum a break after delivering such a huge egg, but not Tika! Thankfully granddad Tahi is doing a wonderful job.  Kiwi sit for a total of 78-80 days in the wild.  At Rainbow Springs, as part of the breeding programme they sit on the egg for the first 40-60 days, before it is transferred it to an incubator to complete the incubation. Continue reading →

Win Two Double Passes To Rainbow Springs

Rainbow Springs - Big SplashIt’s that time again, the school holidays are just around the corner. Have you made any plans?

We are lucky enough to be able to offer you the chance to win two double passes to Rainbow Springs.  If you missed out last time this could be your opportunity to experience first-hand this stunning 22 acre park with a fun and friendly atmosphere.

If you would like the opportunity to win two double passes to Rainbow Springs, all you need to do is the following:

  • Check out the Rainbow Springs website  and have a look at the fun images of  The Big Splash.
  • Write a caption for one of the images in the comments section below (Mums on Top blog).

Make sure you have entered your caption by 5pm Monday the 23rd of September.  Good luck!

This competition is now closed.  Thanks for taking the time to enter.

Put this on your to do list: Rainbow Springs

Tuataras in our hands at Rainbow SpringsLike many of you, I had vague memories of visiting Rainbow Springs as a kid – memories that involved feeding really, really big trout and lots of native bush.  The good news is that the trout and the bush are still there (and they are slightly bigger than I remember), the better news is that seeing a kiwi up close at Rainbow Springs is pretty damn cool.

You can see a kiwi during the day in the nocturnal house.  It is a great way to see them up close especially if you have real littlies and a return night time visit is out of the question.  Do not miss the most recently hatched kiwis in their little burrows at the entrance to the kiwi house.  The staff write key details including Date of Birth next to their burrows and even the busiest of kids can be easily captivated by these tiny fluff-balls.

Rainbow Springs is perfect for a family visit in either winter or summer.  Go during the day and you are guaranteed to leave with some very special family memories.  The people at Rainbow Springs have paid real attention to the things that can make or break a family day out:

  • the toilets are clean and bloody good for kids;
  • the staff are helpful, friendly and (unlike other similar places) actually happy to see you when you walk through the door with a bunch of kids;
  • there is plenty of seating, shade and shelter for mums who are feeding;
  • your Big Splash ticket gives you access to an unlimited number of rides (no whining for “just one more go”) - do be aware than when they say splash – they mean splash – you will get wet – but it is very much worth it;
  • the playground is brand new and suits a range of ages with seats nearby for the adults;
  • you can bring your own drink bottle and fill it up with pure water from the Fairy Spring;
  • the walk through the bush to view a range of kaka, kea, kakariki, tuatara etc is push-chair friendly;
  • the parking is safe and close to the entrance – no mad dashes across busy main roads;
  • for those with a committed dinosaur fan in tow there are dinosaurs on the Big Splash (and they roar);
  • all of the display areas (such as the tuatara nursery) are at a child’s eye level which means you aren’t breaking your back lifting your little people up to see things.
  • Kids under 4yrs of age are free.

But … if you can convince the kids to have an afternoon sleep so they can stay up late then you really have to do a return visit at night using your daytime ticket. At night, those kiwi are right there in front of you – as in centimetres away from your face. This isn’t any sanitised commercial zoo experience – you can smell the earth, you can hear them snuffling, you aren’t peering through the bars of a cage because there is no cage. There is a small barrier that comes up to about knee height – and then it is just you and a bunch of real live kiwi.

They are gorgeous, feathery bundles of busy-ness. Before you know it you have joined in with the other visitors – frantically whispering and waving your arms like a mad-woman to alert your new found friends to the fact that you’ve just spotted another one – “over here”.  The kids loved it, we loved it and we all went home feeling kind of privileged and that we’d seen something very, very special.

This post is brought to you by Rainbow Springs. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow us to provide such fabulous giveaways.