After nearly 7 years of living down here in Cornwall, we finally made it to Newquay Zoo this weekend.
It was my smallest ones birthday coming up and he so desperately wanted to see a lion!
We set off from St Ives at 10am and drove up the A30 to Newquay. The zoo is well sign posted and easy to drive to. It took us about 40 mins including a Granny pick-up in Hayle.
We parked in the local council car park by the Tennis tent. It was free to park when we went, but does start charging from the 1st April. It would have cost us over £6 to park there if it was next month!
We walked over to the zoo through the park and on the way we found a lovely Truro Rocks painted stone (which we have re-hidden!).
For those of you who are expecting a huge, full on zoo, you may be disappointed. Newquay Zoo is SMALL and more of a small wildlife park, than a full on exotic animal one like London or Chester Zoo. What they do have though is lovely, and absolutely perfect for small children.
You can walk around the whole zoo in about 30 minutes, but we liked this as it meant we could go back to see favourite animals again.
We arrived in time for the monkey feeding at 11am. This was really fun to watch and the talk was very informative (although my kids couldn’t stop giggling about pink and red bottoms all day!). These monkeys were black crested macaques from Sulawese.
There were several other enclosures with Capauchin and Squirrel monkeys too.
After monkey feeding time, we walked around the park following the map. We saw lemurs (much bigger than I thought), lots of birds including some beautiful peacocks who strutt around the park freely. We walked past deer and some Agouti (like big tail-less rats) and onto the African Savannah. It was raining when we got here but we saw lots of zebra noses peeking out of the sheds. I’m sure if they were in the main field they would have looked amazing.
There were lots of Wildebeast roaming about on the field.
We carried on round through the woodland walk and down to the Dragon Maze and otter pond. The otters were due to be fed and kept on dashing up to us looking for food.
On the walk down to the Dragon Maze, we heard the lion roar. To my little boy it sounded like a dinosaur. Cue one sad little boy who thought he was going to meet a real life dinosaur.
We dashed on to see the lions so that he could see what was making the most fantastic roar. There are 3 lions at Newquay Zoo, one male and 2 females. They are all siblings and are magnificant creatures. We watched them in their outdoor enclosure for a while and then went on to look at other things before their feeding time.
Some of my favourite animals were the capybara (like a giant guineapig!), the lizards and snakes and the sloth.
We were lucky enough to catch the sloth at feeding time indoors. We stood pretty much beneath him whilst he was fed lettuce. We were almost close enough to get dribbled on!
We watched the penguins being fed and saw the very cute red pandas. We are quite spoilt when it comes to penguins and red pandas as we see them LOTS at Paradise Park in Hayle.
Our final sight of the day was watching the lions being fed. The keepers bring the lions inside whilst they put out food (culled horses from Dartmoor) onto their outdoor platforms and dens. The 2 female lions were inside a room with windows. We stood at the windows and watched them prowl and rear up at the windows. It was pretty dramatic and we really felt they would have happily eaten us up if the windows weren’t there!
Put postcode TR7 2NN into your sat nav. This will take you to the car park (council – fees apply).
The zoo opens at 10am and the first feeding session is at 11am – the monkeys.
We paid £14.55 per adult, £12.40 for my Mum (over 60) and £10.90 for my 6 year old. My son was still under 2 (just) and so got in for free. Check the website for group tickets, season tickets and special offers.
The toilets were nice and clean and there is a baby changing room.
We ate at the Lemur Cafe. It was lovely – great coffee, nice and clean, plenty of tables and good, quick service. We had 3 coffees, 2 childrens packed lunches, 2 sandwiches and 2 chips. It came to just under £30. It is fine to take a picnic into the zoo. There are lots of benches and places to sit and eat.
The zoo (apart from the woodland walk which can easily by by-passed) is nice and flat. Good for wheelchairs and buggies.
For more information visit the Newquay Zoo website here >>
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