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“Too many rules”

Wai ariki Farm Park, Cafe & Gallery
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Attraction details
Owner description: For family fun head to Wai ariki where you can hand feed a diverse range of friendly farmyard and exotic animals. Set on 2-acres of park with fantastic mountain views, the animals are displayed in a tranquil & clean environment. The vibrant cafe offers great coffee & delicious food. The Craft Gallery sells funky fabric, original local art and NZ made indie crafts.
Reviewed January 28, 2013

Maria L – your review does not surprise me at all and really sums up ‘the farm lady’. As much as I don’t think there is anything wrong with children looking through fences at animals, we made the unfortunate mistake of paying for our experience.
My 2 year old loves animals so we were excited to go to a ‘farm park’ on our weekend trip to Hanmer. We arrived at Wai-ariki to a grumpy looking women. I thought it was pretty steep the price for some farm animals but we paid none-the-less. My mum had her water bottle filled with ice on the counter at this point in which the ‘farm lady’ asked if we purchased it there. We didn’t – it was 27 degrees outside so we had our own. She then said that we couldn’t bring it in as she sells the same thing there (well actually its not the same – because water is free from a tap) but none the less we put it away out of her view. We were then given a massive spiel on what we could and couldn’t do in the park. It was a lecture “do not feed this animal, only feed this animal once, do not go in this area, do not climb on this, the something’s stomach will explode if you do this, ” blah blah blah. Seriously, we remembered nothing and spent the rest of our time there not wanting to feed or go near anything. (idea? Maybe write your rules on the fences rather than expect people to remember) My son started walking along with the ducks but scared that we were breaking rule #257 – do not chase the ducks, I immediately decided we were better off looking at the eels in the tank – oh you couldn’t see anything. Great. I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to find something that didn’t look depressed and then left. No conversation, no good bye, no thanks for coming.( Wai ariki dedicated to delivering customer and service excellence ??? ) Terrible.

6  Thank Mandy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waiarikinz, Owner at Wai ariki Farm Park, Cafe & Gallery, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2013

Ah, rules! The bane of civilised society, instead of debating their merits, perhaps we should explain why we have our 5 rules, which ARE clearly displayed on the pens. Please excuse the graphic description of the animal injuries but perhaps this will help you understand. Up close and personal comes with inherent risks for both animal and human.

1. DO NOT PICK UP THE FLEMISH GIANT RABBITS, PAT THEM ON THE FLOOR. These rabbits are huge and will scramble if not handled correctly. Scrambling can result in scratches on the human who then drops the animal. Incidents this holiday: one rabbit (Caramello) ended up with a broken back and Sam a shattered pelvis, both had to be euthanized, however they spent a long time in severe pain before the vet arrived. Their screaming still haunts.

2. DO NOT CLIMB IN WITH THE GUINEA PIGS. Incidents this holiday. 2 severe crushing’s. The first (Charlotte) broken ribs which punctured her lungs causing severe suffering before death. The seconds (Cocoa) stomach had so much pressure put on him that his entrails came out the rectum. We do not know how long he suffered before he died.

3. DO NOT HAND FEED THE PIGS, THROW THE FOOD TO THEM. Pigs have poor eyesight, bucked teeth and love food. Still people, who do not listen, get bitten.

4. DO NOT FEED THE DONKEY. Again people think it is cool to break this rule, however, Samule’s breed is prone to laminitis. Too much feed causes the blood supply to the hoof to stop. The hoof dies and the animal is left with a bloody stump: this requires euthanasia. Should he present warning signs then he must be taken off display. Clearly this spoils it for everyone.

5. THE FEED FEEDS EVERYTHING BUT NOT THE EEL! Informative, as eels are carnivores. Signage on the tank is ignored and people still drop feed pellets into the tank, which contaminates the well water that fills the tank subsequently making the eel, Ernie, sick (eels cannot survive in chlorinated water). Ernie was not seen as the tank had been contaminated, thanks to people not obeying the rule. As a safety precaution Ernie was placed in his holding tank and will remain there until we can draw enough well water to change and clean the tank.

As you can see rule breakers can spoil it for everyone. We also lost our 5 year old Saint Bernard dog over the holidays through someone feeding him when asked not to.

We also give you heads up warning information
1. Do not chase the ducks and hens. Why because some have chicks/ducklings and will protect them if they feel threatened by attacking the child. Although this is funny to see it does traumatise the child. Our rare breed Cayuga ducks also carry two eggs at a time in their abdomen. When chased during breeding season the eggs can break and they die a slow and painful death through septicaemia. Total of 2 lost this spring.

2. We also advise people not to take little children into pens. If a sheep can knock a fully grown man off their feet then imagine a child.

These rules are put into place for both your safety and that of the animals. It also helps us keep vet bills down. We have not had a price increase in 3 years, yet this holiday our vet bills already exceed $2000 through unnecessary injuries. Sooner or later we are going to have to pass this on.

The bottle of water concerned was a 750ml unopened bottle of Pump. We questioned whether it had just been taken out of our retail fridge. We have no problem with people bringing in drink bottles, nor food for infants and children with allergies. As with any Cafe, Restaurant, dairy, supermarket or similar, we will question whether it came from our stock if it is unopened. Sad as it is, we do suffer from shop lifting.

Your disdain of our simple rules and mockery of their existence clearly indicates that you are not an animal lover; while your objection to the price charged shows that you have no idea what it costs to look after an animal. Wai ariki serves animal lovers and owners, thus we would like to offer you a full refund, as clearly you came to the wrong type of activity. So please send us your details. Just to let you know that the individuals in the other review you refer to are currently facing charges of breaking and entering and trespassing. We are sure that you do not condone their actions.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (118)
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Reviewed January 20, 2013

My wife and I came here as we love animals, it's essentially for kids, but it is a haven for animal lovers. We went around the entire park, rode on the horses and sampled the food and everything was excellent from start to finish. It was an affordable day out, and the service was exemplary. I can't say enough about the hosts, they really were great and made us feel at home the entire time. All the animals came right up to us and ate out of the palms of our hands. Would recommend to families and animal lovers alike. The fees were minimal and really worth every cent.

Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

My daughter is animal mad :) so when we saw the flyer this place was her to a tee. When we got to wai-ariki it was great the lay out means the kids were up close to the animals who were keen to see them especially seeing as they had food for them ;)). After we had lunch in the cafe and what wonderful food and a friendly host the while experience was relaxing and fun. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Wai-ariki to young and old alike.

Thank Faeds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

This is essentially a place to take kids to. Our 7 year old loved feeding the farm animals (goats, sheep, donkeys, alpacas, horses, rabbits to name a few) and doing ceramic painting. Nice little cafe attached. A swing and a trampoline make this even better for the children
The hosts are extremely friendly and take care of guests well. Due to the presence of a laregr group during our visit, our food was delayed but the host handled the situation exceptionally well both warning us upfront about a potential delay in the kitchen as well as giving my daughter a small game to keep her busy while waiting.

All in all, definitely a place to take young kids.

Thank BVtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

A fantastic place to visit, we were made to feel welcome from the moment we walked in the door. All of the animals are really friendly and love humans....They literally eat out of your hands. The free open "go where you want" feel is great.

Thanks for a great day....see you soon with the rest of the gang. Ashley (knee brace) and Laura..from Christchurch.

Thank Laura P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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