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“Happy animals”

Wai ariki Farm Park, Cafe & Gallery
More attraction details
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.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Happy animals”
Reviewed March 9, 2014

After a relaxed lunch on the verandah, we had fun feeding, photographing, petting and talking to the animals which are very friendly and tame. Some of them are real characters and all have their own personalities. At the end of our visit, we had a long chat with the owner and came away with the feeling that he is a guy who really cares about his animals. We are a middle aged couple and did not have any children with us but we had fun and found this a meaningful experience. We are from Northland, but If we ever get the opportunity to return, we would like to try the beginners horseriding. Well recommended.

Visited February 2014
Thank NZTravellers24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

118 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Someone forgot to take their happy pills today.”
Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

We were looking forward to our lunchtime visit but were mildly shocked to see a mostly empty carpark; our first warning sign perhaps.
On entering we were greeted and food ordered and paid we went to an outside table. After we finished this we started looking around the animals and the deserted, depressed feeling seemed to be contagious.
Soon enough we saw Mrs Wai ariki approaching us and as I had the thought in the back of my mind that our food bill may not have included 'entry' I thought " here we go". Sure enough we were confronted with this fact and escorted back to the office to pay and have the rules explained. Had we broken some? We're we intending to skip without paying entry? No & no. Needless to say we paid the entry and promptly kept going out the door leaving the sad owners and animals behind.
Customer service!
A friendly attitude!
A couple of pointers that may help them.
My lesson is to now read a balance of reviews before I go places.
I see the owners are very good at replying at length to the bad reviews. Don't bother doing this to me. Take a lesson in good personal relationships, you'll do better for it. Sorry for hitting you with a 'terrible' but we can give nothing more.

Visited March 2014
7 Thank Mitsiraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2014 via mobile

Shocking customer service. The poor alpacas and donkey in a dry dusty enclosure all day. Surely our standards for animal welfare are higher. Will never return and will tell others not to visit either.

Visited March 2014
4 Thank christine161
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 review, March 11, 2014
OMG, DESERT ANIMALS DISPLAYED IN NATURAL ENVIRONMENT!!! So again our mantra “Never under estimate the power of human stupidity” rings true. Yes, Samule the donkey and Sabrina, Petra, Jazz, Haley and Ash’s display pens have a dirt floor. This creates an environment that they are comfortable with. If you knew anything about their breeds you would know that both Alpacas (Andean Altiplano) and the African donkeys’ natural habitat is desert. We presume that you would prefer a concrete slab? We would no sooner put a desert dweller on an ice shelf than a penguin in a lush paddock. In fact, silly us, we keep them as close to their natural habitat as is possible. Grass would never work because the residue from the chemicals we use to protect these breeds from the sand flies (which they are hyper sensitive to) would be consumed by them and you guessed it; they would get sick.

You are also sadly mistaken by thinking that they spend all day in these pens. Each morning just before 10am our animals are let out of their paddocks to find their own way to their display pens in the park where a breakfast of balage, Farmfeed nuggets and grains await them.

Each afternoon at 3pm (5pm on a Sat) our animals are released from their pens to return to their paddocks where a dinner of balage awaits them.

Now do the math: 30hrs a week in pens interacting with humans (something they love to do), and 168hrs in their paddocks. Now considering that Zoo animals never leave their environment I reckon our animals have it pretty cruisy.

Finally, Shocking customer service!!! This infers that you actually experienced our Cafe. Now considering that you were so appalled at our animals, I somehow doubt that you hung around to experience our highly regarded offerings and customer service. Me thinks that this is a little porky pie set up by our other thieving reviewer on the same day.

Now looking at our Trip Advisor page I see we only get bad reviews from thieves and ignoramuses, and I am guessing that you paid the entrance fee.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Blenheim, New Zealand
2 reviews
“Relaxing time out”
Reviewed February 16, 2014

Awsome evening horse ride. As inexperience riders we were very well looked after, the horses were very quiet and relaxed which made the time easy and enjoyable. The hosts are very friendly and welcoming and were up for a good chat! Thanks heaps!!

Visited February 2014
Thank Ash W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2014

This is a really good place to go riding, great staff, well looked after horses, wonderful trek!! I just love Hanmer Springs and to be able to ride in this area was fantastic:)

Visited February 2014
Thank Rose22Nelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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