Marshalls Animal Park is located within the McLaren Park roughly 20 minutes west of Tauranga. I wanted to photograph the McLaren Falls on our last trip to the Bay of Plenty and the girls are always keen to visit an animal park. The McLaren Park features more than the waterfall though. It is a large recreational area with camping, canoeing, swimming and of course the Marshalls Animal Park.
We arrived at the admissions desk and purchased 3 paper bags of animal food for $2 per bag. The admission prices were reasonable too at $14 for adults and $7 per child. We were told there were heaps of gentle animals to feed along the trail. My youngest is obsessed with feeding any animals while my oldest is a bit more hesitant.
The horses were a bit aggressive to get their share of the food. A family in front of us had their entire paper bag with food snatched from the mother’s hand. The horse gobbled it up paper and all! Good tip: keep bag of food clear from animal’s reach!
They were beautiful horses though and the girls enjoyed petting them!
Aubrey keeping her distance as we made our way up the hill!
The girls enjoyed getting up close to a variety of both local and exotic animals. Some of their favorites were the deer, emus, horses and sheep. The Texas Longhorns reminded me of Dallas! Other animals like the Giant African Ostriches and Clydesdale were unique and something you typically would not see at a petting zoo.
The small farm animals were a favorite for Ella who loved cuddling with the guinea pigs. Note: Ella is really hot and not sunburned. We had plenty of sunscreen on but this day was one of the warmest days of the year.
The animal park is located on 35 acres so bring your walking shoes as the animal enclosures are spread out over hilly land. There is a gravel road that leads up a hill for spectacular views around the area.
They placed a picnic table at the top of the hill for a scenic resting spot or there are plenty of shaded areas along the grounds for a lunch break.
The front office offers snacks available for purchase with extra picnic tables and playground nearby. Other than feeding the animals, the girls enjoyed the mini flying foxes! This was basically a tire attached to a rolling rope but that did not keep the kids from doing it over and over! There was a smaller and slower flying fox for the smaller ones too.
We had a lovely day at the Marshalls Animal park and would recommend to any families looking for something to do in the area.