Orana Wildlife Trust


The Park has come a long way since opening in 1976. Our team is proud of what Orana has achieved and thank the community for their valuable support.



To mark the occasion, we've published a special birthday edition newsletter. Click on the newsletter cover image to download.


About us


Orana Wildlife Trust, a registered charitable trust, owns and operates Orana Wildlife Park. The Trust is committed to the conservation of wildlife diversity on this planet. Our aim, along with being dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and the welfare of our animals, is to provide education, recreation and enjoyment to the public.

We at Orana care deeply for all of our precious animals, from the tallest to the smallest. So, when we talk about welfare, we refer to the different feelings and sensations each animal under our care experiences, ranging from positive to negative, given the conditions in which it lives in.

Orana Wildlife Trust is a full institutional member of the following organisations: World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) of Australasia and ZAA NZ Inc. ZAA NZ Inc co-ordinates all the zoo-based breeding programmes for New Zealand species on behalf of the Department of Conservation. This means you can rest assured that the animals under our care are happy and healthy. We support a high level of animal welfare by using the Five Domains Model.



To provide quality recreation facilities for the enjoyment of the Canterbury community, domestic and international visitors.

Conserving endangered New Zealand and exotic wildlife.

Educating visitors (particularly children) about the environment and conservation issues.

Supporting research relating to endangered animals.


Funding for Orana Wildlife Trust

Orana Wildlife Park is the only major zoo in New Zealand that is not owned and operated by local government. Therefore, its operational costs are not highly subsidised by the rate-payer and all capital developments are separately fundraised for from outside sources.                                      

Whilst the Trust has a tight budget, it successfully achieves over 90% of its income through gate takings. The rest is from donations, bequests, sponsorship, adoptions and grants, including an annual operational grant from the Christchurch City Council, for which the Trust is extremely grateful.



In 1970, the South Island Zoological Society was formed with a vision for a major wildlife park in Christchurch.  Six years later, their dream became a reality with the opening of Orana Wildlife Park, a drive-through open range zoo, in 1976. 



A key ingredient in Orana’s early success was the fabulous drive-through Lion Reserve, a wonderful experience, and the first and only one of its kind in New Zealand.  Since opening, Orana established clear points of difference and developed a reputation for providing close up, memorable animal encounters for visitors in a tranquil, open range setting and many more key experiences have been added over the years such as the Lion Encounter enabling visitors to travel through the Lion Habitat or hand feeding our majestic giraffe.

Wild About Animals 

We’re delighted to team up with our friends at What Now to bring an exciting new Wildlife Warrior segment to the show.

The stories will highlight key actions kids can take to promote a healthy environment. Check out the four episodes below:

Wild About Animals - Cheetah - YouTube

Wild About Animals - Parakeets - YouTube

Wild About Animals - Pepeke - YouTube

Wild About Animals - Gorillas - YouTube