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The Glenorchy Animal Experience is a small farm and petting zoo just two minutes outside of the cute town of Glenorchy. In this blog, I will let you know what exactly a visit to the Glenorchy Animal Experience entails so you can decide to go for yourself.
I have been to Glenorchy many times, I just love the scenic drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy. However, I never went to the Glenorchy Animal Experience – that is, until the other day when some friends of mine were going and asked if I wanted to tag along.
To be completely honest, I never even knew the Glenorchy Animal Experience existed until a work colleague of mine told me about it. Petting and feeding sheep sounded like a blast and it was on my list of things to do ever since!
After visiting the Glenorchy Animal Experience for myself, I have decided to write this blog to tell you what exactly it is all about, what to expect, and my overall opinion (spoiler alert, it was a ton of fun!)
About the Glenorchy Animal Experience
The Glenorchy Animal Experience is essentially a petting zoo on a small farm where you can pet various farm animals and even feed them!
When I arrived, I was given a bit of information about the farm and some general rules for meeting the animals (such as don’t feed the birds or any baby lambs), and then I was pointed in the direction to walk and was on my own.
The first few areas are pens of different animals all very eager to be fed. After walking around the first paddocks, you can go out to the back into the largest paddock, where you roam free with the animals.
You can watch the animals, pet them, and also feed them some food they give you when you arrive. Lots of animals will come right up to you looking for food!
From the furthest back paddock, there is an incredible view of the valley and mountains in the distance.
Related Read: Did you know that you can see what wool farming is all about at the Mt Nicholas wool farm tour in Queenstown!
What Animals are at the Glenorchy Animal Experience?
At the Glenorchy Animal Experience, you will most definitely see sheep – and lots of them!
When I visited it was spring (October), so there were also baby lambs that were absolutely my favorite.
Although we weren’t allowed to feed or pet them, it was fun just being near them and watching them run and jump through the fields. It was definitely the highlight of my visit.
Other than sheep, expect to see pigs, a donkey, miniature horses, a Clydesdale horse, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, ducks, a peacock, goats, llamas, alpacas, and of course, the friendly farm dogs!
Some of my other favorite animals were the alpacas and llamas, they were just so friendly and all had the cutest haircuts! I also appreciated how gentle they were when I fed them.
They would approach me cautiously and then slowly eat the feed right from the palm of my hand.
The KuneKune Pigs were definitely the most interesting animals. They were so large and fat and had big mouths. There was one pig, in particular, that would come right up to the fence with his mouth wide open as if to ask for food. Although they aren’t the cutest species, it was hard not to love them since they were just so friendly!
Related Read: One of the most popular day trips in New Zealand is a Lord of the Rings Tour from Queenstown, read our experience here!
What to Know Before You Visit the Glenorchy Animal Experience
The Glenorchy Farm Experience is located about 5 minutes outside of Glenorchy. Now, if you don’t where Glenorchy is, it is a small town about 45 minutes away from Queenstown. The drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is absolutely stunning is something I would recommend to everyone!
From Glenorchy, turn right at the edge of town towards “Paradise” or the sign for the Routeburn track. Follow the road up and around for a couple of minutes until you pass the mirrored lakes on your left and then you’ll see the sign for the farm.
The Glenorchy Animal Experience can also be found easily using Google Maps.
The cost is $20 NZD for an adult, $10 for a child (5-10 years), and $50 for a family of two adults and two children.
If you want to feed the animals (and believe me, you will want to) a bag of food is $5. The bag could easily be shared between two people, though.
They accept EFTPOS/debit and credit cards onsite.
How much time does it take?
This really depends on you and how much time it takes you to see all of the animals. For us, it took just over an hour but we watched and fed almost all of the animals! I’m sure some people stay longer and some are done much quicker.
They are open every day from 9 am-5 pm.
How to Book the Glenorchy Animal Experience
You have a couple of options to get into the Glenorchy Animal Experience, either show up at the farm and buy your tickets there or book in advance. Currently, there is a discount if you book on Bookme.
Facilities at the Glenorchy Animal Farm
At the Glenorchy Animal Experience, you’ll also find a small souvenir shop, toilets, and a picnic area. They do not sell any food (for humans) so make sure you come full or bring a picnic.
Related Read: While in the area don’t miss out on taking a wine tour in Queenstown, you’ll taste some of the finest wine in New Zealand.
About the Glenorchy Animal Farm
After touring the farm, we had to ask the owners about the farm. We found out that the farm is, in fact, an actual operating farm. It is very small though, so the Animal Experience is a way to help sustain them economically.
We also learned that almost all of the animals which we interacted with are “pets” to the owners and that’s why they are so friendly.
Tours to the Glenorchy Animal Farm From Queenstown
Unfortunately, there are no specific tours to the Glenorchy Animal Experience from Queenstown. However, the farm is visited on this Glenorchy & Paradise Expedition.
On the tour, you’ll not only tour the entire area and town of Glenorchy but also visit the Glenorchy Animal Experience and get to see the live sheep shearing demonstration they have once a day. Visiting Glenorchy is definitely one of the best tours you can do in Queenstown!
Other Things to do in Glenorchy
While you’re in Glenorchy enjoying the Glenorchy Animal Experience, here are a few of the other best things to do in Glenorchy.
1. Visit Mirror Lakes via the Glenorchy Boardwalk
Just outside of Glenorchy on your way to the Glenorchy Animal Experience is the Glenorchy Lagoon. Here at the Glenorchy Lagoon, you’ll find the reflections of the Humboldt Mountains.
Although not technically called Mirror Lakes, it’s the name I have given this attraction as they literally are mirrors on a calm day.
To reach the lagoon you need to hike the Glenorchy Boardwalk, which is a 5-kilometer (3.1 mi) loop that starts at the Glenorchy jetty in town. This boardwalk leads to the Glenorchy Lagoon where you’ll find the mirror-like reflections.
2. Visit the Glenorchy Jetty
At the pier in Glenorchy is the most perfectly located jetty that overlooks the Humbolt Mountain Range. This is a must-visit stop in Glenorchy that only takes a few minutes to enjoy.
Another attraction at the jetty is the “trees in a line”. You can’t miss it as there are about 6 random trees all in aline that grow in the lake!
3. Go hiking on the Routeburn Track
Most people know the Routeburn Track as the 3-day hike that’s one of the 10 Great Walks in New Zealand. However, you can actually go hiking on the Routeburn track for the day from Glenorchy and I myself have done this a few times.
You can hike as much or as little as you want and our day hiking guide to the Routeburn Track has lots of different itineraries depending on how long you want to hike, what you want to see, and how fit you are.
4. Go jetboating
One of the best jet boating in Queenstown tours is actually in Glenorchy! The Dart River Wilderness Jet is an awesome jet boating tour that takes you for over an hour down the dart river enjoying this thrill ride before being dropped off in Mt aspiring National Park for a 2.5-hour Funyak tour (inflatable kayak).
After that, you’ll take a 4WD tour back to Glenorchy with a guide who’ll show you a few film locations from the Lord of the Rings and Narnia films. The Wilderness Jet tour is so much more than just jetboating and is a half-day tour!
5. Visit Mrs. Woolly’s General Store
Mrs. Woolly’s General Store is one of the only shops in Glenorchy. In the shop, you can find a range of souvenirs and quirky gifts as well as amazing coffee and a selection of food items.
If they have some of their amazing pies left (they sell out fast) be sure to try one – the salmon pie is my favorite!
Related Read: When we lived in Queenstown we had a chance to try and determine what the best restaurants in Queenstown are!
Where to Stay Near the Glenorchy Animal Experience
Most people only head to Glenorchy for the day; however, if you want to enjoy more unique experiences in New Zealand then I highly suggest spending a night or two!
Some of the best places to stay are:
Kinloch Wilderness Retreat – This is a great budget option with lots of amenities. Although not in Glenorchy, it is on the other side of Lake Wakatipu in a very quiet area. The views from the hostel are amazing and they also have private rooms in several different sizes!
Glenorchy Lake House – Located right in town this is a really good option. You can find luxury private rooms and even a house that sleeps up to 9 people.
Glenorchy Motel – An older-style property with simple rooms that all come with a seating area, TV, and private bathroom. The hot tub is available for guests, and it’s also close to the Routeburn Track.
If you are looking for more choices, check out our guide on where to stay in Queenstown, which is just 50 km from Glenorchy!
Thanks for reading!
I had such a fun time feeding all of the different animals. They were all very cute and each had their own personality. I would highly recommend the Glenorchy Animal Experience to any animal lover – it is the perfect way to interact with some of New Zealand’s local farm animals.
Thanks so much for reading this guide to the Glenorchy Animal Experience. I hope it’s helped you make the decision on whether to visit for yourself. If you have any questions leave them below in the comments section and we will get back to you!
If not then be sure to head over to our Queenstown page or New Zealand page to check out some of our other guides to this beautiful country we call home! Here’s just a taster of some of our favorite articles: