Time to spread your wings and fly 

A magical Experience for owl lovers. Under the guidance of our experienced keepers, you will learn how to fly one of our beautiful barn owls during one of their daily training sessions. These sessions use traditional falconry techniques to encourage natural hunting behaviours. You’ll learn about the unique adaptations that make owls such stealthy hunters and get to experience their silent flight and powerful talons first hand. 

Every Experience will be unique. Individual animals have the choice on how they participate in Experiences.  

What’s included:

  • Your Experience will start with a safety briefing
  • Protective gloves so you can safely participate (adult and child size are available) 
  • Flying experience with a barn owl 
  • Discover how we care for the owls, their diet, and natural behaviours 
  • Photo opportunities with an owl - remember to bring your phone or small handheld camera
  • All-day Zoo access - make the most of your visit and explore the rest of the Zoo at your leisure

Booking this Experience helps to support our important wildlife conservation work, with a portion of your purchase going towards conservation efforts here and in the wild.

General Admission Booking    Member Booking

Annual pass members receive 20% off with valid I.D.

All Experience participants are expected to comply with these terms and conditions, and health and safety procedures.  If you are booking on behalf of an organization or group of people, please ensure that everyone participating in the Experience is aware of this information. Those not complying with the guidelines, or presenting a risk to themselves, animals or others, may be asked to leave the Zoo. No refund will be issued under these circumstances.

Age Restrictions 

Participants must be 6 years or above to participate in the Barn Owl Experience.
Children under 15 years of age must be accompanied by a booked and paying adult on the Experience. There must be one adult per child.


  • Admission to Auckland Zoo is included in the ticket price of the Experience.
  • Participants may be asked to cease the Experience at any time for reasons relating to animal welfare or visitor misconduct, at the keepers or guides discretion.
  • All Experience times and Experiences are approximate and are subject to change at any time, at the discretion of Auckland Zoo.
  • The price of your Experience covers your entry into the Zoo on the day of your Experience. Any other guests accompanying you to the Zoo must purchase tickets before entering.
  • Auckland Zoo will not be liable for any personal injury or for any lost or damaged equipment.
  • Taking photographs or video in the Zoo for personal use is permitted. Your Experience Guide will inform you when you are permitted to take photos or video during your experience. No photos or video may be taken during the Kiwi Experience. Photos and video taken may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes without express permission from Auckland Zoo.

Responsibilities of the Customer 

  • The meeting point for the Experience, is within the Zoo. Please allow ample time to arrive at the Zoo, check in and walk to the meeting point.
  • All participants must arrive at the specified meeting point within the Zoo no later than 5 minutes after the advertised time. If participants are not there after 5 minutes, the Experience will start without you. No refunds will be given.
  • All participants must follow the instructions given by their Experience Guide or any other Zoo staff member at all times.
  • All participants must wear appropriate clothing and footwear. This includes flat, enclosed footwear, and clothing appropriate to the weather conditions.
  • All participants on this Experience must be able to walk well on uneven terrain.
  • Auckland Zoo must be advised prior to the Experience date of any medical conditions or disabilities that may impact on a participant’s participation.
  • All participants must be well and any visitors will be refused entry to the zoo if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If you are pregnant or have a relevant medical condition, please consult with your GP before booking the Experience.
  • Strictly no whistles, balls, balloons, frisbees, bikes, skateboards or roller skates/blades or similar are allowed into the Zoo.

Animal Welfare 

  • Individual animals have the choice on how they participate in Experiences. Every Experience will be unique.
  • Due to the possibility of unforeseeable animal or other welfare issues, Auckland Zoo cannot guarantee that all animals and habitats specified will be available.
  • Auckland Zoo has a hands-off policy with many of the species it keeps, therefore physical contact with the animals is not guaranteed on Experiences.
  • Please do not feed any of the animals. If feeding is allowed as part of your Experience, the guide will provide you with the appropriate food and instructions.
  • Under no circumstances should you attempt to have contact with an animal unless under instruction by a Zoo staff member.

Payments and Confirmation 

  • All Experience bookings must be paid in advance.
  • Experience bookings will be confirmed via email upon receipt of payment.
  • Pre-booked Experience Tickets purchases via the website should be produced by the Visitor on arrival for inspection and will be scanned to check validity.
  • Experience tickets are non-transferable, non-exchangeable, non-refundable and void if altered.
  • No refunds will be given if you arrive for your Experience and do not meet the criteria for participation. It is your responsibility to read the conditions for participation prior to arriving.
  • Should a refund/amendment be provided at the Manager’s discretion, an administration fee of $25 NZD will be applied.
  • Where Auckland Zoo must cancel or postpone an Experience, participants are entitled to rebook the Experience. Auckland Zoo will not reimburse any travelling or other incidental expenses incurred.

Sure! Just put your details under ‘Contact Details’ and their contact information under ‘Participant’. Please forward on your booking confirmation emails to the lucky recipient as they contain important health and safety information for the Experience.

Yes, individuals may choose to book at full price ($220) or an Annual pass member can book for the discounted price ($176).  No discounts can be given to individuals.

It is best to contact our team at experiences@aucklandzoo.co.nz to discuss any disabilities so we can assess them on a case-by-case basis.

Wheelchairs can be accommodated on the Barn Owl Experience – please contact the team so we can be prepared for your visit.

Sure! Our minimum age for this Experience is 6 years old. 

All Experiences require that a paying adult (aged 18+) must accompany children under 15 years. Each adult may supervise one child. 

Yes! Your guide will let you know when and where you are allowed to take photos during your Experience. So remember to bring your phone or small handheld camera to be able to snap and share your Experience.

Spectators can also watch the experience (normal Zoo admission applies).

The price includes your zoo entry fee so feel free to explore the Zoo at your leisure. Please ensure you are at the assigned meeting point for your Experience 5 minutes prior to the start time. 

Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.

Protective gloves must be warn so you can safely participate (adult and child size are available).

The weather will not normally affect this Experience, but feel free to phone us on the morning of your Experience to check on the status.  Occasionally, we may need to cancel or postpone your Experience due to stormy weather. Any Experiences postponed by Auckland Zoo will be rescheduled to another date. 

Under the guidance of our experienced keepers, you will learn how to fly one of our beautiful barn owls during one of their daily training sessions. The barn owl will fly to and sit on your gloved hand.

Touching the barn owl is not permitted. 

Please arrive at the Zoo at least 30 minutes prior to your Experience to allow time to check in and to walk to the meeting point. The team at the entrance will let you know where to meet. 

Auckland Zoo has have very strict welfare assessments in place for the animals in our care. All animals involved in any animal-visitor interactions have a choice to participate.

Barn owls predominantly feed at dawn, dusk and through the night with their sensory adaptations enabling them to find their preferred food of rodents in low light levels. However, wild barn owls are also frequently seen hunting during daylight hours and seeing one out hunting in the sunshine should give no cause for alarm or concern. Daytime hunting is common following a night of bad weather and they will also hunt during the day if they have chicks to feed or when food is scarce.

Kēhua and Keo are the barn owls used in our Experiences and have been hand-reared at the Zoo (in accordance with EAZA guidelines). Because of this, they are very relaxed around visitors and receive their main feed during daylight hours when our staff are on site. As with wild owls, they have adapted their sleep schedule to suit the food availability and are often found snoozing first thing in the morning but are eagerly waiting, ready to jump into their carry crate when feeding time approaches.

Due to the changing nature of working with animals, Experiences can only be booked up to 3 months in advance. Our Experiences are very popular and sell out quickly. New dates are released each week, and tickets go on sale 90 days before the Experience date, so keep an eye on the website for new dates to become available.


Hand-rearing a barn owl chick

Come along with us on a journey as we hand-rear a barn owl chick! Follow our animal experiences team as they detail the barn owl’s progress from a tiny chick to a juvenile bird!

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