Join us for three Wednesday evening talks (5 June, 12 June and 19 June) from 7pm in The Domes theatre, Auckland Zoo.

Featuring the Zoo’s Wild Heroes – our keepers, veterinary experts and curators – these conservation-themed talks will take you into the jungles of Sumatra, the mountains of French Polynesia’s Fatu Hiva Island and the forests and coasts of Aotearoa New Zealand. 

Cosy up in the warmth of our theatre space and let our experts take you on intrepid conservation missions for wildlife. A delectable cheese plate and wine package is available to book in advance of each evening.  

Know before you go:

This event is held at The Domes theatre at Auckland Zoo. The rest of the Zoo will be closed during this time. 
Guests can pre-order a wine and cheese plate. It is not possible to BYO food unless for babies or small infants.

General Admission Booking       Member booking

Wednesday 5 June – Bird nerds going to extraordinary lengths!

Auckland Zoo’s Wild Heroes:

  • Chris Steele, Bird Team Leader 
  • Mikaylie Wilson, Veterinary Hospital Clinical Coordinator
  • Devon Nicholls, Bird Keeper
  • Dr Juan Cornejo, Curator of Birds

Champions of the flightless and the high fliers! Devon shares her mahi at the Zoo - incubating, hatching and rearing rare tara iti (New Zealand fairy tern) chicks for release to the wild - as part of a critical mission with the Department of Conservation. Mikaylie is as comfortable in vet nurse scrubs as she is scaling a mountain and has many intrepid tales to tell - from work on sanctuary islands searching for kākāpō to caring for them at the Zoo’s veterinary hospital. Bird nerd and musician Chris shares his passion for takahē fieldwork and his love for these charismatic flightless taonga. Dr Juan recounts his travels to a remote island in French Polynesia to help save the Fatu Hiva monarch – a bird on the brink.

Wednesday 12 June – Hot tales of the cold-blooded and a unique giant

Auckland Zoo’s Wild Heroes:

  • Richard Gibson, Head of Animal Care and Conservation
  • Celine Campana, Veterinary Nurse
  • Don McFarlane, Curator of Ectotherms

Under the waves and in the trees! Richard reveals the secretive world of Aotearoa amphibians, the rare northern striped gecko and the Zoo’s role in helping to conserve them. Auckland Zoo receives up to 10 stranded sea turtles per year that wash up on Northland beaches; turtle lover Celine describes what it takes to diagnose and treat these critically ill marine creatures, and all the highs and lows that come with this mahi. A champion for invertebrates, Don details the giant success of the Zoo’s wētāpunga breed for release programme which has seen the species return to eight predator-free islands in the Tīkapa Moana/Hauraki Gulf and Ipipiri/Bay of Islands.

Wednesday 19 June - A steamy night in the jungles of Sumatra

Auckland Zoo’s Wild Heroes:

  • Amy Robbins, Deputy Curator of Mammals and founder of the Sumatran Ranger Project
  • Claudine Gibson, Environmental Initiatives Advisor
  • Richard Gibson, Head of Animal Care and Conservation

Join us for a hot night! Primate expert Amy shares her 20+ years of experience working with orangutans both at the Zoo and in the wild, her involvement with our long-term conservation partner the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme and her journey to establishing the Sumatran Ranger Project in Indonesia. Sustainability champion Claudine takes us on the journey to developing the PalmOil Scan app that is putting the power in consumers hands to help wildlife and their precious habitats. Herpetologist (and snake-fanatic) Richard reveals how we built our most technically challenging habitat yet – our hot and humid tropical swamp forest.

A cash bar will be operational on each night for guests to purchase wine, beer, soft drinks and Proper crisps. It is NOT possible to purchase a cheese plate on the night – these are pre-order only, and bookings for these close 6 days before the event.

Cheese plate and wine package

  • Cheese plate consists of: 25g each of Brie, cheddar and blue cheese, and crackers
  • Wine selection: a glass of Kopiko Bay Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanco or Pinot Noir*

*Customers can have a Karma apple juice, orange juice or sparkling water for the same price.

Dietary options

  • We can provide gluten free crackers.
  • We can provide vegan/dairy free cheese.
  • Any dietary requirements need to be stated when booking the cheese plate.

Pre-booking is essential, as tickets are not available for sale onsite on the night.

Evening Talks dates & sessions are:

  • Wednesday 5th June – Bird theme @7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
  • Wednesday 12th June – Ectotherm theme @7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)
  • Wednesday 19th June – South East Asia theme @7pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Each session is 90 minutes long. Guests must be seated no later than 10 mins after the start time of each talk.

Admission will not be granted if guests arrive after 7:10pm. 

Cheese plate and wine package not available to purchase on the night. Pre-booking is essential and booking for this close:

  • Thursday 30 May 2024 @ 5pm for the event on Wednesday 5 June or until sold out.
  • Thursday 6 June 2024 @ 5pm for the event on Wednesday 12 June or until sold out.
  • Thursday 13 June 2024 @ 5pm for the event on Wednesday 19 June or until sold out.

Cheese plate and wine package Price:

  • $27 for the general public
  • $24.30 for members (10% off)

No changes in the number of guests to be catered for will be accepted after 5pm on the dates listed above.

Any decrease in the number of guests after a booking has been made will result in the original confirmed guest number being charged if decrease notified after the cut off date and time.   

All guests who book are advised to enter their phone number so that the caterer can confirm the booking and advise of any updates or changes if needs be.

A cash bar will be operational on each night for guests to purchase wine, beer, soft drinks and Proper crisps. It is NOT possible to purchase a cheese plate on the night – these are pre-order only.

Cancellation of the booking will, in Montana Group’s sole discretion, result in a cancellation fee as follows: 

  • Cancellation within 7 days of the booking will incur a 100% cancellation fee; 
  • Cancellation more than 7 days of the booking will incur a 50% cancellation fee; 
  • No concessions will be made for cancellations due to Covid-19, and all conditions above will apply.  

The Customer acknowledges that: 

  • Minimum orders may apply; 
  • Menu content is always subject to change due to market or seasonal availability; and 
  • Where, due to unforeseen circumstances (eg supplier shortage), Montana Group is unable to provide the agreed menu or Catering Services, Montana Group reserves the right to adapt the menu and Catering Services via email with the customer. 
  • In the rare case that the Zoo is forced to cancel a session due to inclement weather, notice of cancellation will be provided within a day’s notice of a session. This is at the sole discretion of Zoo Management and all customers who have booked will receive a 100% refund. 
  • All event tickets are seated in The Domes.