Simon, Jolene, Adam, Olyvia, Samuel and I went to Butterfly Creek on New Year’s Day this year. The plan was originally to go on New Year’s Eve, but the weather wasn’t great, so we put it off – New Year’s Day itself had great weather, so it was a good choice, although we did have to go out there (next to Auckland Airport), then all the way back to Pukekawa (to pick up Sebastian), then back home, which is a lot of backtracking.
Butterfly Creek is made up of a few separate parts – there’s a conference centre, a restaurant/cafe, the butterfly house, a farm (petting zoo), a train, and a playground.
We started in the butterfly house – this is very humid and warm – it reminded us a lot of Fiji – which we weren’t really prepared for. Samuel seemed to quite like looking around at the butterflys and the foliage from the pushchair. It’s not that large, but large enough that it doesn’t feel crowded. There are a lot of different butterflys, but not so many that you feel like they’re attacking you or anything.
We moved on from there to the farm – Samuel’s still a bit young for this, really (Adam seemed to like it), but he looked at the various animals (kune kune, llama, rabbits, chickens, and so on) with some interest, and briefly patted a guinea pig. Unfortunately, it started to rain a bit as we finished up at the farm, so we took the opportunity to have some lunch.
The cafe/restaurant is nice – perhaps a bit expensive, but pretty much what you would expect at a place like this, especially with the holiday surcharge. We squeezed into a table and ate out the rain, which didn’t last that long.
The final part was the train, which we had to wait a little while for – it doesn’t really hold many people, and there were quite a few around (I expected the Butterfly Creek patrons to be all families with young kids, but there were quite a few older people too). This was the only disappointing part, really. The train does a quite small trip twice around a swamp (“lake” if you wanted to be generous), where I saw two Pukeko and a horse. A better design would really have been to have the train go all around the farm (and maybe make the swamp look a bit nicer). However, Samuel seemed to enjoy himself, looking around at the greenery as it passed, so that’s what counts. (I’d skip the train next time, but the combo deal means that it’s effectively free).
We took plenty of photos, so you can get an idea of what it’s like.