Visit Newquay Zoo
Newquay Zoo and Wildlife Centre is perhaps the best in-land attraction in Newquay. And, with over 130 different species covering 13 acres of subtropical gardens in the centre of the town, it’s not hard to see why.
Newquay Zoo offers a top day out for both kids and adults alike, with much to see and do for the whole family. It’s a highly interactive experience, with animal feeding timetabled daily, and fun talks and animal demonstrations given by zoo keepers.The entire site is mostly pushchair and wheelchair friendly, with only a few steep hills and the entrance right next to the car park.
There are plenty of chances for budding naturalists to ask questions, and the whole zoo is covered in informative signs, which makes understanding the ecology, habitat and diet of these animals accessible to everyone. An activity trail winds its way throughout the centre, where kids can spot and tick off species such as lions, red pandas, otters, lynx, tapirs…the list goes on! With 1000 animals to learn about, this is a day where no one will be dragging their feet or complain about being bored. Even very little ones whose attention spans are limited can have their faces painted, transforming into beautiful butterflies or scary tigers.
Don’t miss out on the reptile house or the bird enclosures either. Although lions are usually seen as more exciting animals, they’re probably asleep for much of the day. Spotting a bright green tropical frog or two might be a better experience, especially as some of them are just as deadly to humans as the big cats.
When you need a break from all those animal facts, there’s a play area with picnic benches. Families are welcome to bring their own food, or eat at the Café Lemur which offers a good range of homemade meals and treats from mainly local suppliers. Weather permitting, between April and September, the chefs often put on a barbecue – the delicious smell of which might just overshadow your sandwich.
The gift shop also bears a mention here. Firstly, it’s rather good, and, secondly you have to pass through it on the way out. You might want to brief the children with some rules such as “one item under £5 only” before you go in – there’s lots of tempting stuff and a toddler having a meltdown at the end of a good day is the last thing any parent wants. If you do end up spending more than you bargained for here, be rest assured that a large proportion of the profit goes towards charitable objectives such as wildlife conservation in the field.
If Newquay Zoo is a real hit, or you didn’t get to see and do everything you wanted, you can use your ticket for the next seven days. And, should you fancy exploring the surrounding area, you’re just next door to Waterworld, the park, the boating lake and Trenance Gardens.