Discovery World Tropical Forest

by Insiders Dunedin

Three levels of lush greenery, orchids, waterfalls, live fish and a humid heat that soothes the soul is worth the trip any idle day you have spare to explore with the kids.

Dunedin gets a bad rep for weather (and honestly if the whole truth got out, who knows how many North Islanders would move down here).  I could spend time dispelling the myth but I will just concede that a couple of the winter months are a wee bit miserable and spring can be unpredictable! A warm, indoor adventure is exactly what this mum ordered a few weekends ago.

As a parent in this fine city, I am well acquainted with the loop of free adventures. Mostly because I am a cheap bastard (see: working mother, paying childcare).  Once in a while, I make a discovery well worth the money and I feel compelled to share because parenting is hard enough without the locals’ secrets.

Discovery World is awesome!

Heaps of buttons to push, experiments to manipulate and learning that looks like playing kept my 4 kids (between the ages of 18 months and 10 years old) happy as! The diversity of the exhibits and creativity of the science on offer suited the whole family and engaged us for hours.  Once the foosball, the mindball, the Rube Goldberg Machine, the light games and the push a poo (seriously!) were cycled through half a dozen times, we toddled off to the Tropical Forest.

Any preschool princess will tell you butterflies are the closest thing to fairies this side of Never Never Land.  And plenty of smelly school kids have watched a crystallise form in their classroom and can enlighten you on the finer scientific details which “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” has left out.  So hands on learning is the next step! 

Seeing the First Flight is a lovely adventure for littles. Butterflies which have been shipped in from the Philippines and Costa Rica are released for the first time every day at 11am. Kids are taught how to safely hold and shake off the mini beasts. Except for the impressive Great Owl Butterfly, most of the creatures were happy to hang around. Butterflies really are one of the most delicate gifts on this green earth.

Three levels of lush greenery, orchids, waterfalls, live fish and a humid heat that soothes the soul on any idle days would feel like mini tropical vacation without the kids. If only they had a bar!

Post submitted by Adrienne Buckingham

Dunedin is for lovers


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