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Billed as “A safe, clean learning environment where young and old minds alike have big moments” a visit to Lilliput Farm is the perfect way to spend a morning, afternoon, or even a whole day. It is the kind of attraction that just makes you feel happy. More than simply a petting zoo, this place has heart and soul in abundance. The atmosphere is so relaxed and friendly, it’s a bit like you’ve just rocked up to a friend’s place to hang out...except there’s also shedloads of animals and other really really fabaroo stuff besides...(stay tuned, more on this later).
As parents, let’s face it, regardless of how many children we have, irrespective of our financial situation and whether we’re holidaying from distant shores or are visiting from closer to home, I would wager that we are all pretty much on the same page when it comes to our expectations for a high quality day out with our beautiful offspring. Put simply, any attraction that wants our business needs to be able to deliver in the following areas:
(1) Wallet Friendly: We’re talking value for money here. We work hard for our cashola, and seek maximum funtimes for minimum expenditure.
(2) Fun, Fun, FUN!: The best outings are the ones which engage our little darlings from beginning to end, as these are the experiences that stick in our minds and become part of the soundtrack to whimsical trips down memory lane “Remember the time that goat ate your mitten?” “Wasn’t it funny that time your Father fell off the side of that boat ?” etc, etc.....sigh....(Snap back to reality) and yes, I hear all you parents out there who know (like I do...only too well) that the icing on the cake...the cherry on the top...the bullseye, the money shot, the home run type of outcome that propels an attraction like a slippery bullet from the lowly “Yeah, Nah...it was good” to the dizzy heights of ‘Must-See’ is of course our good friend:
(3) They’ll Sleep Afterwards: This, we know is vital as we are probably going to be doing it all again tomorrow in a different place and well-rested kids are so much nicer aren’t they?
Well, let me tell you here and now that Lilliput Farm really does tick all of the aforementioned boxes and then some. Set on over 10 acres of well laid out and beautifully maintained Taupo farmland, visitors have the opportunity to hand feed a surprisingly wide range of different species of animals and birds ranging from nonchalant yet nuzzletastic donkeys to piglets of such immense snuffly cuteness that they will probably take up more of your App-tastic Instagram moments than anything else....including your own family!!
The reason this place works so well is because it’s so easy. It’s easy to find, easy to get around (friendly towards buggies) and definitely easy on pace. It is safe so little ones can be afforded that extra bit of freedom to roam. The animals are decidedly charming (particularly when a bucket of all purpose feed is dangled randomly in their peripheral vision) They are not phased by raucous, inquisitive, flappy little people and the ungodly noises they are capable of making, they have seen it all before and really don’t seem to mind the attention.
In addition to the furry, feathery, honking, oinking inhabitants on display, there’s heaps of cool stuff to climb on, hide in, investigate and marvel at that the time really does fly while you’re wandering around. The ‘value added’ going on besides the animals is evident too, as around every corner you find something new to capture your eye. Play structures including: a space car, pirate ship, hot air balloon, playhouse on stilts, Thomas AND James (of Tank Engine fame) are well constructed and offer a point of difference and numerous photo opportunities along the way. Believe me, it’s impossible not to say: “Well Hello There Inner Child, Let’s Play!!”
As with all kids, even the grown up ones, thoughts will inevitably turn to grumbling tummies and again, Lilliput delivers with a sizeable rest area to relax in, complete with picnic tables and optional bbq. Then, having refuelled there’s bound to be time for one last quick tear around in one of the go-karts or a bounce on the trampoline.
Kristine and her crew at Lilliput Farm are warm, welcoming and very knowledgeable hosts, but you can see for yourself by checking out this Youtube clip. Sadly, since it was filmed, Cocky the Parrot has passed on to the Great Big Phone Booth in the Sky. RIP Cocky...you were a biter, but you were a fine old comedy bird.