It’s the ultimate stress test for any children’s location – a one year old and three year old boy! So with my girls away with their Dad for the weekend, I borrowed my two nephews for the afternoon while my sister and her husband moved house and we headed off to Butterfly Creek to see if it could deliver the goods to keep the boys entertained and happy and me sane. Oh and did I mention we went in 28 degree heats and the boys have been moving house after a flood destroyed the downstairs rooms of their house – so it wouldn’t be unfair to say it was a tall order….
So much more than butterflies
Now let’s start of with the name – Butterfly Creek. It’s fair to say that this wasn’t a draw card for my 3 year old nephew. And ironically the butterflies absolutely terrified my 1 year old nephew as they flew up to him (go figure) so we moved from the butterfly enclosure fairly swiftly. Butterflies however, are only a very small part of the new Butterfly Creek and we found a lot that was right up the boys alley.
Let’s start with the absolute favourite – Dinosaur Kingdom.
These gigantic replicas of dinosaurs tower above you and not only that – they roar and move! This set of an afternoon of roaring from the two boys as they reenacted the moment they stepped into this other worldly spot!
They loved having the freedom to run around in safety but when they got too far and realised they were surrounded by roaring dinosaurs they quickly raced back.
My usually shy 3 year old nephew felt so brave stepping into a dinosaur cage while his little brother held hands with it.
There is enough wow and exploration to satisfy even the most discerning dinosaur lover and is a must do for all fans of these pre-historic creatures.
The real animals
For my nephews the draw card was absolutely the dinosaurs. So much so that they breezed past the crocodiles without too much of a glance as they lay lounging in the sun. Very much real but no where near as animated as the dinosaurs.
We did linger longer to look at the monkeys. With my one year old nephew madly meowing to them the whole time.
And the farm yard, Buttermilk Farm, was awesome! Made even more awesome by the gentleman running the farmyard who had so much patience, knowledge and obvious love and empathy for the animals and the kids who swarmed him.
My nephews have a dog of their own so were much braver than other kids there and hand fed a goat. Who then went on to try and eat out of the bottom of the pram!
They got to pat an assortment of mild mannered rabbits.
And as we wandered around an assortment of goats and sheep stuck their head in the buggy and had a sniff of my one year old nephew to check he didn’t have any food on him!
The area is well set out and maintained with my personal favourite being the impossibly steep obstacle course for the goats.
We also explored the newly opened Kiwi Forest. They boys loved being in the dark and whispering but weren’t quite patient enough to wait around for the kiwi and raced past the otters.
The train was a convergence of all the things the boys loved about the park.
It had dinosaurs flanking the tracks, with chickens and the like strutting around them. There was even a family of baby chicks who happily didn’t venture too close to the track!
There were real tunnels that were just short enough to not be scary.
And the whistle blew frequently enough to remind you that you were in fact on a train.
And there were real tickets to hand over to the driver.
It passed the nephew test with flying colours and we’d thoroughly recommend Butterfly Creek as a pre-school destination for dinosaur or animal loving kids! The wide open, but safe spaces gave the boys a sense of freedom and exploration.
The dinosaurs were just scary enough to make a lasting impression while giving them a sense of accomplishment that they were brave enough to step in a cage of walk alongside them.
And despite it being a 28 degree day it didn’t feel too hot as we stepped from covered area to exposed areas frequently.
Due to it’s layout, Butterfly Creek also didn’t seem overly busy as some places can do on the weekends.
And with under 3’s free it was a relatively cheap afternoon out at $50 for an all access pass and train rides for the 3 of us.
A big thanks to my nephews for coming to explore with me and for my sister for allowing them to appear on Getting Lost. 🙂