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By Stephen Heard
June 22, 2020

An Expansive New Cafe Has Opened Inside Auckland Zoo

It overlooks the soon-to-be-completed high canopy habitat.
By Stephen Heard
June 22, 2020

Auckland Zoo's new South East Asia Jungle Track is the most ambitious project in its 96-year history. Scheduled for completion this year, the new multimillion-dollar development will provide four new animal habitats and an immersive experience for those who visit.

Visitors can look forward to a high canopy habitat for orangutan and siamang gibbons, a lowlands habitat for Sumatran tigers and Asian small-clawed otters, and a climate-controlled swamp forest featuring endangered sunda gharial crocodile and other reptiles.

A stunning new cafe/function venue will serve as the nerve centre for the new habitats. Te Puna, which translates to 'the spring' from te reo Māori, is in a prime location for keen animal spotters. The 200-person building overlooks the soon-to-be-completed high canopy habitat across the central lake. Those dining on the expansive outdoor deck will be just metres away from arboreal primates like orangutan and siamang gibbons as they traverse a network of towering aerial pathways.

Inside, the cafe offers a rotating range of cabinet goods, from vegetarian bahn mi, hot pies and polenta chips to fresh-baked date scones, decadent gateaux and iced lamingtons. Further hot dishes might include stuffed rotis and dumplings. For those who prefer their coffee on the run, the cafe is a member of the Again Again zero-waste coffee cup lending scheme. The company's fleet of reusable cups are available for a $3 deposit with your coffee order.

Once the South East Asia Jungle Track is complete the cafe will give direct access to a boardwalk, taking visitors out across the lake and wetlands and over to the swamp forest.

Te Puna cafe is now open to Auckland Zoo ticket holders. The South East Asia Jungle Track is scheduled to open later this year. For more information, visit the Auckland Zoo website.

Published on June 22, 2020 by Stephen Heard

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