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There’s something quite magical about getting up close and personal with Rothschild giraffes. You can feed them and fondle their ears and they won’t mind a bit, but don’t try that with the park’s lions, tigers, and cheetahs. Set in 80 attractively laid-out hectares (198 acres), the park is New Zealand’s largest wildlife reserve. You’ll see few fences and cages here—the emphasis is on a natural environment, which seems to agree with the cheetahs, the only successfully breeding ones in Australasia (over a dozen new cubs in the past 16 years). At 3:55pm daily, you can see them make a dash for their raw-meat supper, which is attached to a fast-moving lure. The main lion feeding time is 2:30pm daily. This is the only place in Christchurch to see a tuatara, and there’s a nocturnal kiwi house as well, but the one at Willowbank is bigger and better. If you’re in a hurry, take the park’s 40-minute free shuttle circuit.