It's been about 70 million years since dinosaurs roamed the earth - but the prehistoric giants will soon visit Whangārei.

There will be more than just ducks at Mair Park next week. A tyrannosaurus rex named Rexy and a theropod dinosaur named Roxy are among the pre-historic giants stomping through the park as part of DinoFest, which runs from January 16 to 20.

"The idea for DinoFest came about three years ago," organiser Laurence Taylor said.

"I'm from the UK and I was on a trip to the South Island with my family and we were driving along at the bottom of these tree fern covered valleys and it felt very pre-historic - a bit like Jurassic Park," Taylor said.


"You expected to meet a T-rex coming around the corner of the road."

Strange sighting in Mair Park, Whangarei...

Strange sighting in Mair Park, Whangarei this morning... Tickets available NOW: Mair Park, Rurumoki St, Whangarei - 16th to 20th January 2019. Questions - Meet Rexy and friends as we travel back 70 million years to when dinosaurs roamed New Zealand! (Hint - they actually did!) Tickets include a dinosaur encounter, Jurassic Trail, and kids activities (fossil sharks teeth, cool tattoos, dino dig and more!).

Posted by DinoFest on Monday, 10 December 2018

After this DinoFest was born and the first event was held in 2016 at the Auckland Botanical Gardens.

"It's designed to be really fun and educational and exciting," Taylor said.

"It's about the community of dinosaurs which lived in New Zealand. It's not just dinosaurs for dinosaurs' sake, it's educational. We talk about the community of dinosaurs which have been discovered in Hawke's Bay - so 70 million years ago there were pterosaurs, ankylosaurus, two-legged meat-eating dinosaurs roaming around New Zealand."

Something's hatching in Mair Park, Whangarei

Something's hatching in Mair Park, Whangarei... Tickets available now!! Questions?

Posted by DinoFest on Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Taylor said the event, which is in Northland for the first time, was split into three parts.

There will be a dinosaur encounter giving people the chance to pat, take photos with, and even give kisses to the moving, roaring pre-historic creatures; there will be activities for kids including a dinosaur dig where children can hunt for real fossil shark teeth which are 55 million years old; and there is the mini Jurassic trail where you can see a titanosaur, ankylosaurus and nesting pterosaur.

"We get really positive reactions - kids, and adults, love dinosaurs. It's designed to be exciting and fun, we're not there to scare anyone," he said.

Visit for more information and to buy tickets.