Auckland Zoo's newest habitat is now open to the public, just in time for the school holidays.
The Pridelands area has been expanded to include the old hippopotamus enclosure after the two Auckland Zoo hippos died within months of each other in 2016.
The expansion will allow the Pridelands animals - including giraffes, ostriches and zebras - to mix together in a bigger environment. Zambesi, a huge Southern white rhino, is sure to attract crowds while a herd of nyala antelopes - with their distinctive white stripes - are also set to be a favourite with young visitors.
Red Rivera and his 3-year-old son Luke were among the first to see the new enclosure yesterday.
Young Luke, armed with a pair of binoculars, was all smiles as his dad pointed out the rhino and herd of nyala exploring their larger home.
Auckland Zoo's head of facility services, Monica Lake, said: "It's really exciting. It's all about creating spaces that are more and more like their natural environments.''
She said the area mirrored an African setting and also featured a watering hole and moat.
Visitors were able to get a closer look at the animals with the use of binoculars provided to them.
Among other projects, the zoo is now working to create its Southeast Asian habitat, which will be home to orangutans, tigers and otters.