25-acre Jurassic 'Newpark' exhibit lands in Kilkenny this summer!

25-acre Jurassic 'Newpark' exhibit lands in Kilkenny this summer!
Vicky Comerford Photographer Kilkenny

A real-life Jurassic Park is coming to Kilkenny.

Dinosaurs will once again roam the marble city as the creative team at the Newpark Hotel, which is located on 25 acres of parkland, creates an all-new prehistoric habitat called Jurassic Newpark.

The Park, which will open to visitors at the end of July, will be home to a number of lifesize dinosaur species which have been extinct for over 66 million years.

The 'dinosaurs' that will be featured include Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Velociraptor, and dinosaur eggs, making it a dino-mite experience for any dino fan.


Hotel guests booked in for the coming weeks may even get a sneak peek at some of the Jurassic Newpark dinosaur discoveries as they enjoy the existing wildlife farm and fairy trail.

The space will be similar to the paddocks depicted in the Jurassic Park movies (but without the escaping dinosaurs or ensuing carnage). It will feature ‘electric fenced-in enclosures’ for the carnivorous predators including the fearsome ‘king of the dinosaurs’ Tyrannosaurus Rex and the dangerous and yet fascinating Velociraptor, with its signature curved claw on each toe for pinning prey.

There will also be large fenced-in open paddocks for the plant-eating herbivores including the distinctive three-horned Triceratops, armoured Stegosaurus with plates along its spine, and the long-necked majestic Brachiosaurus. These paddocks will be linked with accessible trails, with fantastic photo ops along the way and Park Rangers who will give informative talks about the different dinosaurs.

Sharing the news of their secret dinosaur breeding programme to bring giant prehistoric reptiles back to Kilkenny, General Manager of Newpark Hotel Paul Beehan said: “I am delighted to announce our successful venture into paleo genetic engineering, a little skill we picked up during lockdown.  We’ve been busy harnessing dinosaur DNA from local ‘black and amber’ fossils to create a new dinosaur park in Ireland!


He continued: "The Newpark Hotel family loves to offer our guests amazing and unique experiences, so we can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they have the unique opportunity to see dinosaurs up close that move and roar! So far everything is going really well since they arrived on site - no raptors have escaped into the kitchen and the T-rex hasn’t swallowed any of our staff.”

The tagline for Jurassic Newpark is ‘not just a walk in the park’ and that is certainly apt as designing habitats to display ‘live’ dinosaurs is no small undertaking.


Preparations for the launch of this new dino-themed attraction include reallocation of space in the hotel grounds, major landscaping work, and extensive planting to create a lush natural habitat with an authentic prehistoric feel. This project involves a financial investment of in excess of €250,000 and will create 10 new jobs.

Roles will include ‘Jurassic Newpark’ rangers, maintenance workers, landscaping, gardening, café and gift shop employees and additional hospitality roles within the hotel.