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Tricks of the (Zoo) Trade

We asked Zoo staff for their best ‘insider tips’ for a great Zoo experience. With so much on offer, it’s easy to overlook some great (and often free!) opportunities.


Living in naturalistic exhibits full of trees, mounds and foliage allows the animals to interact with visitors or each other on their own terms. This helps assure their physical, psychological and social well-being. It also means that you may need to wait a little longer, watch more patiently and listen more keenly to spot some animals – just as though you were in the wild!

"Ride" a Zebra!

You can’t miss our eight-seater zebra-themed electric vehicles as they cruise around the Zoo giving one-hour guided tours that make a Zoo visit extra memorable. Your guide can tailor a tour experience to suit you or you can leave yourself in their experienced hands and enjoy a relaxed tour.

Tours can be booked between 9:30am – 2:00pm daily and are $5 per adult or $4 per concession (babies/toddlers on laps are free). Minimum cost is $10.

Best Time of Day to See Animals

Just like people, zoo animals have different daily habits. Some are nocturnal, some are more active at dawn and dusk and some are very strictly on the day-shift! There’s no one, good time to see every animal at their perky best but here’s a guide:

  • Aussie species – Tend to be most active in the cool of morning and late afternoon and sleep away the hottest part of the day.
  • Carnivores – have evolved to be active when their prey is, so they’ll be most interested in the world in the first and last hours of zoo opening times.
  • Primates – their survival in the wild depends on them making a night-nest before it gets too dark. You’ll see some of ours impatiently waiting for access to their night-quarters round about 4pm.
  • Reptiles – Reptiles are sluggish in the cool of morning so that’s the best time for daily maintenance of the dangerous/venomous residents of the Reptile Encounter behind locked doors. Try back at 10am.
  • Creatures of the Night – we’ve reversed the lighting in the Nocturnal House so that you get to see the night-lovers out and about. But that means they are still a little sleepy as their (artificial) sun sets. They start getting busy from around 10am.
Feeding Times and Keeper Presentations

We mix up our feeding times for the animals to ensure they don’t become habituated, but that doesn’t mean you won’t see the extra activity that usually comes with a feed.

Animals are mostly fed out there, on display, but if you don’t find yourself in the right place at the right time then make sure you go along to the Walks and Talks. Keepers will sometimes incorporate a snack in their presentation to make sure that the animals are front-and-centre.

Join a Walking Tour, FREE!

You can wander the Zoo at your own pace and never know how much you’ve missed! Or, you can tag along on a free guided one-hour walking tour where your guide will share fascinating animal and conservation facts. The tours change daily but all tours leave at 11:00am (Oct-April) and 1:30pm daily. Ask at the Information Hub when you arrive for details of that day’s walking tour.