Why are there age restrictions on the Tours & Encounters?
All encounters & tours have a minimum age for children. This is for 2 reasons:
- Some animals will react differently to smaller children, so we have a minimum age and sometimes a minimum height. This is for the safety of the children and/or of the animal.
- Many of the animals will be distracted or scared by loud or aggressive behaviour. This is not only uncomfortable for the animal, but can spoil the encounter for other guests.
Please understand that if the keeper or guide feels that children (or adults) are not meeting general age, size or behavioural requirements, they may ask them and a parent to drop out of the tour or to miss certain segments. No refunds will be given in these circumstances.
Our aim is to ensure that all participants enjoy their time with our special animals and that our animals also enjoy the encounter.
If I book more than one tour or encounter - do I get a discount?
I have a Gift Voucher - how do I make a booking?
For an online Voucher follow the instructions on the Voucher to redeem and make a booking. Alternatively, click on “Make a Booking” on the individual tour or encounter page select your tickets and in the payment section enter your voucher code to redeem. Or you can also give our friendly staff a call on 02 6287 8400.
Red Balloon Vouchers must be redeemed through the Red Balloon website. For Vouchers starting with “S” or “D” or “E” you will need to phone the Zoo.
Once a booking is confirmed it can only be re-scheduled by phoning the Zoo and speaking with a staff member. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions.
Can I reserve a place for a tour or encounter without payment?
Full payment is required at the time of the booking, unless you are booking with a Gift Voucher. Once a booking is confirmed it can only by re-scheduled by phoning the Zoo and speaking with a staff member. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions.
I am booked on a tour/encounter. What happens if it rains?
A little bit of rain does not interrupt or prevent a tour from going ahead. In some cases, tours may be re-scheduled due to extreme weather conditions and tours must be postponed during an electrical storm. To enquire about re-scheduling any tour or encounter, you will need to phone the Zoo to speak with our staff. There are fees involved if you choose to reschedule your booking.
Can I take photos during the Tours?
Yes, all animals are used to cameras, including flash, but we ask that you advise the Keeper before taking them. For Meet-a-Cheetah participants, please click here for more information about taking photos on your experience.
I'm doing a tour by myself. Can someone come along with me to take photos?
No, but there are always other people taking part who are more than happy to take photos when it is your turn to participate.
Can I bring a toddler/pram on a tour/encounter?
On a Awesome Roarsome Tour, small children are not permitted. On African Savannah Safari, younger children are able to accompany you if at least 2 adults are booked onto the Tour. Taking a pram is discouraged, however they may be taken on the tour but you will need to leave the pram at certain times if the tour goes into behind the scenes areas. Children are best carried. Please note that if the toddler/baby becomes disruptive, you may be asked to leave the tour until the child settles.
Why do you say Doctors advise to limit contact with Cats when pregnant in the Indemnity and Release Form?
All cats, including domestic ones, carry Toxic Plasmosis in their faeces, which may cause problems in the first trimester of pregnancy.
What shoes should I wear?
Flat soled walking shoes are ideal. Avoid high heels and thongs.
Can I touch the animals?
Under no circumstances can you put your hand or fingers through the mesh. You must not touch an animal when feeding, unless the Keeper gives permission.
Why does the NZA keep some of its animals all alone - why can't they have some friends?
We try to mimic conditions in the wild as much as possible and generally house species depending on their own natural preferences. In some cases (where housing them with others could cause stress and aggression), they have their own enclosure. For example, many animals lead a solitary lifestyle in the wild, and only come together for breeding purposes.
How close can I get to the animals on a tour/encounter?
You must always stay behind the Keeper until the Keeper gives permission to move forward.
I do not like snakes, must I touch one?
No part of any tour is compulsory, if you feel uncomfortable with any animal just advise the Keeper.
What time should I arrive for a tour?
Allow thirty minutes before start time to check in and pay zoo entry. Tour participants (Awesome Roarsome Tour, African Savannah Safari and Meet a Cheetah) are not required to pay any extra for Zoo admission. The zoo normally takes around 2 to 3 hours to see so we encourage you to arrive early and enjoy the facilities and the zoo before your encounter/tour.
Can I bring my dog into the Zoo or on a tour?
The National Zoo & Aquarium is an Authorised Quarantine Site, meaning no pets are allowed on any part of the grounds, including the car park.
The National Zoo and Aquarium (NZA) welcomes visitors with assistance dogs that have completed their training. There are some limitations and bookings must be made – please contact NZA in advance to make a booking (NZA will endeavour to expedite any visits when required).
For further information on Assistance dogs please visit our Assistance page here.
Do I need to turn off my mobile during the tour/encounter?
It is suggested you turn your mobile to silent. If it rings whilst you are feeding an animal, it may cause problems.
My friend did the same Tour last month, will mine be exactly the same?
Animals can behave differently each day, so each tour is unique.
My child is over 12 years old. Do I need to go with them on the tour/encounter?
Yes, all children under 16 are required by law to be accompanied by an adult.
What is the difference between the Awesome Roarsome Tour and the African Savannah Safari?
Our traditional ZooVenture tour has now been split into two very exciting tours, which feature different types of animals. Our carnivores now feature on the Awesome Roarsome tour, whereas our Hoofed and Ungulate animals are on the Savannah Safari.
Can I do a Tour without any children present?
Yes. Our Education Section can be contacted via Reception to provide a Private Tour especially suited to your requirements.
Can I wear perfume?
Generally speaking, perfume will not have any effect one way or another. However, please avoid strong perfumes for Meet-a-Cheetah. For a full list of Meet-a-Cheetah Terms & Conditions click here
Something has come up and I need to change my booking date. What do I do?
In the event you need to change your booking date, you can do so up to 7 days prior for just a $5 fee per person. If you cannot pick a new date, we can issue you with a voucher to re book at your convenience. Vouchers have a 12 month expiry. You are unable to make a change to the date within 7 days of your booking (unless there is an emergency). See Terms & Conditions for more information.
Please call the zoo to make these arrangements on 02 6287 8400