National Zoo & Aquarium

Volunteer work at the zoo

Do you love the zoo environment? Perhaps you would like to volunteer at The National Zoo & Aquarium. We have a number of different areas in which you can volunteer, including the General Zoo, the Aquarium, Education, Maintenance and Grounds Keeping.

You may have a love for animals and enjoy spending time around them. If you have experience in keeping marine life and fresh and salt water aquariums, why not expand your knowledge and experience by becoming an Aquarium volunteer?

Do you have some spare time, and enjoy garden work or have a skill for general maintenance jobs? Are you knowledgeable about the Zoo and the animals and would like to share this with other people? You might like to apply to be a Maintenance or Education volunteer.

The work can be physically demanding and people wanting to volunteer in the zoo must be prepared to work outside in all weather conditions. Some of the types of work involved are prepping diets, raking enclosures, crouching, lifting storage bins and cleaning windows. To partake in our Volunteer Program you must dedicate a minimum of ½ day per week with a maximum of 1 day in each section per week (Grounds Keeping, Education and Maintenance excepted).

Work experience

If you are looking for a career in the industry, we also have opportunities for people to gain ‘hands on’ experience as an animal or aquarium keeper. The experience gained will include general animal husbandry including the cleaning and maintenance of exhibits and food preparation.

Our work experience program runs for ten days spit over two consecutive weeks working Monday-Friday. Please ensure you will be able to commit to this format before applying.
This program is very popular, so please apply well in advance of the time you need. Applicants must be 18 years or over.

Who can apply?

You must be over 18 years of age and under 65 years. If you are 65 years or older, and would like to discuss age restrictions, please contact us.
The minimum required age of 18 years is firm. If you are under this age, then the Junior Zoo Keeper program, or Keeper for a Day program may interest you.
People should generally be physically fit and able to take on jobs independently. Education volunteers do not need to be physically fit but need to be confident in talking with the public.

Please fill out the Volunteer application form and send it to us. You will be added to a waiting list and called for a interview at the appropriate time. Generally, the list has at least a 3 month wait and sometimes up to 6 months.


If you would like to do some Work Experience at the zoo then please follow the below link:

Note – Work experience is only available for students 18 and older.


If you have any enquiries, please email [email protected]


Please note that due to the effects of COVID-19 there is currently a back log of applications that we are working through. This has created a longer than usual wait time but we are endeavouring to contact all applicants in a timely manner.


What else do I need to know?

If you are accepted as a volunteer you will be required to pay $50.00 for insurance which lasts for 12 months.
You can download the insurance form here, once you have been accepted.

It is advised that you wear clothes that are comfortable to work in and that you don’t mind getting dirty.

Zookeepers work 365 days a year in all weather conditions, ensure on bad weather days you wear appropriate clothing such as a rain jacket.

You have the option to purchase Volunteer uniforms and branded wet weather gear once you have been accepted into the program.

Remember to bring a hat and drink bottle and enjoy your time with us!

Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

We are open every day except Christmas day 9.30am until 5.00pm

Get Directions – View on Google Maps