National Zoo & Aquarium

Interactive Tours and Encounters & Jamala Wildlife Lodge

Please read the terms and conditions carefully.

For Meet-a-Cheetah bookings – please see the complete Terms and Conditions for this experience by clicking  here.

By making a booking for a Tour or Encounter, you warrant that you have read these terms and conditions and agree to be bound by them.

  • Prior to making a booking, you must notify the National Zoo & Aquarium of any disability that may prevent you or your companion/s or a participant from understanding directions, or that could result in unpredictable behaviour that interferes with a persons mobility.
  • You and your companion/s or the participant must have the ability to fully comprehend and follow any directions/orders given by the Zookeeper/s, during the tour/encounter at any time.
  • You and your companion/s or the participant must be mobile enough to walk without assistance.
  • It is advised that anyone pregnant seek medical advice before interacting with cats.
  • Participants must meet the minimum age and height requirements where applicable:

Family Tour – min. 4 yrs. Zooventure Tour – min. 12yrs. WOW Tour – min. 12 yrs
Animal Encounters – Giraffe min. 6, Rhino min. 8, Meerkat min. 10, White Lion min. 10, Tiger min. 10, Sun Bear min. 10, Owl min. 12, Tree Kangaroo min. 12
Meet a Cheetah & Meet a Cheetah Cub – min. 15 yrs and 1.5m taller/Tour. For all Meet a Cheetah T&C’s – click here 

Please note – Children 15 years or under are required to be accompanied by a paying adult on the Encounter/Tour.
* If all 4 tickets are purchased for the Encounter (2 adults/2 children) the minimum age is 6 for Giraffe & Rhino & 8 for Lion & Tiger

  • A copy of the National Zoo & Aquarium Indemnity and Release form will be provided on check-in and must be completed by customers taking part in any or all Tours/interactive experiences. Participants between 16 and 18 years who are not accompanied by a guardian must have the Indemnity and Release form signed by a parent or legal guardian and it must be presented on check-in.
  • Check-in time for Tour and Encounter participants is a minimum of 30 minutes prior to the Tour/Encounter time. Check-in time for W.O.W customers is 7.45 am. If you miss your booked time as a result of being late or through simply not showing up, you will not be permitted to reschedule and will forfeit any monies paid.
  • Zoo entry is not included for individual single animal encounters (with the exception of Meet a Cheetah & Meet a Cub/Walk where zoo entry is free) Entry is required to be paid on arrival/check in.
  • Zoo entry is free for participants of ZooVenture, Family and Walk on the Wildside Tours
  • The National Zoo & Aquarium reserves the right to remove, from the Tour and Zoo grounds if necessary, any person(s) believed to be a danger or potential risk to their or anyone else’s safety.
  • The behaviour of any of the animals at the National Zoo & Aquarium, or the outcome/level of interaction, is not guaranteed under any circumstances (eg – we do not guarantee whether the cheetahs will be playful, lazy, cuddly or active).
  • In the event of rain, all Tours and Encounters will proceed unless extreme weather conditions are experienced. If that occurs, you will be contacted by the zoo to reschedule.

The use of whistles of any type, anywhere on the zoo grounds is strictly prohibited. These are used by zoo staff in an extreme emergency.

Cancellation Policies for General Tour and Animal Encounters

  • All Bookings and Voucher purchases are non-refundable.
  • Bookings can be transferred to another person’s name, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the encounter/tour.
  • Any changes to an existing booking can only be done by phoning the National Zoo and Aquarium on (02) 6287 8400.
  • Cancelling/rescheduling an existing booking can be done up to 7 days prior to your Tour/Encounter and a rescheduling fee of $5.00 per person will apply. If another date cannot be chosen at the time, a voucher/s can be issued to book at a later date at your convenience. Vouchers have a 12 month expiry.
  • Bookings cancelled within 7 days of your Tour/Encounter will result in forfeiture of 100% of the full fee. No transfer of booking date will be offered (with the exception of medical & other emergencies in which case you will be asked to provide supporting documentation. Fees will apply).
  • W.O.W Tour participants may reschedule up to 7 days prior, for a $5 fee per person. Rescheduling within 7 days of your Tour will incur a fee of 50%. If another date cannot be chosen at the time, a voucher/s can be issued to book at a later date at your convenience. Vouchers have a 12 month expiry.
  • All fees incurred for any changes to your booking as outlined above, are payable at the time of the change. The National Zoo and Aquarium reserves the right to charge any fees incurred to the credit card originally used to make your online booking.
  • If you miss your booked time as a result of being late or through simply not showing up, you will not be permitted to re-schedule and you will forfeit any monies paid.
  • Heavy rain and or high wind or electrical storms may require a booking to be rescheduled. Refunds for booking cancellation/rescheduling due to weather conditions are decided upon and approved solely by the National Zoo & Aquarium.

Please note:

  • Zoo entry for participants in Zooventure, Meet-a-Cheetah and W.O.W is FREE and applies to the day of the tour/encounter. General Admission is NOT included in an Animal Encounter – eg Giraffe, Red Panda, Sun Bear, White Lion, Tree Kangaroo, Owl, Meerkat, Tiger etc
  • A maximum of 2 places per time-slot may be booked by any one or more customers for Meet a Cheetah, and a maximum of 2 – 4 places per time-slot may be booked by any one or more customers for an Animal Encounter, as available.

Jamala Wildlife lodge

Full prepayment is required at the time of booking. We accept Visa and MasterCard.
Credit Card Surcharge

Like most hotels, Jamala charges a fee of 1.3 % for Visa/Mastercard & 1.8% for Amex credit cards. Unlike other hotels, we donate the nett proceeds of this to wildlife conservation funds that protect species in the wild, prevent habitat destruction and/or discourage poaching by limiting the trade in wildlife.
Cancellation Fees

  • Prior to Arrival: 60 days or more | Full Refund
  • 30-59 days | 50% of total monies paid will be refunded
  • 29 days or less | All monies will be forfeited

No refund can be given in the event of non-arrival or any unused services due to weather disruption or animal welfare. We recommend that you protect yourself with Travel Insurance. Rates are subject to change without notice.

*Please note that whilst the National Zoo & Aquarium and Jamala Wildlife Lodge endeavour to give guests a memorable experience with our native and exotic animals, fish and reptiles, no guarantees can be given as to what animal interactions may be available and/or how an animal may behave on any given day.

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