At the time of writing the zoo still has more renovations to complete so the entry fees are kept reasonably low. They also advertise cheap offers on online deal websites, so check those websites before you go. As the renovations are completed, the prices will change, so check the Canberra Reptile Zoo website before you go.
Before you even go in, there is a Lace Monitor display, with a few monitors sunbaking on a large statue.....of themselves!
Our daughter Miss Four was very impressed during the hour that we were there - however if you had older children you could easily stay for longer at this small, but interesting zoo.
As you walk in there are displays of different species of lizards in well-maintained glass displays and a crocodile pool. The kids all enjoyed looking under the water at the turtles and fish that were swimming with the small croc.
To our surprise, the centre is very interactive with five or more volunteers walking around with reptiles you could touch. Miss Four was excited to touch the textures of a blue tongue lizard, baby boa constrictor, baby crocodile, monitor and a shingle back lizard.
Volunteer explaining the skin pattern on this monitor...
Whilst talking to the volunteers, you can't help but be caught up in their enthusiasm and passion for these reptiles. In particular I was chatting to a volunteer who was in Year 5 in Primary School. With reptile knowledge beyond his years, he was able to talk with confidence to the kids as well as the adults. Alongside him was a volunteer from Year 10 in High School - both of them also volunteer at the National Zoo and Aquarium during school holidays to "get off the couch" as they said, and to be involved in something they are both passionate about.
With 6 permanent staff (at the time of writing) and a host of enthusiastic volunteers, the centre excels in Customer Service.
With over 50 different species of frogs, skinks, lizards, crocodiles, geckos, snakes, and turtles to look at, the kids are entertained and also learning. I was impressed to see a volunteer with a group of kids telling them what to do if they saw a snake in the wild (back away slowly and get an adult). She explained that they don't want kids to be afraid, just to have a healthy respect for snakes.
Another interesting addition last month was the arrival of Titan, a 50kg Burmese Python, who is 5m long and will eat a chicken a week in Summer. Check out their Facebook page for their latest reptile additions.
At the rear of the building they have some large statues that the kids can climb and play on, and if you like them you can also buy similar ones from their display room inside.