Taronga Zoo is a popular family destination for both locals and tourists, but if you're looking for something beyond the ordinary, then the Taronga Zoo Animal Encounters could be your ticket to a very special zoo experience. Encounters range from getting up close and personal with animals to get a great picture, to even taking on zookeeper duties for the day. There are activities to suit all ages, and they add a bit more fun to your day at the zoo.
The basic Animal Encounters start at just $24.95, and this includes a keepsake photo for you take home. The Koala Encounter is especially popular with tourists, who may not have had the opportunity to see one this close. While you can't hold the Koala, you will be face to face with it, and it makes for a unique shot. Others include the Reptile Encounter, and your chance to hold an owl. One of the more special encounters sees you up close with the giraffes, its a great photo opportunity and you'll even get to feed them. Animal Encounters run daily.
You can't beat the experience of being Keeper for a Day, and while it will set you back almost $600, you'll get to see the animals like never before. It is the real behind the scenes package, and during the day you'll prepare food and enclosures, feed animals, and even see inside the Wildlife Hospital. Groups have a maximum of five people, so you won't get lost in the crowd. The Keeper for a Day experience is only available on Wednesdays, and you'll have to be 18 or older to take part.
If you have a budding zoologist in the family, don't worry if they'll miss out on Keeper for a Day, because Taronga Zoo run special programs where kids can get cosy with the animals. Youth at the Zoo (YATZ) and YATZ junior are two programs designed for 13-19 year-olds and 8-12 year-olds respectively. Kids will get to work behind the scenes, meet animals, and take part in special zoo activities. If your child is considering a career with animals, then this is the perfect place to keep their love for animals going strong.
So whatever your age or budget, there is a special Animal Encounter at Taronga Zoo for you. While some may stretch the budget, ones like the basic animal encounters are a fun experience for only around $6 a person. If you're a frequent visitor to the zoo, then this could be the perfect way to keep it fresh and exciting.
Taronga Zoo is open all year round, from 9am till 5pm. See the website for more details.