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National Zoo & Aquarium is a private zoo and aquarium that has been opened since 1990 and is listed as top 10 animal attractions in Australia.
Visit two attractions in one spot in the National Zoo & Aquarium
The aquarium that was opened on 31 May 1990 was originally owned by Geoff da Deppo and was the largest private tourism development in the ACT at that time. However, despite the size and facility, the aquarium was not successful in attracting visitors. Then, in 1992, Rod Hanstein decided to purchase the property and added outdoor exhibits that showed the native wildlife. Unfortunately, in 1998, the aquarium was once again put on sale and was finally purchased by the Tindale family. The aquarium was then undergoing a major renovation and the business was developing. By 2001, the wildlife park has grown and the name of the facility finally changed to its current name. The major expansion was done in May 2017 by opening the open range exhibit.
The main attraction from the National Zoo & Aquarium is the Zooventure Tour that is considered as one of the most interactive tours in Australia. Through the tour, you will get a closer look to some of the zoos most endangered big cats. Not just learning about them, you will also get the chance to feed them with your own hands. The tour also gives you a time to feed the beautiful bears belong to the zoo. The tour is also joined by the playful otters and a python that will creeps over you. The tour will take about 2 hours and can only be joined by a group of maximum 11 people, so you better book your seat. If you are having a limited time, then you can also choose to meet several animals of your choice through the close encounters program.
The National Zoo & Aquarium is a perfect destination for your family, as the tours available will not only educate the adults, but also the younger visitors. If you are coming with your family, then it is the best choice to join the family tour that is designed for younger children as well. You and your family will be joining the behind the scenes as well and meet the animals of the zoo and feed them. If you have more time, then you can also join the overnight safari that comes with the first luxury lodge experience. You will not only meet the animals, but you will learn more about how you can help the survival of the endangered species.
One of the facilities offered by the zoo is the dining area. There are some spots that you can try to take a bite with different experiences. The first one is the Rainforest Café where you can enjoy a quick snack and a cup of coffee while watching the antics of the Capuchin Monkeys. There is also a small area for BBQ near the Birds of Asia aviary that is suitable for small groups. As for the group with larger number, there is a BBQ area nearby that is also located not far from the Meerkat and Red Panda exhibits. The largest BBQ area is located at the heart of the zoo, surrounded by the giraffe, Colobus Monkey, and the Native Walk Thru. Other facilities include the gift shop, where you can buy animal soft toys, jigsaw puzzles, jewelers, and other souvenirs.
The Walk on the Wildside program is definitely something you can't miss during your visit, as this program allows you to meet most of the animals in the zoo closely. The tour is available every day, start from 8 AM and will take about 7 hours as you will join many activities included in the tour. The tour will be started with a gourmet morning tea, continued with meeting the animals. You will feed the cute red panda, the scary shark, the tree kangaroos, the lions, tigers, and of course the bears. You will also get a closer look to the rhinos, meerkat, cheetah, emu, and the giraffes. The tour is also suited for children with the minimum age of 12 as they will be able to participate in designing food puzzles for the monkey. You will also get to eat your lunch at exclusive locations in the zoo.
How to Get Tickets?
Tickets to National Zoo & Aquarium can be bought online, where you can also get discount if you come in a group of 10 or more people. Carers for visitors with special needs is free of charge, but carers ID is required.
How To Get Around?
To get around, you will have to go by foot. Wheelchairs and strollers can be used inside as well, but it is prohibited to ride bikes, scooters, skates, or any of their kinds inside the zoo and aquarium.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommendation on what to wear to visit the National Zoo & Aquarium. It is better to wear comfortable clothes as you will walk around a lot. Don't forget to check the weather before going as well.
Best Time to Visit
For a different experience, you can check the official website of the National Zoo & Aquarium and look for any ongoing events. It is better to avoid visiting in the weekend as it can get very crowded.
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Will I Need a Guide?
The National Zoo & Aquarium is a self-guided tour. However, you can request for a guided tour or join the program to get to know more about the animals.
How To Get There?
You can reach the National Zoo & Aquarium by riding the bus from Civic using bus number 81 or 981 that runs every day.