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How to support our Wildlife Parks during the Covid-19 pandemic

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Australian Reptile Park
Australian Reptile Park

It’s no secret that many businesses have been affected by COVID-19. With the ever looming threat of lockdown and social distancing now commonplace, our gorgeous Sydney wildlife parks have been hit hard. They provide such an important role when it comes to animal conservation and in the creation of much-needed antivenom, we want to do what we can to help them out. Wondering if these parks have COVID-19 safe policies in place? Here’s how to support our Wildlife Parks during current times.


Understandably, people are choosing to stay home and trips to non-essential places, such as wildlife parks, have taken a back seat. This is great in terms of our COVID-19 numbers in NSW, but not so helpful when it comes to keeping these essential parks running.

Here’s some ways these parks are staying COVID safe to protect you for a visit, and ways we can support our Wildlife Parks from home. Use the quicklinks below to jump to different parks.

⛔ We're averaging less than 10 visitors per day since VIC went into lockdown 2 weeks ago.😷 NSW is staying home. That's…

Posted by Walkabout Park Wildlife Sanctuary on Saturday, 15 August 2020


1. Walkabout Park Wildlife Sanctuary

Australia Walkabout Park

The Walkabout Park Wildlife Sanctuary has experienced a big drop in visitors since March, and have reached out to get as much support as possible.

How are they staying COVID safe?

They have made some changes to keep you safe:

  • They have asked for all tickets to be purchased online to avoid crowds at reception. Simply phone them if you need help with your ticket purchase.
  • Keep MORE THAN 1 emu length apart. They’ve got 80 acres so there’s lots of space for you to spread out.
  • If you have a cold or you’re not well, please postpone your visit. They’ll change your ticket date to when you are feeling better.

What things are there for kids to do?

They have roving rangers around the “animal loop” to answer your questions and keep things clean and sanitised. This is the area close to the Visitor Centre where the animal camps are situated, and where most of the free-ranging animals are likely to be found. Do check the schedule of daily ranger activities so that you can plan your visit and meet your favourite animals.

How can you support them if you aren’t keen to get out and about just yet?

You can always purchase a ticket and wait to book in a date until you are comfortable.

  • Where: 1 Darkinjung Road, cnr Peats Ridge Road, Calga (30 mins drive north from Wahroonga)
  • Entry: $30/adult, $15/child (3-15 years), $72/family (2 adults, 1 child)
  • Open: 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day)
  • www.walkaboutpark.com.au

2. Australian Reptile Park

Australian Reptile Park wildlife park kangaroo

Australian Reptile Park

The Australian Reptile Park was closed for two months in April and May and since reopening at the beginning of June, have been supported by the local community. However, they are still missing their State and International guests.

How are they staying COVID safe?

Australian Reptile Park has reopened in a responsible way with all social distancing measures and updated procedures in place to meet guidelines set by Government, such as:

  • Signage throughout the Park to remind visitors to practice good hygiene and social distancing
  • Hand-sanitising stations throughout the park
  • They undertake hourly sanitising of common surfaces
  • All staff have undertaken COVID safety training and staff interacting with visitors are wearing face masks, in line with current Government advice.
  • They’re also asking visitors to adhere to capacity limits for indoor areas and register their visit though GuestHQ.

 What things are there for kids to do?

Although they’ve temporarily suspended their daily shows to avoid the gathering of crowds, there’s still plenty to do.

They’ve introduced Interactive Keeper Stations where keepers will be stationed at different areas around the Park to get you up close to their amazing animals and learn all about them. You can also get up close with their animals on daily walks with dingoes, Komodo dragons and Galapagos tortoises. Daily animal photo experiences and Animal Encounters are both back up and running too! If you’re planning a visit during the upcoming school holidays, make sure you check out their Kids 2 Keeper programs where the kids can learn what it takes to be a zookeeper.

How can you support them if you aren’t keen to get out and about just yet?

You can show your support for the Australian Reptile through an Animal Adoption, visit their Online Gift Shop or interact with them on social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok). Make sure you tune into their Facebook every Wednesday at 1.30pm (AEST) as they take you close up to the action of an Elvis the Saltwater Crocodile feeding! Due to current restrictions around excursions for school children, they’ve also introduced Virtual School Excursions where teachers can book an educational, interactive and FUN virtual experience for their classroom.

  • Where: Pacific Highway, Somersby (30 mins drive north from Wahroonga)
  • Entry: $39/adult, $21/child (3-15 years), $105/family (2 adults, 2 children)
  • Open: 9am to 5pm, 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day)
  • www.reptilepark.com.au

3. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo wildlife park

WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

    While numbers have dropped over the past months, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo have been using this unique period to push themselves as a business with creative ways to communicate with their guests and keep them educated on Australian wildlife.

    How are they staying COVID safe?

    The safety and wellbeing of their staff, guests and the broader community remains their highest priority and they’re continuing to monitor and act upon recommendations from the government’s federal and state health authorities, and work closely with emergency services on response. WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo is extremely diligent about remaining a COVID safe zone for all guests.

    • They are checking temperatures upon entry
    • Sanitising stations at multiple locations across the zoo
    • All staff are required to wear a mask inside the zoo
    • Wearing of face masks is also strongly recommended and applies to guests 12 years and over, excluding those with certain health conditions and/or disabilities.
    • Their team and guests are encouraged to practice good hygiene including washing hands often and to cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze.
    • Anyone feeling unwell is encouraged to seek medical attention.

    What things are there for kids to do?

    There is plenty for the young ones to see and do at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo as they learn about Australia’s array of beautiful wildlife. Right now, they can explore and search for The Gruffalo and other characters from The Gruffalo story as part of the Spotters Activity Trail. They’re also launching a new app for The Gruffalo Spotters Trail in early September, which will add an extra element of fun to the experience. For the family, they are also offering a private group dining experience of up to 10 people which includes an after hours tour of the attraction, close encounters with wildlife and a three-course dinner on the koala rooftop.

    How can you support them if you aren’t keen to get out and about just yet?

    People can support WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo by viewing their live streams on social media and engaging with them online to let them know what content they’d like to see more of from home. You can educate yourselves on Australian wildlife and then plan a visit when you’re ready. More importantly, you can donate to the WILD LIFE Conservation Fund which is dedicated to conserving Australian native wildlife by funding research and conducting educational programs and events.

    • Where: 1-5 Wheat Road, Darling Harbour NSW 2000
    • Entry: $46/adult, $26.40/child (3-15 years)
    • Open: Thursday – Monday, 10.00am – 4.00pm (last entry 3.00pm)
    • www.wildlifesydney.com.au

      4. Featherdale Wildlife Park

      Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park Zookeeper For a Day

      Featherdale Sydney Wildlife Park Zookeeper For a Day

      Featherdale Wildlife Park is located in Doonside and have some great new programs that kids will love, so take a look and support our wildlife parks.

      How are they staying COVID safe?

      They have made some changes to keep you safe:

      • Guests feeling unwell are not permitted to enter the park. Guests will also be required to implement and maintain hygienic practices whilst in the park. This includes regular hand washing and/or hand sanitiser use especially after touching animals or food.
      • Guests will be also be screened upon entering the park.
      • In addition to their fixed hand washing stations and restrooms, you will find extra hand sanitation stations throughout the park.
      • Their serving areas in Admissions, Retail and our Cafe’ have sneeze guards fitted for everyone’s safety and protection.
      • COVID safe signage is posted around the park.
      • Due to social distancing requirements Keeper presentations are temporarily ceased. 

            What things are there for kids to do?

            Join their Educators in the Featherdale Learning Burrow at 10am-10:20am for WILDLIFE TIME – new WEEKDAY hands-on wildlife lessons for bubs and preschoolers. Their 20-minute wildlife lesson is ideal for preschool-aged children. You can also bring kids (aged 8-13) along to Featherdale Wildlife Park’s Zookeeper for a Day Program these school holidays. 

            How can you support them if you aren’t keen to get out and about just yet?

            You can always purchase a ticket and wait to book in a date until you are comfortable.

            • Where: 217-229 Kildare Road, Doonside NSW 2767
            • Entry: $35/adult, $22/child (3-15 years), $99/family (2 adults, 2 children)
            • Open: 9am to 4pm, 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day)
            • www.featherdale.com.au

              5. Symbio Wildlife Park

              Symbio Wildlife park kangaroos

              Symbio Wildlife Park

              Symbio Wildlife Park is so grateful for the continued support and is pleased to have reopened their doors. Pop in for a visit to help support our wildlife parks!

              How are they staying COVID safe?

              They are requesting all visitors pre-purchase your tickets before arrival. This will also save you time and alleviate signing in at entry due to our COVID safe practices. For all existing Season Passes, Gift Voucher and Pre-Purchase experience holders, they are automatically extending the expiration dates for the length of period we were closed. Throughout this time their advanced cleaning procedures will continue. You can read more about their changes here.

              What things are there for kids to do?

              They have so many behind-the-scenes experiences on offer:

              How can you support them if you aren’t keen to get out and about just yet?

              You can always purchase a ticket and wait to book in a date until you are comfortable.

              • Where: 7-11 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Helensburgh NSW 2508
              • Entry: $36/adult, $22/child (3-14 years), $99/family (2 adults, 2 children)
              • Open: 9.30am to 5pm, 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day)
              • symbiozoo.com.au

              6. Taronga Zoo Sydney

              wildlife park taronga zoo meerkats

              Taronga Zoo Sydney

              Taronga Zoo has reopened to visitors and is ready to welcome you back. They have a number of new policies in place to ensure everyone stays safe during their visit.

              How are they staying COVID safe?

              Taronga Zoo is committed to keeping you safe, but this does mean some changes to the usual experience. They are COVID-safe certified and have increased cleanliness throughout the zoo with a focus on the food areas. Although not mandatory, they ask people to wear a mask during their visit. All guests are required to sign in on entry and maintain 1.5 metres distances throughout their visit. Due to the current COVID-19 safety restrictions, all visitors are required to purchase tickets online (with up to 20% savings online!) and attend the Zoo on their selected date only. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate. Some of their animal encounters are close (including the Tigers) to ensure social distancing can be maintained. The sky safari is also closed.

                    What things are there for kids to do?

                    Taronga Zoo still has plenty of fun for the kids to enjoy. Their bird and seal shows are still taking place, and most of the animals are open for a visit. They have recently opened up their new Savannah, which is well worth the trip, so you can spot lions, zebras and other amazing animals and get up nice and close. There is also the playground so kids can have a run around. You can grab some food from inside and set yourself up for a picnic on one of the many green spaces available.

                    How can you support them if you aren’t keen to get out and about just yet?

                    There are many ways you can support Taronga Zoo without physically taking a trip there. You can head online and donate to one of their amazing appeals. You can also listen in each week to the Taronga Talks to learn more about the Zoo and what’s happening.

                    • Where: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman NSW 2088
                    • Entry: $44.10/adult, $26.10/child (4-15 years), $124.80/family (2 adults, 2 children)
                    • Open: 9.30am to 4.30pm, 7 days a week (closed Christmas Day)
                    • taronga.org.au

                    7. Sydney Zoo

                    wildlife parks lizard

                    Sydney Zoo

                    The newly opened Sydney Zoo has been designed to offer a great family day out. It is pram and wheelchair friendly and nice and flat so you can make your way around and see all the animals.

                    How are they staying COVID safe?

                    Sydney Zoo is limiting numbers by day and at each session to avoid excessive crowding, and to guarantee everyone has an amazing day out. You can purchase tickets online and select your chosen time for entry. There are no limits on how long you can stay once you get inside.

                          What things are there for kids to do?

                          Sydney Zoo has plenty of fun for kids. They have a brand new meerkat encounter and Mini Keeper For a Day program, with more encounters coming soon. You can also head there for a great day out seeing all the animals. It’s a great way to support our wildlife parks!

                          How can you support them if you aren’t keen to get out and about just yet?

                          You can also book in some tickets for when you are ready to get out again.

                          • Where: 700 Great Western Hwy, Bungarribee NSW 2767
                          • Entry: $47.50/adult, $23/child (4-15 years), $120/family (2 adults, 2 children)
                          • Open: 9am to 4pm, Thursday-Monday
                          • sydneyzoo.com

                          More animal fun…

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