Zoos and wildlife in NSW
You can get close to wildlife and experience extraordinary animal encounters at zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks across Regional NSW. Come face to face with rare native animals, take a safari with exotic creatures and learn about the important conservation work that’s being done.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo
The whole family will love visiting Taronga Western Plains Zoo, a sprawling open-range zoo in Dubbo that is home to over 4,000 animals from 350 species. There are native animals like koalas, kangaroos and wombats, as well as exotic species from all over the world.
Take a truck tour through the new Lion Pride Lands and see African big cats up close. Walk through the immersive Wild Herds exhibit, hand feed a giraffe or let a curious meerkat crawl onto your lap. You can walk, drive or ride a bicycle through the zoo, and even spend the night amongst the animals in a safari tent.
Aquariums and marine encounters
Incredible experiences like patting sharks and interacting with stingrays await on your animal odyssey at Irukandji Shark and Ray Encounters in Port Stephens. There are 190 sharks and rays in residence here, including a three-metre tawny nurse shark and a giant smooth ray. For more aquatic adventures, visit:
- Solitary Islands Aquarium in Coffs Harbour
- Marine Discovery Centre in Terrigal
- John Lake Centre in Narrandera
- Merimbula Aquarium in Merimbula
- Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre in Eden
Wildlife parks on the South Coast
Symbio Wildlife Park, located just south of Sydney, is where you’ll meet meerkats, lemurs, tigers and cheetahs. You can spot Australian animals such as wombats and echidnas, hand-feed kangaroos and take a selfie with a koala at the sanctuary near Stanwell Park, a popular hang-gliding spot on Grand Pacific Drive.
At Shoalhaven Zoo in Nowra, listen for a cacophony of calls from lions and monkeys and watch out for Australian natives like koalas, cockatoos, kookaburras and crocodiles, too. Visit Birdland Animal Park in Batemans Bay and Mogo Zoo, where endangered animals are bred.
Wildlife parks on the North Coast
Watch Elvis the five-metre saltwater crocodile being feed on weekends at the Australian Reptile Park on the NSW Central Coast, then to see spiders, snakes, platypus and even a giant Galapagos tortoise and Komodo dragon up close. Cuddle a wombat or feed a kangaroo at Oakvale Wildlife Park in Port Stephens.
Australia Walkabout Wildlife Park is a short drive west. It's where you’ll walk among interesting Australian animals and native plant life, too. There are more great zoological attractions on the North Coast, from the Koala Hospital and Billabong Zoo in Port Macquarie to the Butterfly House and Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour.