We’re committed to keeping you safe but this does mean some changes to the usual experience. Find the answers to all your questions below about our reopening, safety precautions, ticketing and guest experience.
Important update about the NSW/VIC border closure.
Due to the recent announcement that the NSW/VIC border is closing as of 11:59pm on Tuesday 7 July 2020, we ask guests from Victoria who have already purchased a ticket and have plans to visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo or Taronga Zoo Sydney or have booked one of our accommodation options to stay with us at either Zoo to please see the information below.
Please note that all tickets to Taronga Zoo and Taronga Western Plains Zoo are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
If you need to request a date change for your visit please reach out via email and we will endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible:
- Dubbo tickets: please email email@example.com with your request to change your visit date
- Sydney tickets: please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your request to change your visit date
If you have booked an overnight stay at the Zoo, we will assist in rescheduling your stay to a later date, subject to availability. If this is not possible a refund will be provided. Our reservation teams are currently contacting anyone with a Victorian residential address who has booked an overnight stay. The priority will be to contact bookings for this week. We would appreciate your patience as we contact guests in order of your stay.
Keeping you safe
We have taken great care so your day at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo is safe and enjoyable. Taronga TV’s Hayden Turner takes you through all the changes to your visit in this short video.
Alternatively, dive into the detail below to find the answers to your questions.
Guests are NOT permitted to visit Taronga’s Zoos in Dubbo and Sydney or stay overnight if it contravenes state or federal travel restrictions, border closures and public health orders relating to COVID-19 hotspots. If you have been asked to self-isolate, please do not enter Taronga Zoo.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, we ask that you please stay home and do not visit either of Taronga's two Zoos until you are well again. Pre-booked tickets can be changed to an alternate date at no charge. This advice also applies to staff, students and volunteers.
What changes have been made to Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo's operations for guest and staff safety?
Taronga has made many modifications to support social distancing regulations. These include:
- Daily visitor numbers will be monitored to ensure safe social distancing and tickets will only be available to purchase online from taronga.org.au
- Zoo Friends and complimentary ticket holders will be required to register their visit online before attending the Zoo
- Guests with previously purchased online tickets will receive further information directly via email on how to register for a selected date in line with limited daily capacity.
- In person keeper talks will not resume, but can be accessed virtually
- Cash will not be accepted on site with contactless payments preferred
- Café’s and dining areas will operate in-line with the NSW restrictions applicable at the time with hygiene in these areas a high priority
- The Zoo Shop will open with limited capacity in-store and contactless payments preferred
- The Hire Centre will open offering bike and cart hire, with equipment sanitised before and after each hire
- Strollers will not be available for hire. Wheelchairs are available for hire and will be sanitised before and after each use
- Animal encounters and tours remain temporarily unavailable
- Overnight experiences Zoofari Lodge and the Savannah Cabins will reopen from 4 June, read more and book now
- Billabong Camp will remain closed for the time being
Some aspects of Taronga Western Plains Zoo remain temporarily closed or are operating in-line with current restrictions to enable indoor distancing or 1 person per 4m2 rule. These include:
- Spaces and exhibits that are indoors or enclosed such as Galapagos Tortoise indoor viewing area, the Goat Kraal Walkthrough and Wild Herds Deer Walkthrough
- Indoor and outdoor dining spaces have limited seating capacity and changed queuing
- Shared facilities such as playgrounds (our playgrounds will be open, however, play equipment does not receive additional sanitisation and guests will be asked to practice good hygiene and to adhere to social distancing requirements if using the play equipment)
- These adjustments will be continually modified in line with current restrictions and the most accurate information will always be updated on this webpage
These adjustments will be continually modified in line with current restrictions and the most accurate information will always be updated on this webpage.
Last updated: Monday 25 May 2020
What extra precautions is Taronga taking to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19?
In addition to operational changes, Taronga has taken significant precautions to minimise the risk of transmission. These include:
- Installation of signage at entry points stipulating guests are unable to enter if they have been asked to self-isolate
- Installation of signage throughout Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo encouraging increased hygiene and social distancing measures
- Increased access to hand sanitiser at sanitising stations
- Increased cleaning throughout Zoo grounds with a priority focus on food service areas, bathrooms and high-frequency hard surfaces and areas
What contingencies does Taronga have in place to deal with a potential outbreak?
The outdoor nature of Taronga’s venue and the precautions in place mean that the chance of transmission of Covid-19 at Taronga’s Zoos is low. However, the safety of our guests, our staff and volunteers and the broader community remains our top priority. As part of our Covid Safe Operations Plan, Taronga has prepared for the possibility that a person testing positive for COVID-19 may visit the Zoo and that this may result in an outbreak. In this instance, Taronga’s online booking and registration process will mean we can support contact tracing and notify guests, staff or contractors quickly. In all instances we will work with the NSW Government and NSW Health to take an appropriate response.
Are guests at risk of catching COVID-19 from Zoo animals?
On current evidence, there is no risk of guests from catching COVID-19 from zoo animals. Biosecurity measures are in place and Taronga adheres to National Biosecurity Guidelines and makes every attempt to prevent disease incursions and to protect the health of its animals, staff, volunteers, students and guests.
Are animals at risk of catching COVID-19 from guests?
It is plausible that the animals in our care could become infected with COVID-19, however it is unlikely. Biosecurity measures are in place and Taronga adheres to National Biosecurity Guidelines and makes every attempt to prevent disease incursions and to protect the health of its animals, staff, volunteers, students and guests. Current standard recommendations to prevent human to human transmission of Covid-19also minimise risk to zoo animals.
Changes to ticketing
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.
If you are a Zoo Friend member, please go to this form to register for your visit.
Do I need to register tickets online for children under 4 years of age?
Yes. To help manage the Zoo’s capacity, FREE tickets will still be available for children under the age of 4 years old, however to ensure we can manage capacity, all individuals visiting Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo, including infants under 4, must be accounted for via the online form.
I previously purchased a ticket to Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo, is it still valid?
All tickets purchased prior to Taronga's temporary closure on Wednesday 25 March 2020 to Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo have had the validity extended and honoured for 12 months from the date of purchase.
Guests with previously purchased online tickets will receive further information directly via email, including a unique access code, on how to register for a selected date in line with limited daily capacity.
To help manage the Zoo’s capacity, guests must still register their intent to use their ticket online before visiting via our online ticketing form.
I booked a ticket but now plan to visit on a different date, what do I do?
Will the Zoo be honouring the '$1 on your birthday' promotion for birthdays that occurred during the Zoo's closure?
This promotion has now ended. However, guests who registered for the ‘$1 on your birthday’ promotion during the Zoo's closure will be able to redeem this offer until Thursday 17 September 2020. Registered guests will receive further information via email and will need to purchase their $1 ticket online and register for a selected date in line with limited daily capacity.
Is my ticket still valid for two days at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo?
Yes, Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo tickets are valid for two consecutive days. Please check the box on the ticketing purchase form to confirm you will be attending both days, being mindful of the wider community as we monitor daily visitors.
Everything is better with friends and we’re so grateful to our Zoo Friends for sticking with us since March. Zoo Friends are a valuable part of Taronga’s community and we're so excited to welcome members back to our zoos!
A 3-month extension has been automatically applied to all of our Zoo Friends memberships. While the short closure and the measures we have taken are necessary to continue to play our role in supporting efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, we understand that there may be slight disruptions to your experience. We hope this additional time helps you to enjoy the full value from your pass.
Zoo Friends Registration Form
To ensure overcrowding does not occur and social distancing can effectively take place, we’ll be limiting the number of visitors allowed on-site, and Zoo Friends will initially need to book online prior to attending. Register your visit using the forms below.
Changes to add-on experiences
To make sure that we follow all social distancing regulations some aspects of the Zoo’s operations remain closed and this includes animal encounters. Taronga is in ongoing communication with the NSW Government and the NSW Department of Health regarding the latest advice and will look to reopen our usual add-on experiences when it is safe for us to do so.
Add-on experiences that are currently affected and not in operation include:
- Animal encounters
- Tours and behind-the-scenes experiences
Are Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo's accommodation products still closed?
Will Taronga's education programs (including excursions and incursions) resume with the reopening?
At this stage, all face-to-face education and community programs remain on hold until further notice. This includes Youth at the Zoo, Zoo Mobile, Zoo Adventures school holiday programs, Keeper for a Day programs and onsite excursions. However a number of online learning experiences are available to students and teachers.
Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo aims to be as accessible as possible to guests' needs, however, part of the changes to our reopening will impact the usual guest experience to ensure we stay in line with recommended safety procedures.
Can I still hire strollers and/or wheelchairs?
Strollers: unfortunately, guests will not be able to hire strollers, we thank you for your understanding and patience.
Wheelchairs: guests will be able to hire wheelchairs. Additional cleaning and hygiene is in place to ensure wheelchairs are safe to hire.