Changes to your visit

Changes to your visit

We’re committed to keeping you safe.

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.

We can't wait to welcome you back! Taronga Zoo Sydney’s beautiful outdoor harbourside location is ready and waiting to provide you with the chance to reconnect with our animals and nature and enjoy time safely with family and friends. 

We’re open and 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 safety precautions, ticketing and guest experience.

Keeping you safe

Like a gorilla making its nest at night, we have taken great care so your day at Taronga Zoo Sydney 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.

We're all in this together infographic

Bring your essentials infographic

Important!

Guests are NOT permitted to visit Taronga’s Zoos in Sydney and Dubbo 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.

Read more about how our ticketing process has changed to keep you safe.

What changes have been made to Taronga Zoo Sydney's operations for guest and staff safety?

Taronga has made many modifications to support social distancing regulations. These include: 

  • Daily visitor numbers are monitored to ensure everyone has space to enjoy their visit safely
  • Tickets are only 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
  • In person keeper talks have not resumed, but can be accessed virtually
  • QBE Free Flight Bird Show and Seals for the Wild powered by Red Energy operates daily with limited seating to allow 1.5m social distancing between guest groups
  • The Backyard to Bush petting areas is temporarily closed to the public
  • Cash is not accepted on site with contactless payments available
  • Cafés and dining areas operate in-line with the NSW restrictions applicable at the time with hygiene in these areas a high priority
  • Retail stores are open with limited capacity in-store and contactless payments available

Some aspects of Taronga 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
  • Indoor and outdoor dining spaces have limited seating capacity and changed queuing
  • Our playgrounds are open. However, play equipment does not receive additional sanitisation and guests will be asked to practice good hygiene and to adhere to social distancing if using the play equipment
  • The Sky Safari cable car is temporarily closed. We are working hard to bring this beloved experience back as soon as we can do so confidently and safely
  • Accommodation is now open including the Wildlife Retreat at Taronga and Roar & Snore (Taronga Zoo Sydney), Zoofari Lodges, Savannah Cabins and Billabong Camp (Taronga Western Plains Zoo)

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: Friday 2 October 2020

What extra precautions is Taronga Zoo 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 Zoo Sydney 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

Do we need to wear a face mask?

Taronga Zoo Sydney is a registered COVIDSafe business and takes the health and safety of guests and staff very seriously. Wearing a face mask is not currently mandatory in NSW however it has been recommended as another way to help reduce community transmission of COVID-19.  As a leading community attraction, we believe it’s important to lead the way in helping reduce potential transmission of COVID-19 and as such we invite our guests to join us in wearing a face mask to maximise the safety of everyone visiting or working at Taronga Zoo.  

What contingencies does Taronga have in place to deal with a potential outbreak?

The outdoor nature of Taronga Zoo and the precautions in place mean that the chance of transmission of COVID-19 at the Zoo 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, a contact tracing procedure has been developed to ensure efficient process to assist NSW Health. 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-19 also minimise risk to zoo animals.

Changes to ticketing

Due to the current COVID-19 safety restrictions, all visitors are required to purchase tickets 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, 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 Zoo, including infants under 4, must be booked via the online ticketing platform.

I previously purchased a ticket to Taronga Zoo, 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 platform.

I booked a ticket but now plan to visit on a different date, what do I do?

Don’t worry if your plans have changed. Just contact us by calling 02 9969 2777 or by emailing tz@zoo.nsw.gov.au and we’ll help you make those changes at no charge!

I have a gold or community pass - do I need to register?

Yes. All visitors to either Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo, including any gold pass or community pass holders, MUST register online for COVID-19 tracing purposes. When booking your gold/community pass via your organisation, please ensure you obtain the registration link specifically set up for the registration of gold/community pass members.

NOTE: Gold passes are available exclusively to Taronga's corporate partners, and Community Passes are available exclusively to community groups via our foundation team.

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 were able to redeem this offer until Thursday 17 September 2020.

Zoo Friends

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.
 

VISIT SYDNEY

 

VISIT DUBBO

Changes to the experience

To make sure that we follow all social distancing regulations some aspects of the Zoo’s operations remain closed. 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 (paid) experiences that are currently affected and NOT in operation include:

  • Tours and behind-the-scenes experiences in Sydney and Dubbo

Are the QBE Free Flight Bird Show and Seals for the Wild show still on?

The QBE Free Flight Bird Show and Seals for the Wild shows run twice daily! However, to keep you, our staff and our animals safe, we are carefully monitoring guest capacity in our theatres and only allowing a maximum of 250 guests per show. This allows for safe social distancing with seating 1.5m apart. 

  • Seals for the Wild: 11am and 2pm (map ref 9F)
    - NOTE: The theatre gates will be closed once seating is at capacity around social distancing protocols, we thank you for your understanding.
     
  • QBE Free Flight Bird Show: 12pm and 3pm (map ref 16G)

Are there still keeper talks being held?

Unfortunately, to ensure we can keep our guests, staff and animals safe and instill social distancing protocols, our beloved keeper talks will not be operating. However, guests can still enjoy our QBE Free Flight Bird Show and Seals for the Wild presentations twice daily or book in for an animal encounter.

Are Taronga Zoo Sydney's accommodation products still closed?

All of Taronga Zoo Sydney's accommodation products, including Wildlife Retreat at Taronga and Roar and Snore are open for bookings and overnight stays.

Read more about Taronga's accommodation products.

Are food and beverage outlets open?

Yes*, however cafes and dining areas operate in-line with the NSW restrictions applicable, with hygiene in these areas a high priority at all times.

Guests can enjoy Genovese Fair-Trade coffee and tea, croissants, sandwiches, salads, muffins and more at Forage and Graze found right inside Taronga Zoo Sydney's main entrance. Or enjoy those cafe favourites and more hot food options like burgers, hot chips, burritos, fish and chips and more at the Taronga Food Market located opposite the Asian Elephant exhibit. The Taronga Food Market is operating in a limited capacity to allow for social distancing.

Read more details about the food and drink options at Taronga Zoo Sydney.

*Food and beverage options, availability and opening hours are subject to change.

Are Taronga's education programs (including excursions and incursions) currently running?

Some educational programs are currently operating with strict adherence to NSW Health guidelines such as Zoomobile, Zoo Adventures and Keeper for a Day. Taronga Training Institute classes take place in the Taronga Institute of Science & Learning.

Face-to-face onsite school excursions and workshops remain on hold in line with NSW Health and Education guidelines with plans being developed to re-activate these safely when permitted.

However a number of online learning experiences are available to students and teachers.

Is Wild Ropes (high ropes course) open?

Yes! Wild Ropes at Taronga Zoo Sydney has reopened and is ready for climbers looking for an adventure-fueled day at the Zoo. Read more about the course and how you can book.

Accessibility

Taronga Zoo Sydney aims to be as accessible as possible to guests' needs, however, safety changes will impact the usual guest experience to ensure we stay in line with recommended safety procedures.

Is the Sky Safari cable car operating?

Unfortunately, due to social distancing measures and to ensure we keep you safe, the Sky Safari cable car is not currently in operation. Rest assured this beloved part of the experience will return as soon as possible.

If you are arriving by ferry, you can access the main entrance of the Zoo via the 238 bus route that travels between Balmoral Beach, the Taronga Zoo Sydney main entrance and the Taronga ferry wharf on the water's edge.

Read more about how you can plan your travel to and from the Zoo.

Can I hire strollers and/or wheelchairs?

Strollers: unfortunately, guests are not able to hire strollers. We thank you for your understanding and patience.

Wheelchairs: guests will be able to hire wheelchairs from Taronga's retail store located inside the main entrance. Additional cleaning and hygiene is in place to ensure wheelchairs are safe to hire. 

NOTE: Taronga Zoo Sydney is on a site of 28 hectares and the topography is quite steep in some areas. All paths are bitumen and many that traverse the Zoo are reasonably level, however some paths linking the various levels within the Zoo are steep. Visitors with limited mobility are still able to traverse the entire Zoo with a number of elevators and ramps located around the site.

Can I still access the car park?

Yes, the car park is open to all guests.