Autism Services

Autism Services

Access for everyone.

Taronga understands that guests have varying needs and may require special assistance during their visit. Our team is always happy to help and have a range of services available to aide guests requiring additional assistance due to autism.

Access Taronga days

On select days throughout the year, Taronga welcomes Autistic guests, and guests with Hidden Disabilities, and their family or friends to enjoy early entry to our Zoo in Sydney. Access Taronga days are a great opportunity for you to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Zoo before it opens to the general public.

On Access Taronga days, Taronga Zoo Sydney will open 1 hour early (From 8.30am) to provide exclusive access to a private animal show and first access to the Zoo's many exhibits. Please see the term and conditions for this Access Taronga event.

To beat the crowds and enjoy a morning at the Zoo in a safe environment, please find the upcoming dates below.

2022 dates: 

'Sunflowers' for Hidden Disabilities

Taronga Zoo, proudly partnered and supported by ASPECT, is proud to support guest that use or wear the 'Sunflowers' for Hidden Disabilities at all Access Taronga Events and every day.

  • Enter while before the general public and while the Zoo is quiet and calm
  • Capped at 200 guests, we will hold a special Seal Presentation at 9am for guests to enjoy with their families, friends and carers. This event is for guests of all ages and needs

ASPECT Staff will be present and will assist with the Sunflower as you require.
 

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What to bring

We suggest that guests bring along some of the following items to help make their day more manageable.

  • Your Sunflower Lanyard, or ask us if you need one while you are at Taronga
  • A bracelet or name tag with contact details and anything else we should know if they become separated from your group
  • Ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones. Areas of the Zoo can become crowded and noisy
  • Dress and pack for the weather. It can get windy, hot and rain at the zoo – you can check the day's forecast
  • Plan to pack your own favourite foods as our food an beverage outlets may not have all that you need or like, or may not be able to cater to every dietary need.
  • A favourite device or activity. Bring their tablet, fidget game, book, or sensory toy you think might help you during any periods of waiting. Please note that some items are restricted from entry to the Zoo. Please see point 5 of our Terms and Conditions of Entry

Access Taronga - Terms & Conditions

  • Early entry on Access Taronga is Free of Charge and guests may stay in the zoo all day after they enter
  • Early Entry Access Taronga is 8.30am - 9.30am and tickets holding guests must enter in this timeslot
  • Guests that arrive after 9.30am may not use their Access Taronga ticket at any other time to enter the zoo or on any other date that prescribed. Guests that arrive in general admission hours (after 9.30am) must buy a full paying ticket
  • This ticket may not be sold for cash and cannot be redeemed for cash

Autism and Hidden Disability Services

Below are some of the services you can expect to be available for you on your visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney:

  • Many of our staff and volunteers are trained in the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme. You can ask for help form any staff and if a trained staff member is preferred you may ask without fear of offense
  • Online ticket sales and Zoo Friends Annual Memberships: Avoid waiting in the ticket sales queue and purchase your tickets online or consider a membership that offers 365 days of fun
  • Visual Story: Taronga has worked with Autism Spectrum Australia to develop a visual story. Social stories are short descriptions of real life situations that help guests with additional preparation needs to understand what they might expect from a visit to the Zoo and how to best enjoy their day. Download and read the latest Visual Story
  • Tranquil Zones: We have some beautiful picnic venues throughout the Zoo that can provide a tranquil zone for you to relax. Please ask our team for the nearest quite zone or see our accessibility map
  • Accessible toilets: We have special access toilets throughout the Zoo for your convenience. These are marked on the Zoo map or please ask our team for directions
  • Stroller and wheelchair hire: If required, we have strollers and wheelchairs available for hire from our Top Entrance retail store

We understand that our guests have varying needs and are more than happy to help accommodate special requests as best we can. Please speak to a member of the Taronga Zoo team if you require any additional assistance.

What to bring on your Zoo visit

To make your day more manageable, below are our suggestions on what to bring along to your next visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo:

  • A bracelet or name tag with contact details and anything else we should know if they become separated from your group
  • Ear plugs or headphones. Areas of the Zoo can become crowded and noisy
  • A favourite device or activity. Bring their tablet, video game, book, or anything else you think might distract them and keep them occupied during any periods of waiting. Please note that some items are restricted from entry to the Zoo. Please see point 5 of our Terms and Conditions of Entry
  • Reinforcers for good behaviour. The average visit to the Zoo is 3 hours, so an item to keep them entertained can be helpful. The sights, sounds, smells and movements through the Zoo might become overwhelming, so a sensory toy could be useful