Adelaide is home to Australia’s only not-for-profit zoo, a leader in modern zoological techniques. The Adelaide Zoo features some 300 species, with a total of 1,800 animals inhabiting over 20 acres (eight hectares).
From the moment you walk through the heritage-listed front gate, you’ll realize this zoo does things differently. Adelaide Zoo has a specific focus on Gondwana, the ancient super-continent comprised of Australia, South America, India, Africa and Southeast Asia. Many exhibits carefully combine species as they may be found in the wild.
Walk with tigers and orangutans in Immersion, the second phase of the zoo’s Southeast Asian exhibit. Here, you’ll walk through the rain forest without the restrictions of concrete barriers, the animals seemingly within reach. There are viewing platforms throughout.
Take in a presentation or two, offered regularly throughout the day. There are daily sea lion feeding sessions and a presentation of blue and gold macaws in free flight. In the children’s zoo, youngsters will thrill at the opportunity to feed the animals.
Watch Wang Wang and Funi, the giant pandas, as they play in their modern enclosure. These two giant pandas are among the most endangered species on the planet. The Adelaide Zoo provides information about their habits and habitat, as well insight into what’s leading to their extinction.
The pandas aren’t the only giants at the zoo. The towering Moreton Bay fig tree, planted in 1877, predates the zoo itself. Along with its dedication to animals, the Adelaide Zoo is also a botanic park, with many of the trees and plants labeled with their scientific names.
As you’re leaving, notice the architectural feats of the zoo’s new entrance area which, along with the panda enclosure, is the winner of five South Australian Architecture Awards.
The Adelaide Zoo is open daily. It’s only a short walk from the city center and there is metered parking on the streets surrounding the zoo. A small admission fee applies, although a family discount is available.