The Perth Zoo is a must do if you are visiting Perth, and if you live in Perth and haven't been for a while, make sure you put it in your calendar to get along and see what's new. The Perth Zoo do a fantastic job of continually improving our wonderful zoo to ensure that the environment these animals live in is as close as they can get to their natural environment, so you'll no doubt see something new everytime you visit.
You'll definitely need to set aside a good part of the day if you want to see it all. There are lots of places to stop and have a snack or some lunch throughout the Perth Zoo, including the large grassed area near the playground where you can also find BBQ's. There is also a cafe at the Zoo so you can enjoy a meal or coffee during your visit.
Don't let the rain keep you away, it was so great to see lots of kids running around in their raincoats and gumboots with umbrellas. You can check out the lizards or nocturnal enclosures, these are indoors while it's raining - or head to the Jungle School Organutan Boardwalk and shelter there.
Perth Zoo is a fun thing to do all year round, literally! It's open every day of the year (even Christmas Day) and is fun in winter and summer!
Before you visit the zoo though, please ask your children not to feed the animals. Their diets and eating habits are controlled by Perth Zoo staff and it is against the law to feed them, with hefty fines applied to those who do.
The playground and large grassed area is not far from the entrance. Here you will find the old classic elephant shaped slide, as well as new climbing structure with a butterfly shaped shade above. There is a little running water feature, much like a man made creek so it's a good idea to bring gum boots (and possibly a change of clothes) along so they can splash around here.
The playground also features a small bird nest swing a small toddler slide with a little "cave" underneath it, water features, hut with bongo drums and more. There is just so much to explore in this area!
We really enjoyed the Jungle School Orang-utan boardwalk. Here you'll get a great view of the Orang-utans and there are some great interactive activities to do on the board walk. You can direct a camera around using a joy stick and zoom in the Orang-utans for a better look, see how your hand size compares to an Orang-utan's hand and swing on some ropes just like an Orang-utan. There are also replica tower Orang-utan Tower Tops so you see first hand where the Orang-utans like to hang out.
The boardwalk is well covered in sections so it's a great place to stop if it's raining There is seating here too so you could enjoy a snack or your lunch here. Unfortunately they were hiding from the rain under their sacks during our visits so we didn't see much swinging action but had fun using the joystick controller to zoom in on them with a camera to get a peek at them under their sacks.
At the end of the Jungle School Orang-utan boardwalk are a couple of good photo opportunities. Your kids will love jumping in this car and climbing on top of these tortoise statues for a photo too!
One of our other favourite stops is to see the elephants in the African Savannah. There are a few viewing areas including this well shaded spot with lots of seating. It's a great spot to stop and have a bite to eat and rest for a while. We enjoyed watching the elephant trying to get his food out of this container during our visit.
We also enjoyed a visit to see the Crocodile, Penguins, Snakes & Lizards too! Note, we didn't go and visit the bears as DS3 said he didn't want to see them because they were too grumpy and always sleeping! I didn't push the issue as there were plenty of other "non grumpy" animals to see!
Zoo HQ is a must visit when you are at Perth Zoo. Opened in February 2016, kids can dress up as a Perth Zoo Vet and learn all about what goes on behind the scenes to feed and care for the Perth Zoo Animals. There are lots of interactive displays and a volunteer to answer any questions your budding little Zoo Keepers and Veterinarians may have - we highly recommend you pop into the Zoo HQ and see what you can learn.
There was so much we still didn't see on our visit, as we had to leave for school pickup, like the African Safari Walk, Australian Walk and more...
There are not specific feeding times at the zoo, other than the crocodile who is fed at 11.45am on most Sundays in the warmer months however. To see other feedings look for the signs as you walk around to see if there is one you can go and watch during your visit.
There are lots of talks and presentations on during the day. You can see a schedule and plan your visit here.
You can also book a behind the scenes close encounter at the Perth Zoo from just $5 (+ admission fees). These are held at various times throughout the week, with some age restrictions and most need to be pre-booked. Find our review of Perth Zoo's Close Encounters here
The Perth Zoo is mostly disabled & pram accessible. There are ramps to access most areas and there are automatic door openers in most of the animal viewing areas. You can hire kids wagons, prams, wheelchairs and gophers at the front desk. Advanced bookings are recommended.
Finding Your Way Round
When you arrive you can purchase map for $1 or download and print a map from the Perth Zoo website.
Carousel Merry Go Round
This operates 11 - 3pm everyday (10-4pm in the holidays) and tickets are $4 per person
What to Bring: BBQ, packed lunch & a picnic blanket | Gumboots, raincoats & umbrellas in winter | If your kids are going to play in the water feature at the playground during summer you may want to bring spare clothes | Pram/Stroller if you have younger children as it's a long way to walk around | And what ever you do don't forget your camera, there are so many amazing photo opportunities!
Parking: Parking is available right next the Perth Zoo just off Labochere Rd and there is parking also on Mill Point Rd side which is just a short walk towards the river from Perth Zoo. Parking is paid by the hour in these areas for a few dollars and hour.
There is free 2hr parking during the week on the south side of Hardy St during the week. Or you can catch the ferry and take a short walk up to the zoo.
Costs: A visit to the Perth Zoo is a must for that treat day out once or twice a year! Family passes are available andkids under enter free, but if you want to visit often you might want to consider a Zoo Friends Pass - this gives you unlimited entry to the Perth Zoo and other benefits for 12 months. A Zoo Friends Pass makes a great gift you can find out more about costs and membership benefits here
More information: www.perthzoo.wa.gov.au
How To Get There: Labochere Rd, South Perth (Mill Point Rd off Kwinana Freeway)