Wombat on leash being held by zoo curator

Parks & Recreation

Head out for a zootastic time these school holidays

Published: 17 Sep 2021 10:53am

With spring in the air, the Botanic Gardens and Zoo & Aviary are a great destination to visit over the school holidays.

The Zoo & Aviary will be open seven days a week across the holiday period, subject to NSW Health restrictions, and will be holding zoo tours on Mondays and Fridays.

Zoo Curator Wendy McNamara said there are some new and improved facilities to enjoy, animals to see and, of course the chance to meet the zoo’s marsupial superstar, Russell the wombat.

For more information about what's on in the holidays:

Discover the Zoo and Aviary tickets - Book Online
See more of what's on and book online at VisitWagga.com

“Russell had missed meeting his regular fans and new visitors during the recent lockdown and is happy to be out and about again,” Ms McNamara said.

“He’ll be going out on his daily walk on his lead and harness, and we will also be holding the meet and greet sessions at 10am and 2pm each day at his enclosure.

“Our two young Eastern Grey kangaroos, Noni and Judd, are out in the enclosure with the rest of the mob, but they’re still getting their bottles in the afternoon around 3pm.

Female zoo curator with two eastern grey kangaroos
FURRY FRIENDS: Zoo Curator Wendy McNamara with young Eastern Grey kangaroos Noni and Judd, who still get a daily bottle feed in their enclosure at 3pm each day.

“The guided tours with zoo curators are at 11am and 1pm on Mondays and Fridays, where participants can ask questions and interact with some of the animals.”

There is a wide variety of animals on display including miniature donkeys Marquis and Shrimp, peacocks, emus, goats, deer, chickens, rabbits and the guinea pigs in their castle.

The zoo also has some ducklings paddling around, while one of Eastern greys has a joey in her pouch, as does one of the wallabies.

“Earlier this week, the Botanic Gardens zoo team put in the turf on the new amphitheatre in the centre of the zoo and has been renovating turf at front entrance to the gardens,” Ms McNamara said.

turfed amphitheatre

“Our free-flight aviary project is also complete, with the new landscaping, ponds, paths and feeders making it a wonderful space for people to wander through and see its beautiful residents.

“We have a lot of cockatiels, which are breeding at the moment, as well as budgies, bower birds, sparrows and lorikeets, and some turtles and fish in the water features.

“Our young swamp wallaby, Kieran, might also be spending a little bit of time in there as well to interact with the public.

swamp wallaby and zoo curator's hand

“We encourage visitors to wear face masks and social distance, especially when around the meet and greet spaces. Nobody’s going to miss out, we will get to everybody.”

The Botanic Gardens team will also be holding Kids Propagation Workshops at 11am on 21 September and 1pm on 28 September.

Spaces are limited, so book your spot on one of the zoo tours or propagation workshops by heading to the What's On page at  visitwagga.com

peacock on display

The zoo will be open from 9am to 4pm daily, with the last entry at 3.45pm, until the end of the school holiday period, with QR code check-in in line with NSW Public Health Orders.

Find out more about COVID-19 rules and restrictions in NSW: