This zoo is probably most famous for its claim of having the only giant pandas in the southern hemisphere, and as such these 2 gorgeous characters obviously steal much of the show at the zoo. They can be found just to the right of the main entrance although this takes you through the exit of the exhibit and I think the zoo is pretty much designed to be looked at in a clockwise direction. The pandas have a lot of space dedicated to them which is nice to see, and as a testament to their popularity there is even a panda gift shop, which is almost as big as the main zoo gift shop!
There are however a few other stand out exhibits and animals which need to be seen! The Orangeman enclosure is really nicely done and can be seen on the map labelled immersive. The enclosures are a mixture of fenced and glassed so as you go around them and species such as mandrills you really get the feeling of entering their world.
One of my favourite areas however was the raised walk way allowing you to see the Malayan tapirs, siamang gibbons, white cheeked gibbons and dusky leaf monkeys… it’s a really nice perspective for each if the species, and as long as they are not hidden away in their houses they are pretty easy to see and photograph.
Finally a single animal which really helped to steal the show was their red tailed black cockatoo in one of the aviaries… It was really playful and you can see that it has spent loads of time around people. Not sure how active it is when the aviary if busy but it was just the two of us in there so he had our undivided attention and we his!
This is not a government funded or run zoo like many of the city zoos in Australia but to be honest this doesn’t make any difference to it from a public view, however you can tell in some areas that it is a very old zoo… There are a number of enclosures which are empty and waiting for refurbishment and there is a massive contrast between some of the older and newer enclosures. However as with all business this is just a sign of change and it will be interesting to see how they continue to evolve… Speaking of evolution we caught part of one of their educational talks and I think their educational department needs to be applauded.
As we walked around the zoo there was nothing which was out of the ordinary or negative about the animals! They all look to be happy and in great shape (apart from perhaps their wild dogs which had a sign saying that they are very old, thus explaining some of their lumps and bumps, so this wasn’t a problem).