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National Zoo and Aquarium

Meet a meerkat and sleep with fishes — yes, really — at Australia's only combined zoo and aquarium.
By Melanie Colwell
November 29, 2021
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By Melanie Colwell
November 29, 2021
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From its humble beginnings in 1990 as the National Aquarium, with just 30 species and a 1.5 million litre aquarium, to the expansive park that is now one of the largest privately owned zoos in the country, the National Zoo and Aquarium has established itself as one of the must-visit attractions in Canberra. It is also a huge contributor to a number of local and international conservation efforts, including ACT Wildlife, RSCPA ACT and Port Macquarie Koala Hospital.

The zoo is home to a wide range of native and exotic species including pgymy marmosets, tree kangaroos, African lions and red pandas. Throughout the day, the zoo hosts keeper talks and activities, but for a super special experience, get involved in one of the close encounters. You can get up close and personal to cheetahs, meerkats, owls, rhinos and plenty more.

The Awesome Roarsome Tour is an action-packed 90-minute experience that'll allow you to hand feed a lion, a tiger, a bear (insert obligatory 'oh my' here) — and a hyena. You'll also get to pat a python and meet the adorable meerkats and otters. The experience runs daily (apart from Tuesdays and Thursday) at 7.30am, and costs $125–155 per person.

Want to stay a little longer? Book a night at the on-site accommodation, Jamala Wildlife Lodge, where you can sleep side-by-side with the animal enclosures and feed giraffes from your verandah.

Images: VisitCanberra

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