News - Darling Downs Zoo
Although eleven South-east Queensland LGAs will be locked down for the next three days, the Darling Downs Zoo is OPEN - but not to visitors from any of those eleven areas.
You will need to use your app to enter, you will need to keep your facemasks on when in any of the zoo buildings, you will need to practise social distancing and you will need to avail yourself of the hand sanitisers and soap stations around the zoo. That will help us all to stay safe.
All of the zoo's keeper talks and personal Animal Encounters will be available and our popular sausage sizzle will commence at midday.
We will be open from 9am, last entries will be at 3pm and the zoo will close at 4pm.
We are very pleased to announce that the Australian Government has granted us Deductible Gift Recipient [DGR] status from 6 July 2021.
This means that all donations in excess of $2 made to the Darling Downs Zoo Species Preservation Foundation are tax deductible for the donor.
Every cent of the income from this Foundation is used to fund our species preservation work here - particularly our back of house breeding and release to the wild work with Greater Bilbies and Bush-stone Curlews.
We very much appreciate your support.
30 JUNE 2021
At the moment the Darling Downs Zoo is not affected by any lockdowns and is still open to visitors from non-lockdown areas.
If you have been in any of the lockdown areas in Queensland, or hotspots in other States, or if you are feeling unwell please delay your visit to the zoo until a safer time. We will still be here to welcome you!
If you are eligible to visit now, you must strictly adhere to social distancing requirements and you must regularly use the disinfectant hand gel at the dispensers around the zoo and use the soap hand washing facilities at the Zebra paddock and in all of the toilets.
On arrival you will be required to log in using the QR code on the official Check In Queensland app.
What better way to spend Easter Monday than by heading west for a day trip to the Darling Downs Zoo?
Here you will see Queensland's most diverse collection of native and exotic wildlife in the clean fresh air of the Darling Downs.
We are open from 9am to 4pm although last entries are at 3pm. Normal prices - no holiday loadings.
You can bring your own food or enjoy our kiosk style tucker or a fresh BBQ sausage sizzle for lunch.
So what are you waiting for? Head west and enjoy our wonderful animals - less stress, less cost, less traffic and less rain!!
The zoo is open again today but the paths and paddocks are very soggy.
Please wear sensible footwear and, if you have any mobility issues, please delay your visit until we return to normal.
The Giraffe will only be able to be seen from a distance as their paddock is waterlogged.
A big shout out to our dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly in very trying conditions to keep all of the animals safe and comfortable.
COVID RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN RELAXED A LITTLE BUT YOU MUST STILL SCAN THE QR CODE, OR GIVE US YOUR DETAILS FOR CONTACT TRACING, PRIOR TO ENTRY.
SOCIAL DISTANCING AND GOOD HYGIENE MUST ALSO CONTINUE TO BE PRACTICED.
VISITORS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO HANDLE ANY OF THE ITEMS IN THE GIFT SHOP PRIOR TO PURCHASE.
We are now pretty well back to normal with our daily program. There have been some changes to our daily photo op and keeper talks program as follows:
10.15 Meet a baby Crocodile - bring your camera!
10.40 Asian Primate talk.
10.50 Sumatran tiger talk and treat feed.
11.10 Pygmy Hippo and Meerkat talk.
11.15 Giraffe treat feed and Cheetah talk.
11.20 African Lion talk and treat feed.
11.40 Baboon treat feed
12.00 Sausage sizzle from $2.50 per serve
1.00 Meet a Python up close and personal - another free photo session!
1.30 African Lion talk and treat feed.
The Premier has had to announvce some new covid restrictions in some Local Government Areas around Brisbane.
Fortunately, the Darling Downs is not one of those areas.
The zoo operates under a covid safe plan and is open daily from 9am. Last entries are at 3pm and the zoo closes at 4pm.
We are open every day of the year except Christmas Day.
Come and enjoy our beautiful animals in covid safe surroundings.
Regional Queensland needs you and we are Good to Go!!
THE DAY HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!!
After a huge amount of work by our industry Zoo and Aquarium Association, in conjunction with some of the State’s participating zoos, we have had an Industry Covid SAFE PLAN accepted by the Queensland government.
This means that the Darling Downs Zoo will be open again from 9am Wednesday 10 June. There are a few rules that we will all have to follow:
- If you are unwell, or are exhibiting Covid like systems, please do not come to the zoo until you are feeling better.
- We are not allowed to admit you if you are not well.
- Visitor numbers will be limited to government approved social distancing guidelines. This will not be a problem to us as our zoo covers 122 acres of wide open country.
- Personal social distancing will be required.
- Oral and hand hygiene must be practiced. We have hand sanitising points throughout the zoo and soap dispensers for hand washing located at the amenities block.
- You are required to give us your name, address and phone number for the lead person in each group of entrants.
- Keeper talks are not yet allowed in order to minimise the gathering of people in a group. Please feel free to ask any of our staff any questions that you may have about the zoo and our animals. We all love a chat!
- For the same reason we will not be offering crocodile and snake photo opportunities until further notice.
- Personal Animal Encounters are still available but our keepers will insist on social distancing between participants and also between you and the animals as appropriate.
- When ordering food and drinks, please place your order, receive your order number and wait outside the shop until your number is called.
We are all looking forward to welcoming you back to Queensland’s largest and most diverse regional zoo. There have been lots of new arrivals while we have been closed – Kyle a rehab Koala who can’t be released to the wild; Balu, our beautiful young Komodo Dragon; Lenny, a critically endangered Addax baby, a gorgeous pair of endangered Golden-lion Tamarins, Emperor Tamarin babies, Agouti babies and five critically endangered Radiated Tortoises. The Tortoises had been illegally poached from the island of Madagascar and were being smuggled through Hong Kong when they were seized several years ago. After all of the government processes were completed the Darling Downs Zoo imported over 20 of them to take part in a species management program with other Australian zoos. The whole project was one of the most difficult and protracted imports that we have ever undertaken, but the good news is that all of the tortoises have now been placed with participating zoos. We are incredibly thankful to our colleagues at Zoos South Australia, without whose support this happy outcome would not have been possible. Our zoo has retained five of the imported animals to join our existing five and we are looking forward to seeing these ten critically endangered little animals forming the basis of a breeding program here at the Darling Downs Zoo.
Some of these newcomers have not experienced visitors before so not all will be on display all of the time.
The State government position about the re-opening of zoos is changing rapidly.
Technically we are now able to re-open the zoo from today - June 1.
However, we are still only able to open to 20 people. We have done the sums and this would mean that we would lose more money than we are losing now if we opened to just 20 people.
In conjunction with our zoo associations, and some of our colleagues, we have asked the government to allow us to open to more people. There is scope for us to do so under the new guidelines.
To date we have not heard back from the State government Health Department as to whether we will be permitted to do so and, if so, what the requirements are going to be.
We will update this website, and our Facebook page, just as soon as we have any news.
In the meantime, thank you all for your support - it has been tremendously important to us.
At the moment the zoo meets all of the government's requirements for ensuring the health of staff and visitors.
We have heaps of room for "social distancing" and plenty of hand sanitiser and liquid soap available.
We have cancelled keeper talks, photo ops and some personalised Animal Encounters where build ups of people could occur.
We are mindful that, in times of stress, many people would like to get away from the worries of their daily life for a while. The zoo, in it's natural rural setting, and with it's beautiful animals, is the ideal safe place to visit.
Therefore the ZOO IS OPEN!
However, new laws and regulations are being brought in daily and this position could change very quickly. Please visit the website NEWS page or our Facebook page for any updates.
YES - WE ARE GREEN AGAIN!
After such a prolonged dry spell it is wonderful to see the surrounding countryside, and the zoo itself, looking so beautiful!!
This does not mean that the drought has broken - far from it. We will need a long period of follow up rains for that to be said with any certainty.
It also does not mean that drought affected people and businesses have now recovered. It will take quite a few years for many of us just to get back to the position that we were in before the drought hit.
What it does mean is that you, our visitors, can enjoy your visit in cooler, more appealing conditions.
We have lots of new things for you to see - baby Blackbuck Antelope, baby Emperor and Red-handed Tamarins, a bachelor group of the cheekiest Squirrel Monkeys you will ever see, Kangaroo joeys galore, our bouncing Serval sisters, tiny new-born baby Baboons and our very impressive pair of Maned Wolves. - just to name a few!!
Check out the website for a range of personal Animal Encounters that can be purchased daily.
We are open every day of the week from 9am. Last admission time is 3pm and the zoo closes each day at 4pm.
Zoo admission, as well as personal Animal Encounters, can be purchased online for your convenience.
The zoo has had a huge amount of rain overnight.
As a result we will not be accessible for people with any sort of mobility issue at all for the next few days.
Giraffe and Addax will also still be off display.
Intending visitors are advised to wear sensible footwear, watch where you walk and do not allow your children to run.
It is truly great to finally see so much rain but we must be mindful of animal and human safety.
The zoo is receiving much needed good soaking rain! Not enough to produce any run off into the dam yet but enough to make the grass nice and green.
This nice green colour does not mean that the drought is broken - far from it. However, it does mean that the zoo, and the drive out to the zoo, is now much prettier.
The rain has meant that our paths are much softer than they have been. At the moment they are not really suitable for people with mobility issues or people with prams and strollers with small city wheels.
Our Giraffe are ungainly and are particularly susceptible to injuries to their limbs from slippery ground conditions. While their paddock is so wet they will be kept in their holding yard and stables for their safety and welfare. They will only be viewable from a distance.
We apologise for any disappointment but hope that you understand that the safety of our animals, our visitors and our staff will always be our priority.