Hey, mate! I've got the John Dory for you on what's going on down under…down under at the San Antonio Zoo, that is. Wild Australia – A Summer Down Under is now on at the San Antonio Zoo. The fun kicks off today – May 25th – and Wild Australia at the San Antonio Zoo is happening through September 2nd, so make sure you get to the zoo to experience it. And, by the way, John Dory is Aussie slang for “the goss” as in gossip. The scoop. The dish. I know…I amaze y'all with my knowledge of all the things.
Wild Australia at the San Antonio Zoo – All the Details
As a Zoo Troop blogger, I receive free admission to the San Antonio Zoo and other perks and experiences throughout the year, including Bug Mania at the San Antonio Zoo. All opinions are mine.
I'll be perfectly honest with you. The zoo is not my favorite place to be in the summer time. San Antonio is known for lots of things: The Riverwalk. Amazing margaritas. George Strait. The Alamo (underrated, by the way…visit the other Missions instead.)
Year round heat and humidity.
My favorite time to visit the zoo is December through February. It's less crowded. You can enjoy your day without your clothes sticking to you. Most of the animals are more active.
But this summer, do yourself a favor and get downtown to see Wild Australia at the San Antonio Zoo. Grab your hats and sunscreen and stay hydrated. You don't want to miss all the fun. See also there are koalas and you can pet a kangaroo. Enough said.
What is Wild Australia?
Wild Australia is a summer exhibit at the San Antonio Zoo. It's happening right now through September 2nd, 2019.
Wild Australia at the San Antonio Zoo consists of three components – the Roo Walkabout, the Koala Bear and Australian bird exhibit and the “Welcome to Australia” overlay. These experiences work together to give you an immersive, fun, educational experience that will leave you with more knowledge about Australian wildlife than you came in with.
When and How Much?
The Wild Australia attractions are open during regular zoo hours. With the exception of Roo Walkabout, everything is included in your zoo admission price.
If you want more bang for your buck, I recommend the Zoo Fun Day Ticket, which includes admission, a carousel ride, a train ride, and admission to The Butterfly Flight School. You can also purchase a membership for as low as $38 a year. There are many perks to membership, such as access to free events, discounted tickets to ticketed events. Get more info and buy tickets online here.
Roo Walkabout is an add-on experience that allows you to spend 5-7 minutes up close and personal with some lovely female kangaroos. The tickets are $8 per person and I completely and totally recommend it. Also? One of my kids asked me if we could take one home with us and I wanted to say yes so badly. There are probably some very solid reasons not to keep kangaroos as pets but I'm struggling with that one.
What I love
I loved the Roo Walkabout. So. Much.
I also loved the Australian overlays in the area around the koala and Australian Bird exhibit. There's so much care that has gone into the immersive experience and it's just so fun to be there. I love that the two koalas are on loan from the San Diego Zoo and I love seeing the collaboration between the zoos to advance education and awareness about these animals.
The Australian themed photo opps are plentiful…there are lots of fun places to snap Insta-worthy pics.
What I didn't love
I didn't love the limited views we had of the koalas. There are two of them, housed in separate, glass enclosures. They contentedly much eucalyptus leave, seemingly oblivious to the massive amount of attention they're garnering. There's an awesome informational exhibit that teaches about the lives and habits of koalas and Lindsey from the San Diego Zoo was on hand to answer questions. She was so gracious and answered all of our questions about the koalas. We learned that the reason the two visiting mates are in separate enclosures is that koalas are solitary and the males are territorial.
You have to stand in line to get into the aviary area that houses the Australian birds to pass through the area where the koalas are. We waited in line for about 20 minutes to see the koalas and that was during a member's only/media night. When the zoo is more crowded, I'd expect a more substantial wait. The glare from the glass and the lights is pretty substantial and we didn't really get a good look at the koalas. Add that to the fact that there was a line that needed to keep moving…I don't feel like I really got a good look at them. We did get a decent amount of time to observe the Australian birds but, unless you're really into birds…
I'd recommend getting in line to see the koalas either early or late in the day when the waits are likely to be minimal. If you see a super-long line, I'd personally skip it and enjoy the rest of what the zoo has to offer. Circle back later if you get a chance.
The Bottom Line
If you don't usually visit the zoo in the summer, you probably want to make an exception. The thing I love best about the San Antonio Zoo is that it's managed to keep the sense of nostalgia for me but it changes and evolves. It's the zoo I grew up going to…yet not. It's place I'm proud to take my kids and I love that this environment is one that challenges me to always learns something new.
Want more info on Wild Australia at The San Antonio Zoo? Go HERE.
For more information, visit the San Antonio Zoo's website.