Open since 1898, the Perth Zoo is a top family destination in the city, home to all the Australian animals that visitors love to see, as well as species from Africa, Asia, and South America. Go from the bush to the rain forest to the savannah in one day, and learn about the zoo’s breeding for conservation program.
Located in the suburb of South Perth, the Perth Zoo is off the typical tourist track but still easy to visit from the Central Business District (CBD) via a ferry ride across the Swan River, which adds to the fun. Purchase admission online to avoid waiting in the ticket queue, and opt for a combination pass that includes a sightseeing cruise on the river, too. Animal exhibits include the Australian Bushwalk, home to kangaroos, koalas, wombats, emus, Tasmanian devils, echidnas, and dingoes; Asian Habitats home to elephants, Sumatran tigers, orangutans, red pandas, and Komodo dragons; the Nocturnal House that features owls and bilbies. You’ll also see Galapagos tortoises; fairy penguins, the world’s smallest species of penguin; and the African Savannah area, home to giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and lions.
Things to know before you go
- The zoo features a café, children’s playground, and a gift shop.
- Wheelchairs are available to rent, as are wagons to pull small children.
- The zoo’s carousel is a favorite with kids and can be ridden for an additional fee.
How to get there
From the Perth CBD, hop on the ferry at Barrack Street Jetty and cross the river to Mends Street Jetty; then walk about 10 minutes to reach the zoo. Alternatively, you can walk the whole way via the Narrows Bridge in about 45 minutes.
When to get there
The zoo is open every day—including holidays—until early evening. Many animals are most active when it’s cooler, so go in the morning for the best chance to see them. You’ll find bigger crowds during Western Australia’s school holiday periods, which generally take place in January, April, July, and October.
One of Perth’s inner suburbs, affluent South Perth boasts an ideal location on the water and is worth exploring a bit before or after your zoo visit. Head to Mends Street for coffee or a bite to eat, and then walk along the foreshore to admire the city skyline across the river, watch for native birds, and relax in the ample green space.
- Old Mill
- Swan River
- Perth Bell Tower
- Elizabeth Quay
- Supreme Court Gardens
- St. George’s Cathedral
- Kings Park & Botanic Garden
- London Court
- Perth Mint
- Fremantle Passenger Terminal (Perth Cruise Port)
- Queens Gardens
- Art Gallery of Western Australia
- Western Australian Museum – Perth
- Perth Cultural Centre
- Nostalgia Box