The Canberra Reptile Zoo (located at Gold Creek) finally managed to find its way onto my Canberra to-do list and I’m really glad it did! Like a lot of things in Canberra, the scale of the reptile zoo (no pun intended!) isn’t huge but what lacks in size it makes up for in hands-on fun.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever been to a similar attraction where the staff are so keen to share their little world with you. From the minute we stepped inside, there was a warm welcome and explanation of what we would see. We wandered into the first of two main rooms and I was pretty surprised to see a crocodile hanging out there! I had expectations of a couple of lizards and snakes but there you go, sometimes its good to be surprised! There were turtles, lizards, frogs and snakes galore and some of the displays are open so that your kids (and you) can touch the scaly critters on show.
Frog, Canberra Reptile Zoo
During our visit, I was amazed at the way staff were circulating with lizards and snakes and seeking us out to get involved. To me, that was pretty damned cool. Often you can’t even get someone to smile at you, here everyone was super-keen to share their knowledge and I was especially impressed that they took the extra bit of time with my shy daughter to let her warm up a bit so she didn’t miss out on the fun. By the end, she had patted two lizards and two snakes and she hasn’t stopped talking about it so kudos to the Canberra Reptile Zoo staff! Top job. They even rounded up anyone who was interested to point out it was feeding time so you could be a part of that as well.
In addition to indoor attractions, there is an outdoor play area for the kids to burn off a bit of steam and a shop selling not only toys but the real deal too so if you’re in the market for a new and unusual pet, this could be the place for you!
I seriously couldn’t recommend the Canberra Reptile Zoo highly enough. As mentioned earlier, it is not huge, it isn’t on the scale of something you’d find in a larger city BUT you get the hands on experience that anywhere else would charge you and extra fifty bucks for absolutely free so give it a try and I’d bet you wont be disappointed.
Canberra Reptile Zoo, O’Hanlon Place, Nicholls (Gold Creek Village). The building is tucked behind some others so look for the clock tower and you will see signage (and a big dinosaur) pointing you in the right direction.
Opening hours: 10am – 5pm 7 days per week
Tickets: Adults, $16, Concessions $11, kids over 4 $10. Family and annual passes are also available.