Frequently asked questions

Our zoos are now open.

As with everything right now, things are looking a little different so please read the FAQs below.

 Please visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au for the latest information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) changes and restrictions

Face masks and physical distancing – what are the rules?
As directed by the Victorian Government, everyone aged 12 and above will no longer be required to wear a fitted face mask indoors or outdoors except when entering our retail spaces,  the Safari Bus at Werribee Open Range Zoo and some animal habitats. 

Some of our spaces will require visitors to wear a fitted face mask as an additional safety measure and will be signposted to let you know. Please wear your fitted face mask when entering these areas.  

Everyone aged 12 and above will still be required to wear a fitted face mask in the event you cannot physically distance. 

 

Is everything open and running as normal?

No, not at this stage. The animals are excited to see you again but some things are different for public safety reasons.

Zoo

What

Status

Melbourne Zoo

Zoo tickets

Open

 

Indoor habitats and indoor play spaces

Open

 

Food and cafes

Open

 

Zoo Shop

Open

 

Keeper talks

Running

 

Carousel

Open (Sat, Sun, public holidays)

 

Encounters

Closed

 

Roar N Snore Camp

Available to book from 19 November

 

 

 

Healesville Sanctuary

Zoo tickets

Open

 

Indoor habitats

Open

 

Indoor play spaces

Open (except Future Vets)

 

Spirits of the Sky

Open

 

Food and cafes

Open

 

Zoo Shop

Open (12.30pm - 5pm)

 

Creek play

Closed

 

Playgrounds

Open

 

Drinking fountains

Open

 

Keeper talks

Running

 

Encounters

Closed

 

Outdoor playgrounds

Open

Werribee Open Range Zoo

Zoo tickets

Open
 

Indoor habitats and indoor play spaces

Open

 

Food and cafes

Open

 

Zoo Shop

Open

 

Safari bus – day sessions

Open

 

Playgrounds

Open

 

Keeper Talks

Running

 

Encounters

Closed

 

Slumber Safari Camp

Closed

 

Why do we still need to book tickets when restrictions and density limits have now eased?

Although we are now able to admit more visitors to our zoos, we do still require everyone to book their ticket online, so we can ensure it is a safe and comfortable experience for all visitors on the day. We have always had a maximum capacity limit in place for each zoo, even pre-COVID-19, which helps make sure the day is as enjoyable as possible for everyone and isn’t overcrowded. Having all members and visitors book their ticket also allows us to gather contact information which could be crucial in the event that circumstances change suddenly, and we need to contact ticket purchasers quickly.

Where can I read your COVID Safe plans?

Our COVID Safe plans are found on this webpage here >>

What measures and cleaning standards are you putting in place to keep the public safe?

In addition to reduced crowds, physical distancing and compulsory face masks on the safari bus, we have an additional cleaning schedule for surfaces and amenities at all three of our zoos and have sanitising stations around the zoo for you to clean your hands while visiting your animals friends.

Do the zoos accept cash?

Zoos Victoria zoos do not accept cash payments. If you’re keen for some retail therapy at the Zoo Shop or to buy food and drinks, you will need to use a credit or debit card.

Do I need to use the Services Victoria app when visiting the zoo?

Yes. As required by the Victorian Government, all visitors will need to register to visit Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Open Range Zoo and Healesville Sanctuary upon arrival for contact tracing purposes.

You will be able to register via the Services Victoria app QR code at the entrance of each zoo. Admission staff will be available to help you register if needed.

Will I need to be vaccinated to visit the zoo?

Yes, visitors aged 12 years and two months or older must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This is a legal requirement under the Health Directions as endorsed by the Chief Health Officer in order to protect the health and safety of Victorians. 

How will you be checking if we are vaccinated or not?

The safety and health of our visitors, staff and animals are paramount, we want to ensure we make visiting the zoo as safe and stress-free as possible. We ask that visitors please have their digital COVID-19 vaccine certificate ready prior to their visit. Instructions for how to set these up can be found here. This will be checked upon entry to each of our three zoos, and we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding if this slows your admission into the zoo.

Other eligible proofs of vaccination include a COVID-19 digital certificate on your smartphone wallet or a paper-copy of your COVID-19 digital certificate, a printed copy of your Immunisation History Statement, or your eligible COVID-19 digital certificate exemption. 

If vaccinations are mandatory for entry to the zoo, but I have a valid exemption for medical reasons, can I still visit?

From 6pm on 12 November, you can no longer use a medical certificate as evidence of COVID-19 vaccination exemption. Your doctor needs to update your record on the Australian Immunisation Register to show that you have a medical exemption. 

Once your exemption has been processed, you can download your COVID-19 digital certificate. We will only accept this certificate as proof of medical exemption to enter our zoos. 

For more information on showing proof of your vaccination exemption, head here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/get-your-covid-19-vaccine-certificate

 

Why do I need to show proof that I’ve checked in and proof of vaccination?

Proof of check-in and vaccination is likely to be a requirement for businesses re-opening at the 70% double dose vaccination thresholds outlined in the Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan. The confirmation screen shows a green tick to show that you’ve checked in, your name and the words ‘valid certificate’. Businesses can’t keep or store this information. Children aged over 12 years and two months must be fully vaccinated to enter venues, except those with medical exemptions. Children under 12 years and two months old do not need to be vaccinated but must be accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.

Will I need to check into the zoo? Will my children need to check in if they are not vaccinated?

Yes, you will still need to check into the zoo on arrival by using the Victorian Government QR code service. We ask that you please check in your children with you even if they are not vaccinated.

I live in regional Victoria, can I visit the zoo?

Yes, we are very pleased to welcome our regional visitors to our three zoos!

Will I need to show my proof of full COVID-19 vaccination every time I visit the zoo?

Yes, visitors will be required to show their proof of full vaccination every time they visit the zoo.  

Will I need to show my proof of child's age?

Please bring proof of your child's age if they are under 12 years old but have been mistaken for being older.  

How do I show proof of vaccination or exemption for children under 16 years of age who are not my own?

There are five ways children can show COVID-19 proof of vaccination to enter our zoos: 

  • If child is 15 years or older and has their own Medicare card, they can show their COVID-19 digital certificate via the Service Victoria app on their personal smartphone. 
  • If child is 15 years or older and has their own Medicare card, they can show their COVID-19 digital certificate saved to their smartphone wallet. 
  • If child is 12 years and two months or older, they can bring a printed copy of COVID-19 digital certificate. 
  • If child is 12 years and two months or older, they can bring a printed copy of immunisation history statement. 
  • If child is 12 years and two months or older, they can bring a printed copy of their eligible proof of vaccination exemption. We are only accepting the COVID-19 digital certificate exemption, not a doctors certificate. 

A future update to the Service Victoria app will include the option of storing the COVID-19 digital certificates of dependents.  

For more information, please head here: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/get-your-covid-19-digital-certificate 

How are you checking the COVID-19 vaccination status of a visitor who has been vaccinated overseas?

To verify the COVID-19 vaccination status of a person who has received their vaccination overseas, they will need to bring with them to the zoo:

  • a copy of their Australian Traveller Declaration or the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Declaration for travel to Australia; and
  • a copy of the person’s Australian International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate or a valid certificate issued by an overseas government authority or an accredited overseas government vaccination provider that shows the person is fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine registered, provisionally registered, approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The certificate issued by the overseas authority must be written in English or accompanied by a certified translation and contain the following information:

  • the person's name as it appears in their passport
  • the person's date of birth or passport number
  • the COVID-19 vaccine brand name, and
  • the date of each dose or the date when the person was fully vaccinated.

Both paper and digital certificates are acceptable.

Only the vaccines listed below are currently approved or recognised by the TGA:

  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria)
  • AstraZeneca (Covishield)
  • Pfizer/BioNTech (Comirnaty)
  • Moderna (Spikevax)
  • Sinovac (Coronavac)
  • Bharat (Covaxin)
  • Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV) (for 18–60 year-olds)
  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag (COVID Vaccine) (only one dose is required for this vaccine).

Zoo tickets

Do I need to pre-book a ticket online?

Yes, we cannot stress this enough. Absolutely everyone, including Zoo Members and babies, needs to have a pre-booked zoo ticket before you arrive at the zoo. You will not be able to book tickets at the gate. 

Zoo Members, your tickets are free but will still need to be booked. This is so we can maintain safe physical distancing by capping numbers of all our visitors.

So, Zoo Members need to pre-book a ticket too?

Yes, every single person entering our zoo, including Zoo Members of all ages (including babies!) will need to pre-book a ticket before coming. This is so we can manage visitor numbers and ensure safe physical distancing for everyone. 

I have a Companion Card, how do I book my tickets?

Our Customer Engagement Team can help you book your ticket over the phone. Just give them a call on 1300 966 784 between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week, Alternatively you can email contact@zoo.org.au.

Do I have to book child tickets if they are free?

Yes, for contact tracing purposes every single person in the zoo must have a prebooked ticket, including babies and Zoo Members. If you are attending on a day when children (including babies) can visit for free, please select the free child ticket option.

I need to change my zoo tickets

While we don't offer refunds on zoo tickets, we can swap your tickets to use on a different day if you give us 48 hours notice. Please head to this webpage for more info and to request a change >> 

If you're a Zoo Member, you can let us know that you can't use your free zoo tickets anymore by filling out this webform >>

Note: if you have been instructed to self-isolate, quarantine or have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, we have options available to you. Please head to this webpage for more info >>

I'm having trouble booking my ticket online

Don't worry, just give us a ring on 1300 966 784 between 9am-5pm and we'll be able to book your tickets over the phone. We are experiencing a high volume of calls right now so you may need to wait on the phone but our friendly Customer Engagement Team is working as fast as possible to help everyone ASAP.

The day I want to attend is sold out, can I get a ticket at the gate?

Unfortunately we are operating with strict capacity limits. If the day you want to attend the zoo is showing as sold out online then no additional tickets are available and will not be available at the gate. Please do not arrive at the zoo without a prebooked zoo ticket for everyone, including babies.

I have a prepaid zoo ticket, gift card or free zoo ticket. How do I book?

Gift cards can be redeemed for tickets through our website or through the Customer Engagement Team by calling 1300 966 784. If you have purchased an open-dated zoo ticket in the past or have received a free zoo ticket, please contact the Customer Engagement Team so we can book your ticket in for a particular date.

How far in advance are tickets released?

Typically, we do release new tickets 31 days in advance for Zoo Members and visitors to book. If the date you’d like to visit is more than 31 days away, please revisit the website closer to the date you’d like to book.

Do I need to book tickets for the safari bus?

No, the free safari bus at Werribee Open Range Zoo cannot be prebooked. With capacity limitations in place there may be a bit of a wait on busy days so please be patient. If you'd like a more intimate and prebooked safari experience, feel check out the Deluxe Safari Adventure which is $53/person ($48 for Zoo Members).

Visiting the zoo

Can I bring my own food or picnic to the zoo?

Absolutely. Please keep sharp knives at home and try and minimise bringing glassware, but everything else is fine to bring. If you need to pop out to your car to get your picnic at lunchtime, make sure you let our friendly gate staff know so they can let you back into the zoo as your ticket will not work once it has been scanned.

Do I need to prebook the free safari bus?

No, the free safari bus at Werribee Open Range Zoo cannot be prebooked. With capacity limitations in place there may be a bit of a wait on busy days so please be patient. If you'd like a more intimate and prebooked safari experience, feel check out the book the Deluxe Safari Adventure which is $50/person ($45 for Zoo Members).

Can I hire a wheelchair?

Yes, we have wheelchairs to hire at all three of our zoos. You can request a booking for a wheelchair via these links:

Healesville Sanctuary >>
Melbourne Zoo >>
Werribee Open Range Zoo >>

I lost something at the zoo.

Don't panic. Just let us know what you've lost and we'll let you know if it turns up. Please fill out this webform:

Healesville Sanctuary >>
Melbourne Zoo >>
Werrribee Open Range Zoo >>

Do the zoos accept cash?

Zoos Victoria zoos do not accept cash payments. If you’re keen for some retail therapy at the Zoo Shop or to buy food and drinks, you will need to use a credit or debit card.

Zoo Members

 

Do Zoo Members need to prebook tickets?

Yes, every single person entering our zoo, including Zoo Members of all ages (including babies!) will need to pre-book a ticket before coming. This is so we can manage visitor numbers and ensure safe physical distancing for everyone. 

Can I buy or renew my Zoo Membership at the gate?

This is a bit tricky because Zoo Members must pre-book zoo tickets online or via our Customer Engagement Team before you arrive at the zoo. 

  • If your Zoo Membership is about to expire and you have a pre-booked zoo ticket for that day, you can renew your Zoo Membership at the gate before you come into the zoo. 
  • But if your membership has expired or you haven’t been able to pre-book a zoo ticket before arriving for another reason, you’ll need to call us on 1300 966 784 to renew your membership and book a free zoo ticket online.

Don’t forget, if you’re not yet a Zoo Member and have had a wonderful day outdoors with nature at the zoo and would like to upgrade to a Zoo Membership, you can do this at the gate on your way out and we’ll deduct the cost of your zoo ticket - a bit like try before you buy!

Do members still need to bring their membership cards?

Yes, Zoo Members will need to present both your Zoo Membership card and your pre-booked zoo ticket at the gate. If you’ve lost your Zoo Membership card, you can order a replacement card through your member portal but please ensure you have a photo ID on you when you visit so we can check your account.

My Zoo Member number isn't working when I try and book online

Please make sure your Zoo Membership has not expired by logging in here >> and clicking 'Manage or renew membership'.

Or if it's a gift membership, you need to make sure it has been activated >>

If you're still having trouble, please call us on 1300 966 784 and we can check your account.

Do you have family memberships?

Yes, we just structure it a little differently. Children join for free when you purchase an adult membership, so at the membership checkout page, just make sure you select as many adults and children as there are in your family - think of it as a build-your-own family membership!

Excursions

Excursions - can I bring my students to the zoo?

Excursions are now available to book. Please explore what's available for your year level here

Do students aged over 12 years and two months needs to be vaccinated to attend their school excursion in Term 4?

No, the Department of Health has advised that school students of all ages who are not fully vaccinated will be able to attend camps, excursions, graduations and other school activities at open premises, including our zoos. This only applies to students visiting with their schools as part of a school activity.

Young people visiting our zoos not organised by their school, will need to follow our vaccine requirements for general visitors found here