Situated among the bush, tropical gardens of the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens is the Rockhampton Zoo, home to over 50 species of Australian native and exotic animals.
Visit the Australian walkabout zone and experience the friendly mob of grey kangaroos and next door, the agile wallabies. Many of the animals in this area are native to the Central Queensland area including the koalas. Koalas only eat eucalypt leaves and so are dependant on the survival of these forests. Next to these are the common wombats, Frank and Daffie and although nocturnal in behaviour, can be observed nesting in their purpose built, air conditioned houses.
The Queensland Reptile Area
The Queensland reptile area is currently under development but the Zoo is home to a display of Perentie, Australia's largest lizards, Lace Monitors and a Jungle and Coastal Python, both snake species are popular with local farmers, as they help keep small vermin out of their grain and feed supplies. In the near future, there will be displays of many Australian pythons along with native lizards such as water dragons, blue tongued lizards, stump tailed skinks and bearded dragons.
In the meantime, do watch out for a variety of wild reptiles that make Rockhampton Zoo their home including water dragons that frequent the agile wallaby enclosure and free flight aviary.
The Australian Walkabout Zone
The Australian walkabout zone is also home to the seldom seen and unusual cassowaries. These brilliantly coloured flightless birds frequent the tropical forests of northern Queensland but their numbers are declining due the habitat destruction and road kill.
Rockhampton Zoo displays a wide variety of native birds including Major Mitchell, red-tailed black cockatoos and a comprehensive range of beautiful finches and small parakeets from Northern Australia. The expansive dome walk-through aviary is home to an even greater number of forest birds including native parrots, doves, pigeons and water fowl which can all be viewed among mature native trees and vegetation.
Also watch out for all the native species of birds that live among the vegetation of Rockhampton Zoo, including the colourful rainbow lorikeets that come down to feed near the koalas at 3.10pm each afternoon.
Also in the Australian zone are the freshwater crocodiles in their large landscaped enclosure and drop by and see Jill, Kinsey and Cooper, the dingoes who very much have the nature of friendly domestic dogs.
Our Furry Friends
Also at home on the Rockhampton Zoo is a number of monkeys and apes.
Ockie and Cassie, the chimpanzees, are icons of the Rockhampton Region after they were re-homed when the zoo they were born in closed in 1986. Generations of Rockhampton residents have grown up knowing them and they have many regular visitors. So fond of the chimps are the locals that a new Chimpanzee Rainforest Habitat has been built among the tropical forest giving them five times the area they once had.
As chimpanzees are an endangered species, Ockie and Cassie are part of the Australasian Species Management Program. In the future, the zoo intends to introduce female chimpanzees into the chimpanzee rainforest and allow their numbers to build into a natural functioning group.
The Zoo is also home to four Lion Tailed Macaques which are found in the forests of India. In the wild these beautiful creatures are critically endangered with less than 3000 left.
The best time to visit the zoo is at 3pm when a chimpanzee talk and feeding takes place followed by the feeding of the wild lorikeets and the chance to get up close and personal with one of the koalas.
Wombat Research Centre
Not open to the public is the Hairy nosed wombat research centre. Here, the southern hairy nosed wombat is studied in order to assist recovery efforts for the endangered northern hairy nosed wombat of which just over 100 survive in the world in Central Queensland near Rockhampton.
Behind the Research Centre is the expansive Murray Lagoon, a good example of a Central Queensland wetlands area, which is home to a wide variety of wild water birds including spoonbills and occasionally pelicans.
Friends of the Botanic Gardens and Zoo
The Friends of the Botanic Gardens and Zoo enjoy a wide range of unique educational and social events. Members have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities such as workshops and assisting with gardens and zoo tours.
The Friends of the Botanic Gardens and Zoo meet at the Botanic Gardens Information Centre every Tuesday and Thursday at 9.00am. Those interested in becoming a Friend of the Botanic Gardens and Zoo are invited to come along to one of these meetings to enquire about joining.
Botanic Gardens Kiosk
Open daily with refreshments, and café style menu
The Rockhampton Zoo is surrounded by 5acres of lush manicured gardens for to wonder in for hours free of charge.
Did you know?
Rockhampton Zoo is a member of the Australasian Regional Association of Zoos and Aquariums which is committed to conservation and education.
Rockhampton Zoo is currently in a transitional stage with the planned construction of new and exciting animal habitats. Fill in our online survey
Rockhampton Zoo is working towards becoming an environmental awareness and education centre and to participate in an even greater number of conservation and breeding programs.
Zoos assist wildlife not only by captive breeding programs but also helping out those in the wild.
We want to make Rockhampton Zoo a major conservation centre for Central Queensland.