Meerkat Encounter Frequently Asked Questions


What age do my children need to be to take part in a Meerkat Encounter?

Meerkat Encounters are only suitable for children aged 8 years and over.

Children aged between 8 and under 16 years old must be accompanied into the encounter by a paying adult. An adult is defined as being 18 years old or older.


Can I bring my three children to take part in a Meerkat Encounter with me?

Yes, just one paying adult can accompany all three children, so long as the children are aged 8 years old or over.


Why are there age restrictions on Encounters?

All of Rockhampton Zoo’s Encounters have a minimum age for children. This is for 2 reasons:

  • Some animals will react differently to smaller children, so we have a minimum age. This is for the safety of the children and the animal.
  • Animals can become distracted or scared by loud or aggressive behaviour. This is not only uncomfortable for the animal, but can spoil the encounter for other guests.

Please understand that if the keeper feels that children (or adults) are not meeting general age or behavioural requirements, they may ask them and a parent to leave the Encounter. No refunds will be given in these circumstances.

Our aim is to ensure that all participants enjoy their encounter with our animals and that our animals also enjoy the experience.


Can I buy a photo pack of my Meerkat Encounter?

We don't offer printed packages of photos.

A second zoo keeper will be in the encounter with you who will take photos on your phone or camera for you as part of the experience. If you would like photos of your encounter, please ensure that you have your phone or camera charged and ready for them to use.


What shoes should I wear for a Meerkat Encounter?

You must wear fully enclosed shoes in the Meerkat Encounter. Sandals, thongs or high heels are not permitted. Guests wearing incorrect footwear will not be entitled to a refund.


Can I reserve a Meerkat Encounter ticket or purchase a gift voucher?

Full payment is required at the time of the booking. Once a booking is confirmed it can only by re-scheduled by phoning Rockhampton Regional Council Customer Service and speaking with a staff member.

Alternatively, some people create their own ‘gift voucher’ for the cost of the encounter, and ask their recipient to simply book the encounter themselves once they are ready.


What happens if it rains on the day of my Meerkat Encounter?

A Meerkat Encounter may be re-scheduled due to extreme weather conditions or rain. The Rockhampton Zoo team will ring you prior to the encounter if the decision has been made to cancel it. You will be given the choice to reschedule your encounter or receive a full refund.

Alternatively, to enquire about re-scheduling your encounter, please call Rockhampton Regional Council’s Customer Service department to speak with our staff.


Can I touch the meerkats during the encounter?

Our meerkats, like all wild animals, do not like to be touched by strangers. Please do not put your hand on the meerkats or pet them.

However, you will still have an amazing encounter, and a much higher chance of our meerkats climbing on your lap, climbing up onto your shoulders, and eating from your hands.

Please follow the instructions of the zoo keepers at all times.


Can I take part in a Meerkat Encounter if I am in a wheelchair or have mobility difficulties?

Unfortunately, standard Meerkat Encounters are not wheelchair accessible or suitable for guests with mobility difficulties. This is due to the requirement to walk across sand and sit down close to the ground (on a low log).

If you would like to book a Meerkat Encounter and require the use of a wheelchair or walking aids, or are unable to sit down low to the ground and stand back up, please call Rockhampton Regional Council Customer Service on (07) 4932 9000 or email Rockhampton Zoo on to book your encounter.

Booking directly via phone or email enables us to plan and set up a wheelchair-accessible encounter for you, prior to your arrival, ensuring that you get the most out of your Meerkat Encounter.


Can I change my Meerkat Encounter booking if I am no longer able to attend?

If you need to change your booking date, you can do so up to 24 hours in advance of the Meerkat Encounter.

Please call Rockhampton Regional Council Customer Service on (07) 4932 9000 or email Rockhampton Zoo on

If there is not another suitable date available, we can issue you with a refund for your tickets (excluding $2 booking fee).

We are unable to provide a refund or change your booking date within 24 hours of your Meerkat Encounter.


I am pregnant. Am I able to attend a Meerkat Encounter?

There is a slight risk that toxoplasmosis may be carried by zoo animals or be present in animal enclosures, due to the possibility of feral cats entering enclosures at night.

Toxoplasmosis can be dangerous to a human foetus, including causing birth defects or miscarriage.

Pregnant women are able to take part in animal encounters, but must acknowledge the potential risk of toxoplasmosis and other zoonotic diseases.


Can a group of five do a Meerkat Encounter?

The maximum capacity for a Meerkat Encounter is four participants, including adults and children. We cannot host an encounter for more than four guests due to our permit.


Where do I meet the Zoo Keepers for my Meerkat Encounter?

You will meet the zoo keepers at the 'Meet here for Meerkat Encounters' sign on the meerkat enclosure. This is on the keeper access gate at the top of the meerkat enclosure, between chimp enclosure and otter enclosure.

Participants must be at meeting point at least 5 minutes prior to their encounter time. The keepers will meet you there shortly after.

Meerkat-Encounter-meeting-point-close-up.jpg    Meerkat-Encounter-meeting-point.jpg


I arrived at the Meerkat Encounter location but no keepers were there. What should I do?

Sometimes our keepers are held up due to unforeseen circumstances involving animal husbandry or assisting other team members. Please do not panic – we haven’t forgotten about you! Please wait at the ‘Meet here for Meerkat Encounters’ sign at the Meerkat enclosure, and our zoo keepers will be with you as soon as possible.

If your encounter has to be cancelled due to bad weather or unavoidable circumstances, we will call the telephone number you gave upon booking to let you know of this as soon as possible. We can either provide a full refund or book an alternative date for your encounter, depending on what you would prefer.