27 December 2021

Zoo promises a wild night out with new packaged tours

| Ian Bushnell
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National Zoo and Aquarium Hummer to be used in night tours.

The National Zoo and Aquarium Hummer will be one of the vehicles to be used in the new night tours. Photo: National Zoo and Aquarium.

The National Zoo and Aquarium is staying open after hours this summer for its first packaged night tours, offering guided drives around the zoo, with gourmet dinners and drinks.

Backed by the ACT Government via the COVID-Safe Tourism Co-Investment Program, the Wild Night Zooventure program is due to begin in early in January and adds another innovative strand to the zoo’s offering which already includes its award-winning Jamala Wildlife Lodge.

Available to about 50 patrons on the night, the Zooventure offers guided tours in specialised electric purpose-bought vehicles, including a 14-seater bus, buggies of varying sizes, a Can Am Maverick rally vehicle, a H1 Hummer and it’s mini look-alike, the six-seater wingman.

Guests can choose their own vehicle when booking.

The zoo is bringing in a chef to prepare gourmet dinners including a children’s menu, and guests will be able to make two African Sundowner stops, with the opportunity to enjoy canapes and a drink in front of the animals.

The cheetah will be one the animals Zooventure guests will be able to see. Photo: Jamala Wildlife Lodge.

At the completion of the animal tour, children will be able to undertake a hayride to the zoo’s renowned playground, which features more than 50 activities and in excess of 50 replica animals, most full size and many that children can play on.

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The zoo says that with Jamala guests enjoying their dinner at uShaka Lodge at the time, the Wild Night ZooVenture participants will virtually have the zoo to themselves.

Not all animals will be out and about in the evening but the zoo is promising other activities to make the night a real adventure.

Animals that guests can expect to see include some zoo favourites such as the meerkats, giraffe and cheetah, as well as the rhino, dingo, deer and elk, zebra, ostrich, koala, tree kangaroo, Tasmanian devils, kangaroos and wallabies.

The zoo says the Zooventure is one of very few genuine zoo night tours in Australia.

After a disrupted year due to the pandemic, the zoo like other tourism attractions in the ACT, is looking for ways to broaden its appeal and diversify its offering to the public.

To learn more including ticket prices, visit the zoo website.

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