Animal Activities and Petting Zoos in Sydney & Beyond

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Big, small, furry, scaly, slimy, sweet and scary... whichever way you like your animals, the many sanctuaries, zoos, petting farms and animal activities in Sydney make getting out of the house and up close to these beautiful critters easy.

Make some furry friends and discover some fascinating new places with our pick of the top nine animal activities and petting zoos in Sydney!

Animal Activities and Petting Zoos in Sydney

1. Golden Ridge Animal Farm

Animal activities and petting zoos in Sydney
Sydney's cutest farmyard animals are waiting to meet you at Golden Ridge Farm.

Get up close and personal with the cutest farm animals and meet baby chickens, ducklings and rabbits at Golden Ridge Animal Farm

Enter their 'Open Paddock' for a hands-on and interactive farm experience where you can go in with the baby lambs and goats for some up-close interaction and even bottle-feed your little furry friends. 

Location: 686 Old Northern Rd, Dural 

Did You Know the World's First Futuristic Animal Park is in Australia?

2. The Australian Reptile Park

Animal activities and petting zoos in Sydney
It's reptiles, reptiles, and more reptiles at The Australian Reptile Park.

The Australian Reptile Park has a HUGE crocodile enclosure, roving kangaroos, a lost world of reptiles and a spider world, plus wombats, giant turtles, koalas and more.

It is a great large space perfect for kids to run around and explore. The picnic tables in the sun are very inviting, and the playground is almost as huge as the crocodile enclosure and lots of fun. It's worth the drive from Sydney for a great day out!

Location: Pacific Hwy, Somersby

3. Sydney Zoo

Sydney Zoo
Check out the lions plus 100 other exotic animals at the new Sydney Zoo.

The newest animal-filled wonderland in Sydney is the ginormous Sydney Zoo, a wonder for little eyes and animal lovers.

The kids will feel like they're embarking on a real African safari as they visit roaring lions and elephants, or they can get up close with some Asian animals like tigers - whichever animals tickle their fancy, they're sure to find them among the 100 exotic and native species and five themed precincts!

Location: 700 Great Western Highway, Bungarribee

4. The Australian Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary

Australian Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary
Australian Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary

If you've got a soft spot for bush adventures and native fauna, then the Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary on the Central Coast is your next animal activity in Sydney.

This incredible sanctuary, nestled within the serene Australian bushland, is a vibrant haven for over 180 species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and frogs—many of which are on the brink of extinction. But here, within the safety of the sanctuary's boundaries, they're not just surviving; they’re thriving.

Beyond the wildlife, the Walkabout Wildlife Sanctuary offers a deep dive into indigenous culture with its protected Aboriginal sites featuring ancient petroglyphs. It's a place to connect with Australia's rich history and learn about traditional bush tucker and medicine, all while wandering through beautiful bushwalking trails.

Location: 1 Darkinjung Rd, Calga 

5. Koala Park Sanctuary

Animal activities and petting zoos in Sydney
Koala Park Sanctuary

For an unbeatable close encounter with Australia's most iconic critters, head to Koala Park Sanctuary in Pennant Hills.

Nestled in a pram-friendly 10-acre haven, this sanctuary lets you touch, feed, and interact with over 170 animals, from cuddly mammals and curious reptiles to vibrant birds.

But it's not just about the cute factor. Dive into engaging, free talks included with your admission that showcase the sanctuary's commitment to conservation. As the pioneering site of the world's first koala hospital, Koala Park isn't just a fun outing—it's a journey into the heart of wildlife preservation.

Location: 84 Castle Hill Rd, West Pennant Hills

6. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium

SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium
Go deep under the sea and face-to-face with turtles and other sea life in Sydney.

For a big adventure, the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium in Darling Harbour is excellent, and right now, you can get up close with the Great Barrier Reef in the aquarium's new exhibit. You'll see beautiful dugongs, huge sharks, massive sawfish, mysterious stingrays, jellyfish, penguins, seahorses, thousands of tropical fish and much, much more.

Location: Darling Harbour - 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney

7. WILDLIFE Sydney Zoo

Wildlife Sydney Zoo
While at Darling Harbour, cuddle a koala at Wildlife Sydney Zoo.

If you venture into the Darling Harbour aquarium, it’s worth combining it with a trip to the neighbouring Wildlife Sydney Zoo.

There are a lot of Australian animals to see, and it is a well-designed space that is easy to navigate. The butterfly enclosure is a special place, and they offer a unique Koala Photo Experience on the beautiful open-air rooftop.

Location: Darling Harbour - 1-5 Wheat Rd, Sydney

8. Calmsley Hill City Farm

Animal activities and petting zoos in Sydney
Are the kids keen to feed and pet farm animals in Sydney? Calmsley Hill is calling!

If you love cute, furry, fluffy animals and want to pat them, make your way out to this farm!

Calmsley Hill City Farm always have new arrivals, including rabbits, chicks, lambs, geese, calves, and piglets and you can get up close and personal at this friendly farmyard.

There are also lots of big animals you can visit too, including horses, camels, cows (you can milk them!) and kangaroos. 

Location: 31 Darling St, Abbotsbury

9. Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo
Sydney's Taronga Zoo is Australia's largest zoo and home to over 4,000 animals

If your kids are captivated by all things that slither, hop, crawl, and stampede then you can’t go past Taronga Zoo.

Save $20 off all new Zoo Friends memberships this summer with ellaslist deals.

Located a short but scenic 12-minute ferry trip from the city, Taronga Zoo boasts over 4,000 creatures and plenty of zookeeper talks, tours, and special events to entertain young and old. For an additional fee, you can try your hand at the Wild Ropes (for ages 10+, pre-booking is recommended) or have an animal encounter and take home the photo as proof! 

Location: Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman

10. Symbio Wildlife Park

Symbio Wildlife Park
Symbio Wildlife Park

If you love kangaroos, you're going to love meeting the many (many!) friendly ones at Symbio Wildlife Park.

Koalas, kangaroos, wombats, possums, cheetahs, lemurs, red pandas, meerkats, monkeys, and so many more call Symbio Wildlife Park their home, and you can visit them any day you like! 

Symbio Wildlife Park is located in Helensburgh on 14 acres of beautiful farmlands, which includes adorable animal petting stations and even a huge water splash park!

Location: 7-11 Lawrence Hargrave Dr, Helensburgh

11. Central Coast Zoo

Animal activities and petting zoos in Sydney
Central Coast Zoo

I bet you didn't know there is a zoo on the Central Coast?!

While not as large as your traditional zoos, the Central Coast Zoo is still a fantastic experience for little ones who can't get enough of wild animals. 

Central Coast Zoo is located within the grounds of Amazement Farm & Fun Park, so you get a two-for-one deal when visiting Amazement (if you haven't yet, you're going to love it!). Booking an encounter through Central Coast Zoo includes admission and access to Amazement and its facilities, shows, rides and animals. Visitors to the zoo aren't allowed to wander through the grounds freely but instead are taken on a tour of the zoo as part of your tickets to Amazement Farm. You can also book private animal encounters at the zoo if you're after a more intimate experience.

Location: 170 Yarramalong Rd, Wyong Creek

More Animal Experiences in Sydney

Where to go Horse Riding in Sydney
Sydney's Best Dog Cafes
Whale Watching in Sydney & Surrounds

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