We Spot The Gruffalo At WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

  • Mums & Bubs

The boys and I took a stroll through the deep, dark WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo…

Today we visited one of our usual favourite spots, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, this time with a twist. The new Gruffalo interactive trail was open. Essentially,  you follow the Gruffalo’s footprints on your visit to the animals and use a pretty cool app on your journey to bring the Gruffalo and other characters from the book - fox, snake, owl and mouse - to life. 

The Book Brought To Life

My friend and I prepped our boys the night before by rereading The Gruffalo, a firm family favourite. When we arrived at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, the kids each got an activity book they could fill in as they found different clues along the trail. There was always a bit of excitement when one of the characters was found, sometimes in an exhibit behind an animal. Along the way there were also a few hands-on activities such as a wheel the kids could turn and see parts of the Gruffalo’s face. These could all be recorded on the activity book. 

My four year old however was most excited using the app on all the “footprints” (AR markers) along the way. By hovering your in-app camera over the footprints, different Gruffalo characters appeared and moved on the screen. The littler kids were mostly interested in the wheels (and of course all the animals to see at the zoo!). 

As a parent and one who goes regularly to the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo with the kids, I thought the Gruffalo trail was a nice touch as it provided something a bit different and definitely for preschoolers/school age kids it is a bit of an educational bonus. There were prompts to look for sounds and colours as well as space to draw things in the booklet. Overall, all ages are catered for.

Trail Blazers

Before you go, I would advise parents to download the app “The Gruffalo Spotter AUS.” On the day, my phone was having a software glitch but thankfully my friend downloaded it and had it at the ready for the trail.  My four year old couldn’t wait to see what popped up on the screen at each footprint along the way. 

We were also lucky to visit at a fairly quiet time. On a busy day I’d imagine there would be a bit of a demand for the app areas and it takes a bit of time to calibrate the screen so the animal appears. It’s worth the wait, though. We got through the trail easily in an hour and a half with four kids under 4 and had a spot of lunch on the lovely sunny verandah with the koalas.

If we had a bit more time on another day, I would have popped into the aquarium too and made a day of it. As both venues are so close, it is definitely worth getting a cluster ticket or family pass and visiting both as both offer such a variety of things to see and interactive activities for the kids. 

Tips to make the most of your journey! 

  • Download 'The Gruffalo Spotters App' before you visit 
  • Bring a pen so your kids can fill out the activity booklet
  • Stand on the signs to scan the AR marker- it takes a few seconds for the photo opportunity to come up, so make sure you give it a bit of time! 
  • Tickets include the Gruffalo experience, activity book and entry price to WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Adults from $35. Children from $24.60.

Find out more about The Gruffalo Spotter’s trail here.