Whether it’s a bounding kangaroo, a feisty Tasmanian devil, or a stuffed-animal-cute koala bear, the fascinating animals of Australia are an entertaining assortment. This expansive Conrad Prebys Australian Outback exhibit at the San Diego Zoo aims to let you see and learn about these intriguing creatures—some of them extremely rare—in attractive enclosures that mimic their natural habitats Down Under, and provide clever viewing areas.
For example, wide decks wrapping around Queenslander House (a replica of an 1800s house from Queensland, Australia) overlook the koala colony, putting you at eye level with the bear-like creatures. Here you can watch the fuzzy marsupials groom, nap (which they do a lot), lord over their designated areas (male koalas are territorial), and eat from their high perches in the enclosure’s trees. See if you can spy little koalas, called joeys, clinging to their mother’s backs.
Inside Queenslander House, find out more about these animals with a peek inside the koala-food prep-kitchen, where the keepers prepare the tree-dwellers’ meals of the tender shoots, leaves, and twigs of the eucalyptus tree. Walk to nearby enclosures to hear cockatoos squawk, kookaburras (a bird known as the bushman’s alarm clock) trill, chortle, and hoot, and see wallabies hop.
If you’d like a more in-depth experience, book the one-hour Discovery Cart Tour to learn more about koalas, kangaroos, and other animals from knowledgeable guides, who will answer your questions and relate how the zoo’s conservation efforts are having an impact worldwide. These tours go to area of the zoo not visited by the bus tours, and groups are small, so the guides can answer more of your questions.