Darling Downs Zoo – Review

Darling Downs Zoo web page


This rural zoo is loosely divided into four separate sections housing animals from Australia, Asia, Africa and South America. Enter the zoo through the gift shop and follow the  one path to your left or right. Basically the zoo consists of one circular walking path that takes you past all of the animal enclosures and then back to the beginning. Picnic tables and bathroom facilities are provided next to the entry.  


Stu’s Favourite Bit

Darling Downs Zoo gives guests an opportunity to feed a good selection of animals including zebras, ostriches, deer and kangaroos.  Buckets of food are available upon entry at different price points. I recommend the largest bucket (that costs $5.00) so that you don’t run out and miss the interaction with some of the animals. 



Go HERE to see a selection of animals found at Darling Downs Zoo at Stu @ the zoo TV 

Stu’s review and tips   

Upon arrival this zoo resembles a run down farm.There are no manicured gardens, grand entry statements, restaurants,  amenities or attractions that you would expect from a larger zoo. Upon arrival the only thing that will be there to greet you is an unremarkable sign (and lots of flies!).  


While the Darling Downs Zoo is not pretty, it does have some things in common with  the larger zoos, and perhaps the only things that really matter. Darling Downs Zoo has a good selection of animals all housed in reasonably good size enclosures. 

Tigers, lions, ostriches, zebras and a good variety of primates are not what you would expect in a privately run small country zoo in Australia, and yet that is just the beginning of what you can expect to see when visiting the Darling Downs Zoo.     

Most of the animals at this zoo have been rescued from other zoos or from private collections. The Brazilian tapir at the zoo, is a good example and is one of only six that can be seen in Australia. 

The zoo does not receive any government funding and  survives only on money from donations and admission ticket sales. All of the money goes straight back into looking after the animals.  


Clearly the zoo is in need of work. Paths are run down, some display windows were cracked and only repaired with tape. The bathroom facilities were basic. But in my opinion the animals at Darling Downs Zoo are in excellent condition and the enclosures are a reasonable size and in good shape. 

So if you are looking for a manicured botanical garden style zoo with all the bells and whistles to visit, Darling Downs Zoo is probably not for you. But if you are looking for a small zoo to see an impressive selection of animals in a rural setting, then the Darling Downs Zoo is worth a visit. Just don’t forget to bring a packed lunch and fly repellant.  



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