Head to the Adelaide Zoo, a pleasant 15-minute stroll from downtown Adelaide. The zoo features roomy and well-kept roaming areas for its 1,800 endangered and rare critters from India, Africa, South America, Southeast Asia and Australia. As you enter, note one of the zoo's important architectural features: the cast-iron entry gates that date to the 1883 opening. The spacious grounds are also a botanic garden blooming with native and exotic flora.
You might start with a visit to see the stars of the zoo: Wang Wang and Funi, the only giant pandas living in the southern hemisphere. The adorable black-and-white heavyweights came to Australia after an earthquake in the Sichuan province of China destroyed their home at the Wolong Giant Panda Research Centre.
Next walk through the impressive South East Asia wing to see the siamang (a gibbon), sun bear, Sumatran orangutan, and Sumatran tiger exhibits. Check out Australian natives including several species of kangaroo, wallaby and wombat. Then marvel at the lions, cheetahs, baboons, and meerkats, among other beauties in the African region.
Ask at the entrance about the day’s schedule times for animal feedings and zookeeper talks. During the keeper talks, the audience can ask questions and hear fascinating facts about the animals they care for such as tigers, orangutans, pelicans, penguins, hippos and macaws.
Feel the soft fur of a kangaroo or feed a deer at the Children’s Zoo, where kids can interact with more than 120 animals. To learn more about environmental conservation, head under the green roof of the Envirodome for displays on innovative ideas. The building features hay-bale walls, water-conserving toilets, and solar panels.
When you want to rest and have a bite to eat, head to one of the cafes, food stalls or picnic areas located throughout the zoo.