My Animal Encounter
By Nicole Nielsen, from Queensland
My mother, my two children and I had the most profound experience thanks to Australia Zoo. It's been my mother's lifelong dream to go to Africa to experience the wildlife. Then all of a sudden, life got in the way, and Mum's dream got pushed aside and new dreams realised. That's where Australia Zoo comes into it. Mum won a raffle of 2 x Adult tickets to meet the adorable baby Rhino, Savannah. My mother is now too old and ill to travel to Africa, so instead, one amazing, brave, passionate woman - Terri Irwin - and Australia Zoo brought Africa to my mother! To see my mum reach out and pat a baby Rhino at Australia Zoo, was, for me the completing of a circle. No words can describe the feelings I felt seeing my mother realising one of her lifelong dreams.
We patted a baby Rhino! I am still gobsmacked and amazed that I can say that. It brings a smile every time. I'm not even going to begin on what it meant for me to have my children experience that at such young ages. Thanks for making this experience possible, and letting me share in my mother's dream.
What a ripper! Get face-to-face with a two-tonne rhino in this rare, once in a lifetime encounter.
You may even get to give an amazing White Rhino a little scratch and pat in our behind-the-scenes paddocks right here at Australia Zoo while you chat to the keepers and learn all about this awesome endangered species.
Timing and Days
- One Rhino encounter is held daily.
- Encounters run from 2.15pm - 3:00pm including travel time.
Price and Guest Limit
- $80 per person (does not include admission). Admission can be paid on arrival at the Zoo.
- All children 14 years and under must be accompanied by a paying adult.
- Maximum of 8 people per encounter.
- Bookings can be made in advance online or by calling 07 5436 2002. You can also book on the day (subject to availability) at the Information & Tour Desk by the latest 1.45pm.
- Includes one Australia Zoo gift per person.
- Exclusive behind the scenes drive to off display areas of the Zoo.
Terms and Conditions
- There is no age restriction, however children aged 14 and under must be accompanied by a paying adult.
- All participants must follow all instructions given by the handlers.
- Participants must have reasonable motor skills.
- Each guest must be able to understand English or have a paying interpreter with them.
- Suitable footwear must be worn during the encounter.
- Please ensure that your hands are clean prior to commencement of experience.
- All interaction will be instigated by the Rhinos.
- An Australia Zoo photographer will be present during the encounter to capture the action. Photos taken will be available for purchase from the Fuji Photography lab. (Includes one Australia Zoo gift per person)
- If you do not show or are late to the experience the fee will NOT be refunded.
- Participants may be asked to cease the encounter at any time for whatever reason at the handler's discretion.
- The Zoo does not take any responsibility for any injuries that are received. First Aid will be called if needed.
- Guests must be aware they may be filmed during experiences for media purposes, please see Indemnity & Release attached.
- Upon paying admission, please go to the Information & Tour Desk no later than 12pm to check in.
Animal Encounter Enquiry Form
We need your name, email address, which Encounter you're interested in, and anything else you can tell us about your trip to Australia Zoo! If you know what day you're coming, and your preferred Encounter is available, we'll contact you to confirm the booking, or we can give you details of alternative available Encounters.