Adelaide Zoo was opened to the public on 23rd May 1883. It is the second oldest zoo in Australia (after Melbourne Zoo, 1862) and was established at a time of great resurgence and interest in natural history.

All Australian zoos reflected this trend and were modelled on the major European zoos of that time, particularly, Regents Park Zoo in London.

Interesting facts – Location and Heritage Adelaide Zoo:

Animal Enclosures

Although Adelaide Zoo leads the way in exhibit design, some of its original animal enclosures have been retained to reflect past eras. The two most prominent examples are:

Modern Construction

Visitors to the zoo will notice that newer buildings and exhibits, such as the Zoo Shop, Reptile House, Seal Bay Exhibit, McDonalds South East Asian Rainforest and Jewels of Asia Exhibit have been designed and constructed in natural materials and colours in order to blend in with the surrounding environment. Pathways are also being progressively brick-paved and landscaped with nature strips.


One of the outstanding features of Adelaide Zoo is its magnificent landscaping, the result of more than 100 years of care and attention. There are many significant exotic and Australian trees in the gardens, including a superb Moreton Bay Fig close to the Administration Building. This tree dates from the 1870’s, which was before the establishment of the zoo.

The many beautiful, labelled, exotic trees make Autumn in the zoo a special experience for visitors.

Adelaide Zoo’s unique combination of heritage buildings, lush garden setting and sensitive landscaping ensures that a delightful environment for both animals and visitors is preserved for the enjoyment of future generations.