Our family had the pleasure of taking a little weekend getaway to San Diego! With SO much to do there, much cooler temps, and only a 6 hour drive from Phoenix, it’s a super popular destination for us “Zonies”! One of our favorite places to visit in San Diego is of course the world-famous San Diego Zoo! And, we were especially excited for this visit because the new Australian Outback exhibit just opened on May 24th!
About the Conrad Prebys Australian Outback exhibit:
The 3-acre exhibit is home to 23 species of Australian birds (including the kookaburra, bowerbird, palm cockatoos, and Gouldian finches), Parma wallabies, wombats, and Queensland koalas. The new exhibit provides outdoor perches for each of the Zoo’s 21 koalas (including three joeys, which range in age from 8 to 10 months). That’s a lot of koalas! In fact, the San Diego Zoo actually has the largest breeding colony of Queensland koalas and most successful koala breeding program outside of Australia!
This was especially fun for us as we’ve actually been to Queensland, Australia (My brother-in-law lives there!!)! In fact, we got to hold koalas there!! So, it was really fun to check out the Australian exhibit at the San Diego Zoo and reminisce about our time in Australia. Right as we entered the exhibit, the first very recognizable Australian animal we encountered was the kookaburra! Right across from that were the wombats! They’re my favorite of the Australian marsupials, so I was especially excited! But, they were sound asleep in their sleeping den and one of their self-dug tunnels! For those not familiar with wombats, they are so cute and unique! At the famous Australia Zoo in Queensland (home of the late Steve Irwin), I actually had the pleasure of going into the wombat enclosure for a super cool experience! Even though we only caught glimpses of them sleeping this time, I love the new space for them at the San Diego Zoo! If you catch them when they’re awake, they’ll be really fun to watch as there are great viewing areas!
The real highlight of the exhibit though is the new area for the koalas! If you’ve been to the San Diego Zoo before and remember the koala exhibit, this one is SO much better! First up, it’s bigger and more spacious (and much easier to navigate with a stroller)! And, I love that there are perches for all the koalas! It was fun trying to spot them in the trees (sometimes they blend in really well). Most of them were sleeping (koalas sleep a lot)! But, we did get lucky when some of the keepers came out to weigh some of them. Once the keepers were done, the koalas were really active! We watched them eat and even watched a young one get a “piggy back ride” through the trees! So fun!
Aren’t they seriously so cute?!! Needless to say, these two were a popular site during our time there! The boys loved that, but of course, their favorite thing was the koala play structure! I love that the Zoo added this!! It’s essentially a mimic of one of the koala perches (complete with koala statues) that the kids can play on! It’s a popular spot with the kids for sure! After our visit to the new Australian Outback exhibit, we enjoyed some time at the rest of the zoo. There are SO many great things to see! Due to some sleepy/fussy kiddos (& a busy Saturday), we decided to forgo waiting in line for the Giant Pandas. But, if you’ve never been before, they are an absolute must-see! Here are some pictures from prior visits: River Hippos may very well be my favorite animal (strange, I know). So, that is always a must-see spot for us as well! Plus, you can get some adorable photos on the hippo statue! We saw a lot of other awesome animals as well! Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:As always, we had a great time at the San Diego Zoo! It’s an absolute must-see Southern California destination! And, the Australian Outback is a great addition! Have YOU been to the San Diego Zoo? What’s your favorite thing there?
Disclosure: My family received free admission courtesy of the San Diego Zoo (thank you!!!) for the purposes of review. All of our opinions, experiences, photos, love of the zoo and animals are all our own!!