Australian Outback at the San Diego Zoo {Travel Tuesday}

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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! Australian Outback at the San Diego Zoo

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!
San Diego Zoo Koalas

Our experience:

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! Kookaburras at the San Diego ZooRight 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! San Diego Zoo WombatsFor 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! Australia Zoo WombatsEven 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). Young koala at the San Diego ZooMost 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!

Koala carrying babyAren’t they seriously so cute?!! Needless to say, these two were a popular site during our time there! Koalas at the San Diego Zoo 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! Koala play structureAfter 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: PandasRiver 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! 😉 River Hippo exhibit at San Diego ZooWe saw a lot of other awesome animals as well! Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:San Diego Zoo AnimalsAs 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! San Diego ZooHave 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!!

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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8 Responses

  1. Stunning images! We used to live in San Diego and had zoo passes, we would visit at least twice a month. Our favorite exhibits were the hippos and monkey trails… so much fun! Haven’t been in a little over a year and we still miss going so often.

    1. Thanks, Maribel! We were just talking about how amazing it would be to live there and be able to go to the zoo (& beach) often! So, I bet you miss it!!! Hopefully you’ll be able to get back for a visit soon! 🙂

  2. We LOVE Zoos. Henry Doorly is a fave. Now I HAVE to make it to San Diego for sure! A visit to Australia tops our bucket list. (Am so envious of anyone having been there.) 😉 Love the hats on the boys. They look like little Steve Irwins.

    1. Ha! Sorry to give you some Australia envy then! 😉 If you end up making the trip, I can answer a ton of questions! 😉 It’s amazing! And, yes, if you love zoos, San Diego is a definite must! It’s my absolute favorite, with Henry Doorly coming in at #2!
      Thanks for the comment about the boys too. They got matching hats at the zoo, which make them look even more Steve-ish!

  3. Hi from Downunder! We are so glad that the San Diego Zoo has an exhibit of our wonderful animals. I love the San Diego Zoo and can’t wait to come back to the US with my family. I follow your blog every day and it was great to see your photos with our animals. Now I feel that little bit more connected to you.

    1. Aw, fun, Donna! Thanks so much for leaving a comment! Love to hear from readers–especially ones that read all the time!! How fun that you’re “Downunder”!! We LOVED our time there. Can’t wait until we can afford to come back!! Glad you enjoyed the post with your native animals! Thanks for reading!!

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