Zoo Keeper for a Day


Here’s your chance to learn what it’s really like to be a Zoo Keeper! You’ll spend an exciting day with a Wellington Zoo Zoo Keeper ‘on-section,’ helping them to provide the best possible care to the animals at Wellington Zoo. Your day will include behind-the-scenes access to staff and animal areas and helping out with daily animal care tasks. You can look forward to feeding and cleaning, and of course getting a closer look at some incredible animals while learning from our professional and passionate Animal Care team members!

This in-depth experience is available for only two participants at a time, so you’ll have plenty of time to get to know the Zoo team. You can ask loads of questions about how they care for the animals at Wellington Zoo, and what being a Zoo Keeper is really like.

We have two amazing experiences to choose from. You can choose to spend a day with Herbivores, Birds & Primates or Carnivores & Minibeasts.

Every day is different at the Zoo, so no experience will be exactly the same. However, some of the fun things you may do include:


Herbivores, Birds & Primates

With the Herbivores, Birds & Primates teams, you may find yourself helping with morning checks of our Kororā Little Blue Penguins, making enrichment for the curious Kea or feeding the Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs a tasty treat!



Carnivores & Minibeasts

With the Carnivores & Minibeasts teams, you may be set to work filling in Meerkat tunnels while they scamper around you, feeding some treats to the Red Pandas or getting up close while Goliath Bird-Eating Tarantulas get some lunch (no actual birds will be harmed)! 



If you’re wanting to get a taste of working with animals, or you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, our Zoo Keeper for a Day experience will be a day you’ll never forget. 


A participant reaches into the habitat of a Tarantula

Two participants crouch down next to a Zoo Keeper with Meerkats in the front

Sam sweeps the path with Kune Kune Pigs and Sheep behind him


Experience details:

Age: 18 years and older. For kids 12 years old and under, check out our Holiday Programme!

Time: Wednesdays 8:30am – 1:30pm (5 hour duration including 30 min break)

Cost: $499 per person, or $449 per person if you book two people together on the same experience.

Includes morning tea and Zoo Entry. Zoo Crew members save 10% when booking for one participant. Booking fees apply.

Participants: Maximum of 2 participants on each of the experience options

Clothing: You must come prepared with appropriate shoes and clothing for the day, like what you’d wear for tramping or working outside. This includes sturdy enclosed shoes, long pants, a hat, and wet weather gear if appropriate. You will be provided with additional information after booking. You may get wet and dirty!

Accessibility and fitness: This is an immersive, full-day experience and requires a moderate level of fitness as there is a lot of walking involved, some uneven surfaces and activities such as cleaning or shovelling. Unfortunately, this experience is not wheelchair accessible.  

Health and safety: Participants must comply with all health and safety directions as per the terms and conditions, and any communications from Zoo staff throughout the experience. Physical contact with animals may or may not occur on this experience and inclusion of any particular animals is not guaranteed. 

Terms and conditions: Full terms and conditions for this experience are available on the booking page. Please read these, plus our FAQs below, fully and carefully before booking your experience as these will help you decide if this experience is for you. 

We require that participants for our Zoo Keeper for a Day – Herbivores, Birds & Primates are fully vaccinated, and can show proof of this through a valid Covid record.  For all NZ residents, your vaccination records can be downloaded from My Covid Record.


If you have any further questions about participating, please get in touch by phone or email. To buy a gift voucher, click here

 Andy and Emma carefully measure out food in Hero HQ

In the nutrition centre

Two Participants and two Zoo Keepers walk down a Zoo path carrying buckets

Two participants stand on the Giraffe deck and feed Sunny some lettuce




  • Do I need to book in advance?

We recommend booking well in advance. You must book at the latest by 5pm on the Monday to participate that Wednesday.

  • Is there a discount for booking two spaces?

You can access the two participant offer of $449 per person (excluding booking fees) if you book two participants onto the same experience at the same time. Please select the two participants option when you book.

  • Can I find out ahead of time what I’ll actually be doing on the day?

You will be working with Zoo Keepers as they perform their daily tasks, which often change depending on the needs of the animals in their care. You will spend half your time with one team and half with another, but we are unable to provide a full itinerary.

  • Can I request to see my favourite animal?

Unfortunately, you will not be able to request to see particular animals. However, Zoo entry is included in your booking and you are welcome to explore the rest of the Zoo after your experience.

  • Can I mix up which teams I want to work with on my experience?

Sorry, the two Keeper for a Day options cannot be altered. You will be given a discount voucher to use if you’d like to come back and do the other experience, or one of our many other Animal Experiences.

  • Will there be somewhere to store my bag or gear?

Yes, we have bag storage available. Please let the Zoo team member know when you arrive.

  • I’m still not sure if I am fit enough to participate.

Please give us a call if you have any concerns about fitness or mobility.

  • How much work will I do?

This is an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a Zoo Keeper at Wellington Zoo. The day will include a range of tasks like habitat servicing (including picking up animal poo!), diet prep and enrichment.

  • Is this good experience if I want to apply for a job in animal care?

This will give you a chance to experience an example of a day in the role of a Zoo Keeper. We have a separate work experience programme for Unitec students, which you can learn more about here. 

  • Will I be matched up with someone I don’t know?

If you book one space on Zoo Keeper for a Day, the other place may be booked by a participant you do not know. If you’d like to do the experience with a friend, please book on the same session. Please note that participants who do the Herbivores, Birds & Primates experience will spend their day separately from the participants of the Carnivores & Minibeasts experience.

  • My child would be interested in this, but they aren’t 18 yet. What are my options?

Unfortunately, this experience is only available for adults 18+. For kids 12 years old and under, check out our Holiday Programme and for kids a bit older, we recommend any of our other Animal Experiences.

  • What happens if the weather is poor on the day? Can I reschedule?

Our Zoo Keepers work with the animals every day, rain or shine! This experience will go ahead in all weathers, except in the case of extreme weather conditions as determined by Wellington Zoo. We advise that you prepare for weather and dress appropriately.

  • What if I’m sick on the day, can I reschedule?

If you have cough, cold, flu or measles symptoms you will not be able to participate. We require at least 24 hours’ notice of sickness to reschedule the experience, but please give us as much notice as you can.

  • Can I bring my camera with me?

Throughout the Experience, our Zoo Keepers will be able to take some photos of you on your mobile phone. Unfortunately, large cameras are not allowed on the experience.

  • What is provided for morning tea? Do I need to bring anything else like a water bottle?

You’ll be provided with a voucher to purchase morning tea of your choice from REX Tremendous or Banana Bar. Feel free to bring a drink bottle with you during the experience.

  • How do I get in touch if I want to discuss this experience further?

Please send us an email at wellingtonzoo@wellingtonzoo.com or give us a call if you have any further questions about this experience.


BOOK NOW for Herbivores, Birds & Primates

BOOK NOW for Carnivores & Minibeasts