Auckland Zoo begins welcoming back general visitors and annual members from Friday 3 December when Auckland moves to Traffic Light RED of the Covid-19 Protection Framework.

As part of Auckland Unlimited, vaccination passes will be a requirement for all Zoo staff and volunteers and all visitors coming to the Zoo from 3 December.

Auckland Unlimited’s Covid-19 vaccination policy requires staff, volunteers, contractors, and visitors to all its venues, including Auckland Zoo, to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from 3 December 2021.

This means that all general visitors and members will need to show their My Vaccine Pass, along with their booking and general admission ticket or membership when they visit.

The Zoo welcomes this decision which will provide an added level of protection for the Zoo’s animals as well.

“We already know from a rising number of zoo cases overseas, many species are susceptible to contracting Covid-19 and, in some instances, this has resulted in the death of these animals from the virus. Although a vaccine has now been developed for animals, it is not yet available in New Zealand,” says Auckland Zoo director, Kevin Buley.

“Given this, we’re really relieved to have this additional safety measure on top of our existing extensive biosecurity protocols that our veterinary and animal care staff have in place to help ensure the health of the Zoo’s animals.” 

As before at Alert Level 3 Step 2, there will be reduced visitor capacity onsite to help people maintain the required physical distancing. Both general Zoo visitors and annual members will also need to book a timed arrival slot in advance through the Zoo’s website.

As per Government regulations, on arrival at the Zoo, visitors will also need to sign in manually or via the Ministry of Health’s NZ Covid Tracer App, and face coverings are mandatory for everyone over 12-years (except for those with medical exemptions).  

“The last few months have not been easy for anyone so the shift to RED and the fact that we are able to open up just a little bit more to Aucklanders for the start of summer gives us all a reason to feel a little lighter about life at the Zoo,” says Buley.

Click here for full details and everything you need to know to ‘Get Zoo Ready’ as a general visitor or an annual member.

Tickets and Bookings

As visitor numbers are restricted at ORANGE to maximise the ability to physically distance, everyone including annual passholders must book a timed arrival slot in advance online. Please click here if you would like to book your session.

We will not be selling tickets on site until further notice, and everyone must pre-book their tickets and session start time in advance.

Book your session in advance here.

At ORANGE of the COVID-19 Protection Framework, we still need to limit numbers of members and general zoo visitors – and stagger arrival times to avoid crowds, which make it harder to physically distance.  As a member there is of course no charge, but you are required to book ahead. Please be considerate of others and only book the session you intend to use. You can book your session here.

Time slots enable us to stagger arrivals and reduce queuing outside the Zoo. Please keep your booked time or contact us if you’re running late, so we can shift your time slot so you can still enter the Zoo. You can contact us through replying to the email you received to confirm your booking.

We are unable to accept Council staff passes until GREEN of the COVID-19 Protection Framework comes into effect.

Everyone including our sponsors, corporate members and VIP holders must book their Zoo visits in advance, as we have limited availability each day, and don’t want to have to turn you away. To use your pass at ORANGE, you will need to book a session here.

Yes, we will refund any valid tickets or vouchers that cannot be used because the holder does not have a verified My Vaccine Pass. Current members who do not have a My Vaccine Pass can either request that their membership is put on hold until My Vaccine Passes are no longer required, or a refund. The Zoo we will refund each full month remaining on a current membership (minimum one month).

We want to give a little back to some of our communities, whose wellbeing we feel will benefit from a visit to Auckland Zoo in this reopening phase. Called ‘community tickets’ these are free and must be applied for, with priority given to certain types of audiences.

Eligibility: Priority will be given to the following audiences:

Households on low income/unemployed
People with additional needs and/or disabilities
Frontline essential workers – such as healthcare workers and essential services such as supermarket, foodbank staff, and bus drivers, etc.

This means anyone can apply, but please be aware if you don’t fall into one of our priority audiences, you are less likely to be successful in your application. You can apply here from 3 December 2021

All tickets (including gift vouchers) purchased prior to this lockdown will remain valid for their standard six-month period – so you won’t miss out!

Yes, you can use your gift voucher to book a session. To use this voucher, you will need to email

Birthday parties are currently on hold. If you have booked a birthday party but would like to cancel it, you have this option, and a refund will be given. If you have booked but would like to postpone your birthday celebration event, this is also an option. Please email

Zoo animals, staff and volunteers and COVID-19

There are now a rising number of zoo cases of animals overseas contracting COVID-19, and in some instances, this has resulted in the death of these animals from the virus. While a vaccine has been developed for animals, it is not yet available in New Zealand.

The Zoo welcomes Auckland Unlimited’s (AUL) policy requiring everyone visiting its venues, including Auckland Zoo (part of AUL), to have a ‘My Vaccine Pass’ – as it does offer an added level of protection, over and above what our veterinary and animal care staff are already doing to protect the health of the Zoo’s animals.

In addition to the same high level of care, hygiene and biosecurity protocols implemented for all the Zoo’s animal species, since 2020, we’ve implemented extra precautionary biosecurity protocols to further protect primates and carnivores - the more at-risk of COVID-19 species. This involves our specialist staff caring for these species wearing PPE - face masks, and gloves – at all times they are in close proximity to these animals, when undertaking animal food preparation, and when cleaning their indoor and outdoor habitats.

 The Zoo’s specialist veterinary staff stay up to date with the latest COVID-19 research and information on COVID-19 in different species, which continues to evolve, and is actively shared between zoos globally. It’s possible vaccines may become a reality for some animals in the future, pending further risk assessment and the availability of licensed animal vaccines. Should such a vaccine become available, the Zoo would adopt it on a case-by-case basis and according to a risk assessment at the time.

The risk of animals passing COVID-19 to people is considered very low. Our Zoo animals may be at some risk of contracting COVID from people. To minimise this, a key precautionary measure remains the wearing of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at all times by those Zoo staff working in close proximity to these animals, undertaking animal food preparation and when cleaning their indoor and outdoor habitats. Our staff are also double vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of 3 December, Auckland Unlimited will implement its Vaccination Policy which means that all staff, volunteers, contractors, partners, clients, suppliers and visitors who enter our spaces must be fully vaccinated. Staff who have yet to complete the vaccinations will be unable to work onsite until they are fully vaccinated.

The Auckland Unlimited vaccination policy will be reviewed regularly in accordance with government guidelines at which time, it may be possible to once again welcome unvaccinated visitors back to the Zoo.

We have many Zoo measures and all the Government and Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 protocols in place to keep our staff and volunteers safe and minimise their risk to each other. This includes minimising staff to staff contact with physical distancing, stepping up hygiene measures within all working environments across the Zoo. In addition, we continue to have Zoo staff that are not directly involved in caring for our animals or involved in the essential running of our Zoo, working from home. In addition, as per the Auckland Unlimited vaccination policy, all staff and volunteers at the Zoo must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Arrival and Zoo visit

It is the Auckland Unlimited (AUL) policy that all staff, volunteers, visitors, contractors, and everyone visiting any of its venues, including Auckland Zoo (which is part of AUL), must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 from 3 December 2021 if they are 12 years or older. This means all general visitors and members will need to show their My Vaccine Pass on arrival.

Auckland Unlimited’s vaccination policy aligns with Auckland Council’s policy for its public venues and facilities. For more information regarding Auckland Councils policy, please click here:

This decision provides a welcome added level of protection for the Zoo’s animals. There are a rising number of zoo animal cases overseas – with many species susceptible to contracting COVID-19, and in some instances, this has resulted in the death of these animals from the virus. Although a vaccine has now been developed for animals, it is not yet available in New Zealand.  We are therefore pleased to have this additional safety measure on top of our exiting extensive biosecurity protocols – that our veterinary and animal care staff have in place to help ensure the health of the Zoo’s animals.

Everyone 12 years 3 months and older is required to have a ‘My Vaccine Pass’ to visit Auckland Zoo.  This includes all staff, volunteers, visitors, partners, contractors, and anyone else coming into the Zoo.

We will have Auckland Zoo QR codes to scan in at the entrance and around the Zoo. There will also be separate QR codes for our cafes and the Zoo shop.

Due to physical distancing challenges, we will not be running keeper talks until further notice. However, we will continue to share keeper videos on social media so you can keep up to date on our animals.

Wētāpunga, Te Puna Café, and the Watering Hole will be open via service windows. Te Puna café will also be open for people to dine in - visitors can purchase kai and drinks from the café’s servery and sit at socially distanced tables. The Old Elephant House is also open seven days Monday to Sunday (weather permitting) and will offer an a la carte menu from Wednesday through Sunday. Mask wearing is compulsory except when eating and drinking at the table. All visitors will need to scan our dedicated café COVID-19 Tracer app posters (or sign in manually) when using any of these cafés.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible at present due to the extra cleaning protocols required, which would necessitate staff using a fresh pair of gloves for each customer bringing their own cup – creating a significant amount of waste.

For everyone’s protection, the Zoo remains cashless (contactless EFTPOS only).

KidZone remains closed, along with the Little Diggers and the big slides.

The Zoo shop is open to visitors for browsing in-store (max of 30 at any one time), and also has a click and collect table for people collecting online orders, or simply wanting to purchase an item without a Zoo ticket (from the shop door closest to the zoo carpark). Everyone must scan in using the dedicated Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Tracer App (or sign in manually) and wear a mask. 

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s definitely worth a look.