Red Panda - Halls Gap Zoo
Grampians Meerkats


Halls Gap Zoo News – December 2011

NEW – Animal Adoption

Looking for the perfect gift for the animal lover in your family? Being released just in time for Christmas is the opportunity to personally adopt one of our gorgeous animals. Contact us for more details. We will also be making this available through the website as well.

It’s Our 4th Anniversary

We have just celebrated four years of ownership of Hall Gap Zoo. When we purchased the property 4 years ago there were 50 species of mainly native animals. Now there is over 150 different species to see including the world’s smallest monkey, the Pygmy Marmoset, through to the huge impressive American Bison and, of course, the ever popular meerkats.


We would like to welcome “Grampians Wedding Directory” into our family of sponsors. If you are planning a wedding then check out Beth’s website for a range of products and services that are available in the region to help you organise your big day.

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Halls Gap Zoo News – September 2011

National Threatened Species Day

National Threatened Species Day is held on 7th September each year to encourage communities to help conserve Australia’s unique native fauna and flora. It was first held in 1996 to commemorate the death of the last Tasmanian Tiger in captivity in 1936 in Hobart. The concept was developed to bring an awareness of the predicament of our threatened animals and plants. There are quite a number of Australian animals and plants now known to be extinct with many more classified as either endangered or vulnerable. Zoos around the world are involved in many endangered breeding programs.

At Halls Gap Zoo we are involved in twenty captive breeding programs such as Bilbies, Mainland Tammar Wallabies, Quolls and Bettongs which are breeding successfully; as well as in a supporting non-breeding capacity with several species including Red Panda and Pzrewalski’s Horses.

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Halls Gap Zoo News – May 2011

The Today Show

Just before Easter we hosted the Today Show with Steve here for the weather crossovers. Very early start to set up (4.30am) and then the showers caused a few changes to our planned activities but still great exposure for the zoo and the region as a whole with highlighting the National Park, the Stawell Gift and Grampians Grape Escape Wine & Food Festival. A big thank you to Grampians Tourism and Tourism Victoria for organising this.

Easter Holidays

We had excellent visitation over Easter with many taking the opportunity to experience one of the encounters available – feeding the meerkats, going in with the dingoes or holding a snake, alligator or chameleon.

Giraffe/Zebra Update

The fundraising has started thanks to the first of our sponsors, Barry Alexander (Surgeon) and Tony Crabtree (farmalinx – Partners in Agriculture).

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Yes we are open. Following the recent weather events we have been quite fortunate with only being closed for one day while waiting for water levels to drop and to make some major repairs to the pathways for them to be wheelchair and pusher friendly again.

This extreme weather has certainly thrown some challenges to many residents and businesses in this region as well as those further afield. With the Grampians National Park currently closed with damage to roads and infrastructure attention turns to what attractions and activities are there in the region for the locals and visitors to enjoy.

As well as enjoying a trip to the zoo, visitors to Halls Gap can still view the grandeur of this magnificent mountain range while enjoying the ambience, observing the local wildlife while devouring their favourite ice-cream or relaxing with a cuppa in the main street. The region can boast to having some of the best wineries in the state as well as the award-winning Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre. And how long have we all been waiting for sufficient water in our lakes to enjoy some decent fishing or water sports?

Please visit and take pleasure in all Halls Gap has to offer one day soon!

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Halls Gap Zoo News – January 2011

2010 Year in Review

It’s that time of the year when we reflect on the past twelve months. We have just celebrated three years as the owners of Halls Gap Zoo, Victoria’s largest regional privately-owned zoo.
During this last twelve months we have concentrated on the upgrading and development of enclosures and have added many new species including Meerkats, Spotted-tailed and Eastern Quoll, American Alligators, Spencer’s and Lace Monitors, Mertens Water Monitors, Barn Owl, Black-headed Flying Foxes, Przewalski’s Horses, American Bison, Diamond, Woma and Black-headed Pythons, a two metre Freshwater Crocodile, Bearded Dragons, Cunningham Skinks, Shingleback Lizards and most recently, the Red Pandas. We would like to acknowledge The Stawell Times-News for the recent story on the Pandas and the need to source bamboo and a special thank you to those who have responded to our need.
We would like to thank our major sponsors The Ararat Bakery and Rotary Club of Ararat as well as our numerous minor sponsors – Four Clowns IceCream Palour, bsk Adventures, Boroka Downs, Ararat VIC Volunteers, Haircutters Workshop, Lake Fyans Holiday Park, Tim’s Place, Grantley & Helen Thomas, PETstock Stawell, Reppers Rural Merchandise, Sheila Vernon, Pykes Pets & Cycles and Corella Rise B & B, and supporting businesses – Howdens of Stawell, Careys Covers, David O Jones Mitre 10, Grampians Furniture, Safeway and Bakers Delight.
Open hours over the school holidays are 10am – 5pm every day.

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Halls Gap Zoo News – July 2009

New Animals

All through June we have had new animals arriving. Barbary Sheep, Bush Stone-Curlews, a Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby, two Burmese Python, the first of the Bilbies, Water Buffalo, a newborn in the Blackbuck Antelope, Guinea Fowl and last week two Boa constrictors, a Perentie, and our second Tasmanian Devil.


The wonderful wet weather is still halting progress on the meerkat enclosure but construction is moving along with the Entrance Building. There has been progress on the Freshwater Crocodile area with the pond being emptied ready to fibreglass, walls being painted and the electrical work done. The work required on the American Bison enclosure is also moving along with reinforcement of existing fences. Work also continues on the extension of the pathway that will take you through the Agile Wallaby enclosure and up the hill to where the Bison are going. We plan to develop the hilltop area of the pathway with seating and shade so you can sit and enjoy the panoramic views of the Grampians and Pyrenees.


If you would like to be part of all the exciting happenings at the zoo, ask about our Membership and Sponsorship Packages.

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Halls Gap Zoo News – June 2009

New Animals

We have had lots of new animals arrive over the last month. In the Nocturnal House you will find Feathertail Gliders and Red-tailed Phascogales. Once you go through the gate you will be greeted by not only the deer now but also some Red Junglefowl. These exquisite little fowl are ancestors of the domestic fowl and have worked out how the system works here very smartly!
We have also added to the off display reptile collection some Central Netted Dragons, Crested Dragons and Spencer’s Monitors. You may have noticed over the last few months that we have been building up the number and variety of reptiles and that at this stage they are not on display. The plan is to have a great display ready for you to see once the Reptile House is fitted out, so keep an eye out for that, most likely towards the end of the year or early next year.
There have been some enclosure changes made near the Red-necked Wallabies to allow some room for another attractive example of a macropod, the Agile Wallaby. Once they have settled in you will be able to enter their enclosure to enjoy the experience of getting close to another of this country’s wonderful wildlife to touch and feed.


Work is also going ahead on the Brush-tail Rock-wallaby enclosure with the fencing nearing completion and a variety of grasses planted – thanks Allan and Lucy for your time and help with that.
With council’s approval through it’s now full steam ahead with the new entrance building, so first impressions when you drive in will be of a construction site. Due to a few things out of our control the arrival of the meerkat’s has been delayed four to six weeks but we will keep you posted on any developments.


Remember you can visit us as many times as you like during open hours for the twelve months your membership is valid.


Thank you for your continued support and remember membership is part of the package.

If you would like to be a member or a sponsor please contact us on 5356 4668.

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Halls Gap Zoo News – May 2009

Holiday Activity

Easter and school holidays have seen us very busy here with lots of visitors – local, interstate and from overseas. As usual there has been plenty to keep us all on the go.

Ararat Library “Reptiles Are Cool”

Ararat Library asked us to bring in some animals for a Theme Day. Greg took in some reptiles for an educational talk on how “cool” reptiles are. There was a great turn out thanks to a tremendous effort by Evelyn and staff.

Camels to Comedy Festival

The camels were to be in Halls Gap for rides over Easter but it turned out to be only the Saturday. We received a request from Melbourne Comedy Festival – Would it be possible to bring the camels down to Melbourne Town Hall for “The Great Debate”? So watch for that to see Boris on-screen! They had to take him up two flights of stairs to get where he was needed and he behaved beautifully.

New Animals

Two of our new animals are not actually on display as yet though you may get to hold “Oska” if he is out. Oska is an Olive Python of considerable size with some more growing to do! The other new off-display animal is a young freshwater crocodile, “Diesel” who has lots and lots of growing to do!!

However what has delighted us most this month is recognition in the “zoo world”. They have given us the honour of holding one of only two populations in Australian zoos, a breeding group of Tammar Wallaby (South Australian Mainland sub-species). This particular group has come to us from Perth Zoo as part of a captive breeding program that will increase the number of wallabies available for release to suitable sites within their known former range. They were once found on Yorke Peninsula, Eyre Peninsula, the Mid North and Adelaide Plains, and the Fleurieu Peninsula east to the Murray River.

Due to predation by foxes and clearing of preferred habitat this sub-species of the Tammar Wallaby is listed as ‘extinct in the wild’. However, a DNA analysis and further studies showed that the mainland SA Tammar sub-species survived as a feral population on Kawau Island and in scattered areas near Rotorua on the North Island, New Zealand. These populations were established in the 1800’s by Sir George Grey, the former Governor for the Colony of South Australia.

This re-discovery of a wallaby once considered extinct prompted the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments to initiate the repatriation of these wallabies.

A total of 85 adult wallabies were transported to Monarto Zoo (SA) for quarantine. Following a comprehensive site selection process, Innes National Park was chosen as the first release site and after a sustained effort in fox control the first wallabies were released in November 2005. Up until now the release program has had only limited success due to various reasons. Consequently the captive breeding program, of which we are a part, is extremely important to the survival of this species.

This month we would like to thank Howdens of Stawell as well as Jenny & Frank from Wartook for their generosity and continued support.

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Halls Gap Zoo News – April 2009

New Animals

The Bennetts wallaby, known as the Red-necked Wallaby on mainland Australia, is one of the Tasmania’s most commonly seen native animals. We have acquired a pair of Albino Bennetts Wallaby from Zoodoo Wildlife Park in Tasmania along with a pair of Eastern Quoll.

Male Eastern Quolls are about the size of a small domestic cat, females are slightly smaller. They have soft fur that is coloured fawn, brown or black. Small white spots cover the body except for the bushy tail which may have a white tip. Eastern Quolls were once found throughout southeastern mainland Australia and Tasmania but are now considered to be rare if not extinct on the mainland. Our pair is currently off display as a part of a breeding program.

Camel and Pony Rides at the Zoo

Ever wanted to ride a camel?? Or would you prefer to ride a pony? Boris and Tammy the camels, along with Joey and Ruby the ponies, have been trekking around Queen Vic Market in Melbourne and will now be available for rides at the zoo most weekends, public holidays and during school holidays.


Construction is full steam ahead. We were recently offered the chance to display a 1.5m American Alligator so construction has started on that enclosure. A recent visit of representatives from Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Zoo brings us one step closer to our meerkats arriving (hopefully in May) and their enclosure will be built in the playground area. Another outcome from this visit is the acquisition of “Dot” the Zebra. We are aiming for Dot’s arrival to be July. Our new entry building/art gallery is also on the go.


This month we would like to thank Haircutters Workshop in Stawell for sponsoring the Northern Quoll and Corella Rise Bed & Breakfast for sponsoring the Corellas.

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Halls Gap Zoo News – March 2009

Scottish Highland Cattle

As you drive in take a look to your right hand side at the Highland cattle. These two boys came from Lara and have settled in very well.

Himalayan Tahr

These are one of our latest arrivals, coming from Alma Park, Brisbane. They have taken up residence on one of the new mountains we built for them.


Black-headed Python and Diamond Carpet Python are also new but at this stage still off display.

Other New Animals on the Way

Recent weeks have seen lots of behind the scene action with other zoos with some exciting additions coming our way. Watch this space for their arrivals.


New kiosk and entry will begin this month which we are excited about as this will allow current building to be converted to the Reptile Room.

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