Sleeping over in an Australian zoo might sound like the beginning of a horror movie, ending with the innocent visitor being chased around by rogue snakes, but don’t let your imagination run wild. Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is offering a Wildlife Retreat, and in all likelihood, you’ll make it out in one piece. Starting in November, the retreat will allow visitors to have a sleepover at the zoo in one of five sustainable eco-pods while also learning about Australia’s conservation projects.

Once the zoo closes for the day, you will be taken on an exclusive guided tour for a behind-the-scenes view of koalas, platypuses, and sun bears, without the hassle of the crowds. You will then be able to enjoy a meal at the Me-gal restaurant, which serves dishes prepared with local ingredients. On the second day of the retreat, guests can partake in a variety of animal and cultural experiences emphasizing the country’s conservation efforts.

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One of the retreat’s main goals, according to the website, is to “encourage people to spend time at the zoo learning about the unique connections between Indigenous Australians and the environment. The experience will include tours and talks that encourage engaging interactions with our native animals that will increase awareness about the threats these species face.”

Since the zoo is a nonprofit organization, all revenue generated by the retreat will contribute to the costs of conservation and breeding programs across Australia and overseas. For more information about the retreat, or to learn about pricing, email

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