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Movement at Taronga Zoo slow to pick-up since June 1 opening

Source: Roy Morgan collaboration with UberMedia who provide anonymous aggregated insights using mobile location data.

A special analysis of movement data at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo shows visitation picking up since the re-opening of the Sydney landmark on the first of June, but still well below the levels seen during the early part of the year, particularly in February and early March.

Taronga Zoo closed its doors to visitors on March 25 as COVID-19 restrictions were introduced across New South Wales and remained closed throughout April and May. Movement at the Zoo had already dropped significantly in the week before the closure as Australians began practicing social distancing.

Roy Morgan has partnered with leading technological innovator UberMedia to aggregate data from tens of thousands of mobile devices to assess the movements of Australians as we emerge from the restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The interactive dashboard below tracks the movement data from a number of key locations around Melbourne and Sydney during 2020.

The number of devices – a good proxy for visitors – at Taronga Zoo was negligible during the period of closure to visitors but has picked up slowly during the three weeks of June so far.

The most recent data covering the week to Sunday June 21, shows that movement at the Zoo remains more than 50% on average compared to levels earlier this year. Taronga is a popular attraction for domestic and international tourists and the slow take-up of movement at the Zoo in recent weeks indicates that visitation to the Zoo is unlikely to return to normal levels as long as interstate and international borders remained closed to visitors – although it is worth highlighting that there is no restriction on other Australians (apart from Melburnians) visiting Sydney.

Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, says Australians are getting out and about far more but the restrictions on tourists – both domestic and international – hinder the recovery of popular local attractions such as Taronga Zoo:

“Roy Morgan’s partnership with UberMedia provides aggregated data not just on numbers but also on the types of people frequenting Australia’s cities and places of interest including shopping centres, retail outlets, and popular tourist attractions like Taronga Zoo.

“The latest aggregated movement data shows only small increases in movement data at the Zoo during the last three weeks following it’s re-opening in early June. This slower uptake than we’ve seen at other locations is due to the Zoo’s reliance on domestic and international tourism. 

“The re-opening of borders within Australia seems to be imminent for most States & Territories however the recent spike in new cases of COVID-19 in Melbourne means travel to and from Victoria is set to remain restricted over the next month. For destinations such as Taronga, attracting domestic tourists will be vital once interstate travel is freely permitted throughout the nation.”

Leading Lifestyles & Metrotechs are returning to Taronga Zoo faster than others

The Taronga Zoo is situated in prime position on the north shore of Sydney Harbour. Over two-thirds of its usual visitors are drawn from the big spending 100 Leading Lifestyles and 200 Metrotechs Helix Communities.

However, this proportion has measurably increased since Taronga Zoo re-opened in early June: nearly 80% of the most recent movement data was drawn from these two communities. Leading Lifestyles now comprise full 50% of the movement data at the Zoo, up from 46% during summer while Metrotechs is up to 29% - an increase of 3% points on earlier in the year.

100 Leading Lifestyles: Focused on success, career and family, people in this Community are proud of their prosperity and achievements. They are big spenders and enjoy cultured living to the max.

200 Metrotechs: Socially aware, successful, career-focused and culturally diverse, Metrotechs are also trend- and tech-focused. They are committed experience seekers, willing to spend big on the best of city life, and thrive on being out and about in the world.

Roy Morgan’s Helix Personas ( uses deep psychographic insights, far beyond simple demographics, to segment consumers into targetable groups. The tool incorporates values, beliefs and attitudes which are the best predictors of consumer behaviour, so you can reach your customers most effectively with messages that resonate.

Daily Analysis of Movement Data in 2020 for Sydney’s Taronga Zoo

Source: Roy Morgan collaboration with UberMedia who provide anonymous aggregated insights using mobile location data.


Michele Levine – direct: 03 9224 5215 | mobile: 0411 129 093 |

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is Australia’s largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state, as well as in the U.S. and U.K. A full-service research organisation, Roy Morgan has over 75 years’ experience collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

About UberMedia

UberMedia provides the highest quality mobile data solutions to creatively solve businesses persistent challenges. The company’s products process billions of social, demographic, and location signals daily across retail, automotive, and entertainment to better understand modern consumers with the most accurate business decision science.
Roy Morgan Helix Personas

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