Low temperature synthesis of one-dimensional (1D) zinc oxide (ZnO) under different experimental conditions is presented. The anisotropic growth characteristics of nanostructures aided by cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide (CTAB) and hydrazine hydrate as the surfactant and reducing agent, respectively, under low temperature are investigated. The size and shape dependent structural properties of as-prepared 1D structures of ZnO are characterized using X-ray diffraction and electron microscopic techniques. Rod-like ZnO nanoparticles with significant control over the size and shape anisotropy has been observed with distinct surface morphologies. The width and length of the nanorods were significantly controlled while preserving the morphology of the nanocrystallites. Aspect ratio as high as 10 has been obtained for ZnO nanostructures assisted by CTAB and hydrazine hydrate, with excellent shape anisotropy facilitated by low temperature growth conditions. The analysis of optical-phonon peak shifts in ZnO nanorods using Raman scattering was performed to investigate the structural composition of nanorods. Adsorption and desorption isotherms are recorded to investigate specific-surface area of the ZnO nanopowders. The thermal stability and the residual chemical species of the samples are investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). The antimicrobial activity of synthesized ZnO nanstructures against Gram positive and negative bacterium is evaluated.