Taronga Zoo Sydney: 350 species of animals from around the world live in a first-class spot...
The zoo overlooks Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Taronga Zoo Sydney is the zoo
with a view.
I also like that Taronga Zoo Sydney focuses on conservation and education. They play an important role in the recovery of endangered animals. They breed rare and endangered species like red pandas, Sumatran tigers and black rhinoceros.
If you visit Taronga Zoo Sydney, plan a whole day. There are lots to see and do…
For $25 you can stand right next to a koala, feed a giraffe, or meet another animal up close.
The Koala Encounter is very popular and sells out fast. so if you want to secure a spot, arrive as early as possible. Buy a ticket from the Animal Encounter Desk at the top shop. It opens at 9 am. Note: Cuddling koalas is not allowed under NSW regulations. But you can walk inside their enclosure and get very close.
If you’d like to see kangaroos up close, you can walk inside
the kangaroos’ enclosure. It’s free. They’ll jump right around you.
Here were our family’s highlights at Taronga Zoo Sydney during our last visit…
Australian Sea-Lions, Californian Sea-Lions and New-Zealand Fur Seals do a bunch of tricks. They can hold a ball on their nose, walk on their flippers and nod their heads.
The staff explains the behaviours and physiology of seals
while the seals perform. They also talk about the plight of the seals in the wild. Seals
find it harder and harder to catch food because of over-fishing and declining
food in the ocean.
Tips: Sit away from the first couple of rows if you want to stay dry. Also, arrive several minutes before the start of the show to get a seat.
Taronga Zoo Sydney is set on a hill which faces Sydney Harbour, the city, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. So wherever you stand you get an impressive background view. It’s like looking at animals in their natural settings with a poster of Sydney in the background. And when the sky is blue it’s the ultimate poster…
It’s hard to take a bad photo of a giraffe against the city’s skyline and a blue sky…
I had seen large animals before at other zoos like giraffes, elephants and the like, but a gorilla… not so much.
That fellow peacefully stood there for ages eating its food while a bunch of people stared at it.
These African gorillas are a critically endangered species. A few things are causing their decline. One of the things is illegal mining of Coltan in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Coltan is a metallic ore used by the tech industry. They are used to make circuit boards in mobile phones and other electronic devices. So there’s a high demand for it and it pays well. To mine the Coltan, they clear forests – and the gorillas’ food. Plus illegal mining of Coltan finances the civil war and aggravates poverty. So people are forced to hunt gorillas for the meat. Electronic companies are starting to refuse Coltan from Africa.
You walk over 28 hectares of hilly ground all day long. So after a while the Sky Safari is very welcome on the legs. When you get to the bottom of the Zoo, take the Sky Safari back to the top.
If you’re lucky and there are not too many people, you may be able to do a round trip. It’s fun for the kids and the view is fabulous…
…and hoping you had a GPS. At least if you’re like me and are somehow unable to read printed maps.
The Zoo site is set with pathways throughout. It’s like a maze and you’ll need a map, so remember to pick one up at the Information Desk at the Zoo entrance. Or print this one up.
But “the maze” is fun and stimulating because you feel you’re in a completely new spot all day long.
I had never seen a Pygmy Hippo in a zoo before. I enjoyed looking at them.
Pygmy Hippos are smaller than hippopotamuses. They live in the swamps and dense forests of West Africa. People hunt for their meat and their habitat is being destroyed. Fewer than 3000 are left in the wild so they’re considered an endangered species. Taronga Zoo Sydney is involved in breeding them. Two babies were born so far. Every birth in a zoo is important because they may well disappear in the wild soon.
Are you going to Taronga Zoo Sydney with kids? The two state of the art playgrounds are impressive...
The Lemur Forest Adventure has a tunnel, slide, bridge and a climbing tower.
The Farm Playground has tunnels, slides, bridges and a water play area.
I enjoyed seeing species I never knew existed. Have you ever heard of a bongo, fishing cat or mata-mata?
The cheapest admission ticket you can buy is directly from the zoo online. If you buy your ticket online here, you save 10% - 20% of the admission fee. For example, it's a $14 saving for a family of four.
But If you’re visiting Sydney for a few days, multi-passes like the ones below are great options. They can save you time and money in the long run:
Yes that's right. If it's your birthday you pay only $1. But you need to register here first.
You’ll receive a voucher by email. Take it to the Zoo or show it to them on your phone. Also, take an original or officially certified copy of either a birth certificate, a driver's license, a state issued proof of age card or a passport.
There are so many options for places to stay in Sydney. A great area to stay in my opinion is close to Circular Quay (where the ferry to the Zoo departs at regular intervals). It's in the heart of Sydney and close to The Rocks. This link sends you to booking.com. I have preset the search so that it returns hotels near Circular Quay. Enter your dates in the search box.
You can buy a combined Taronga Zoo Sydney admission & return ferry ticket at the ticket booth at Wharf 2 in Circular Quay. The combined admission and ferry tickets give 10% discount. The ferry departs every 20 minutes or so and the trip takes 12 minutes. The ferry arrives at the bottom of the Zoo. The Zoo admission ticket allows you to travel on the sky safari (gondola) from the bottom to the top of the zoo where you’ll start your visit.