I love Zoos and I loved Taronga Zoo in Sydney. In my mind zoos are all about conservation and education giving many people the opportunity to view the wildlife we may never get to see in their own habitats. Taronga is an Aboriginal word meaning beautiful view.
Getting to the zoo became part of the day out. I caught a ferry from Circular Quay which took just 12 minutes to reach the zoo after a pleasant trip across the harbour. Passengers disembarking at the ferry wharf can enter the zoo via a gondola lift which was opened in the mid-1980s. The gondola lift allows visitors to view the zoo from above and enjoy wonderful views of Sydney Harbour as you pass over the animals below. A bus service also connects with the ferries and transports people to the main entrance. I decided not to take the Gondola and opted for the bus which got us to the main entrance within minutes.
The Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals from over 350 species many of which are threatened. Working in partnerships with other zoos and organisations the Zoo is actively participating in breeding programs for Australian native animals such as the Brush-Tailed Rock Wallaby of which there are only estimated to be 15-30,000 left in the wild.
The Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales opened the first public zoo in New South Wales in 1884 at Billy Goat Swamp in Moore Park. Inspired by a 1908 visit to the Hamburg Zoo, the secretary of the zoo, Albert Sherbourne Le Souef, envisioned a new zoo based on the bar-less concept. After realising that the Moore Park site was too small, the NSW Government granted 43 acres (17 ha) of land north of Sydney Harbour. A further 9 acres (3.6 ha) were later granted and it was officially opened on 7 October 1916. Divided into eight zoogeographic regions, the 28-hectare (69-acre) It has a zoo shop, a cafe, and information centre.
I headed straight for the Australian Walkabout and Australian Rainforest Aviary enclosures first as I wanted to see the Australian animals and birds close – up. I was able to enter the enclosure with the animals keeping to the paths as I walked alongside Kangaroos, Emus and Wallabies who appeared unconcerned by my presence. The Koala encounter enabled visitors to get up close to these intriguing little marsupials. I am not in support of touching or cuddling the animals but was very happy to get some close-up photographs of these iconic marsupials.
If you want something a little more energetic than strolling around the zoo peering at the animals you can also take on Taronga`s sky high adventure called Wild Ropes. Climb, walk and stretch across a small part of the zoo as you traverse obstacles including bridges.There were a number of adults and children clambering across the ropes as I passed cautiously below them.
The Seal Walk was fun passing close to several penguins and seals and the Seal show entertaining. I also watched a free flight Bird Show but it was the views of Sydney harbour from this point which was the real highlight looking out across the harbour to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Roar and Snore
A word of advise if you are visiting the zoo on a hot day make sure you bring plenty of water, sun block and a large hat to cover your head. There is not always a lot of shelter from the sun at some of the shows so be prepared. If you are bringing children make sure they are covered up.
Sydney Harbour from the Zoo
The highlight of the day for me was seeing a Sun Bear. Taronga Zoo is home to two beautiful Sun Bears. I sat for a long time watching one of the bears climbing, digging and ripping logs apart looking for the food that the keepers have hidden for the bears to find.
There are several places to eat including the Food Market and The View Restaurant but I decided to take sandwiches and picnic in one of the many picnic areas taking in the stunning views. If you are on a budget you may want to bring your own food and drink with you because it could work out as an expensive day out if you eat and drink at the zoo. I thought $6 (£3.71) for a small bottle of water was rather a lot when i could pick up a litre of water at a supermarket for 70c.
I had a wonderful day at Taronga Zoo looking at the many animals and birds. I also learnt a great deal about the need to protect and conserve habitats for wild life around the world and the effect man is having on the survival of many species.If you love wildlife and care for the environment you will enjoy your day at Taronga.
There is so much to see whether its the big mammals such as the Elephants, Giraffes, Zebra, Cassowary or Kangaroos to the smaller Koala, Frogs or Lemurs there is something for everyone at Taronga Zoo. The Kids Trail is also a delightful diversion if you have young children with you with familiar farmyard animals for them to stroke and feed including goats, chickens, pigs and sheep.
Sydney Ferries offers combined “ZooLink” tickets covering ferry fares, park entry, and gondola ride. Taronga Zoo also works with other Sydney Harbour transport operators such as Captain Cook Cruises and Yellow Water Taxis. Both operators offer combined tickets/packages which include tickets covering transport fares, park entry, and gondola ride. You can save up to 20% on ticket prices if you buy online.
Bradley’s Head Road,
MOSMAN, NSW 2088
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