When researching what to do in Sydney, Australia I came across a multitude of lists brimming with amazing outings available. It is nearly impossible to see them all and even harder to pick amongst them, particularly if you have limited time. I have a bit of a "see it all" mentality but my family does not quite have the stamina for it. I quickly realized some narrowing down would need to be made.
We had exactly 2 days in Sydney before leaving in our camper van to explore Australia. We had to pick wisely and had to pick things that would be fun and enjoyed by everyone in the family. One of the places I saw on nearly every list was the Taronga zoo. Great views, beautiful enclosures, and loads of amazing animals were enough reason for the animal lovers amongst us (so ALL of us) to pick that as one of our day outings.
|The gorilla enclosure was by far our favorite part of the zoo!|
Once you arrive at the zoo dock you have a choice to make. There is a sky way lift that will take you up to the zoo or you can take the bus. I do not suggest walking as it is quite a long distance and completely uphill. The zoo is wisely set on a hill starting at the top so you slowly wind your way back down to the docks. We jumped on the bus as the line for the lift was incredibly long. The driver let us on for free but I believe the official rate is $2-3.
When we arrived at the gate there was a mass of people. Apparently April 25th is Anzac day in Australia, one of their biggest holidays and the the end of school holidays, needless to say that was not the best day to pick for a zoo outing but with limited time it was what we had so we forged on. As soon as we got past the gates there were still plenty of people but it never felt overwhelming at all. Taronga is a huge zoo, impeccably kept with each and every animal in a beautiful enclosure. The zoo even has a couple of viewpoints of the Sydney skyline and Harbor bridge.
It was a fabulous day! I think this post would be insanely long if I tried to describe all the different animals at the zoo. Instead I will leave you with the above photo slide show of some of our favorite moments of the day. We have been to a lot of zoos, some great and others so awful we left feeling shameful we supported them at all. This zoo was different!
Overall I would say Taronga zoo was the nicest zoo we have been to, the animals were the happiest we have ever seen in a zoo and the staff all appeared thrilled to be there. If you spend any time in Sydney, Australia try and squeeze in a day for the zoo, I am sure you will be glad you did!
- Buy the zoo pass at the harbor when you buy the ferry ticket over. It will save you money and you can skip the long line at the entrance.
- Get there early! We arrived at 11:30 and had to hurry to make the boat at the end of the day. I don't think we saw all the animals either, but that may have been due to the insane amount of time we spent observing the gorillas! I don't think I've ever seen happier primates in captivity!
- Bring some snacks and drinks. I saw no one checking bags or anything like a search. There are restaurants but the food is just so so, is expensive, and if it is busy the lines take a big chunk out of animal viewing time.
- Sit in the back of the ferry on the way over and in the front on the way back so you can get some pics in front of the harbor bridge and opera house. It was particularly nice as the sun was setting.
- Be sure to check the site or check in at the entrance to find out when the feeding times, daily shows, keeper talks, and animal encounters are.