Taronga Zoo is a wonderful Animal park in a stunning location, located at a 15-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay in Sydney. It boasts stunning views, gorgeous animals and a free Gondola ride (Winning!). The zoo cares for 4000 animals from over 350 species, many of which are threatened.
Elephants, giraffes, meerkats, bongos (yes bongos), Komodo dragons (truly awesome), seals, sea lions, penguins, lemurs and many Australian natives – crocodiles, snakes, kangaroos, emus, wallabies, koalas, echidna, wombats, and platypuses are just some of the animals you can encounter up close.
A special feature is the new exhibit of Sumatran tigers. This is an amazing new exhibit and set up so well, but go early. The queues are long (very long). The keeper talks given throughout the day and with different animals are a great way to learn more about them and their habitats.
Taronga Zoo has stunning views over the harbor back towards the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Which I think is almost worth the price of admission alone.
Taronga Zoo is one of the best places to visit in Sydney, especially if you have kids or if you are an animal enthusiast. Read on for more information and lots of pictures.
The entrance into the park is via the sky safari cable car. When you arrive a the ferry station it takes you up to the beginning of the park for free. During the short ride, you will see some amazing city views as well as the elephant exhibit.
When at the entrance make sure to grab a map, so that you can find all the exhibits. Additionally, there are keepers talks throughout the day. So plan your walk accordingly. The talks are very educational and entertaining.
The seal show, in particular, is absolutely worth the skirmish with the crowd. You can’t help but smile for 15 minutes as you watch the seals play about, do tricks or just being cheeky. You also learn a lot about them and if they were saved and how they were rehabilitated etc
Watching the elephants splash about during bath time is also pretty priceless.
Then there are also keeper talks with the Chimpanzees, Koalas, Aussie animals, Meerkats, Komodo Dragons, Spiders (That one is a definite NOPE from me), Penguins, Sun Bears, Tasmanian Devils, Reptiles, Birds, and Lemurs.
In the middle of the park, by the Mountain Goats, lies a breathtaking view of the Opera House and the Sydney skyline. The giraffes also have a pretty amazing view of the harbor as well, lucky bastards.
- Bring lunch – There are a couple of kiosks located throughout the zoo, serving the likes of burgers, chips and salads. The food is great, but like at most parks, it is very expensive. Alternatively, there are plenty of pretty picnic spots where you can sit and enjoy a much cheaper lunch from home.
- Wear comfortable shoes – The zoo is pretty big and very hilly. So wear comfortable shoes so you can see the entire zoo without getting in too much pain.
- Exclusive encounters – You can pay an additional fee (minimum $24.95) and have a more exclusive animal encounter inside the exhibits of the owls, penguins, giraffes or koalas.
- Roar and Snore – Spending the night at the zoo and getting exclusive behind the scenes insights about zoo life. Not the cheapest ticket in town, but for me, this is something I would LOVE to do one day.
- Wild ropes – If looking at animals up close and personal isn’t good enough then challenge yourself in a high ropes course zigzagging in and out of pathways. View the wildlife and Syndey Harbour from an elevated, thrilling point of view! For more information click on the link.
- There is a zoo app, available from Google Play and Apple’s equivalent, and kids will probably enjoy it. The app provides some ‘challenges’ that make their visit to the zoo so much more interactive.
You can get to Taronga Zoo by any major modes of transportation: Car, Bus, Train, or Ferry.
The best mode of transportation to the zoo is by Ferry. It is only a 15-minute ride from Circular Quay and gives you beautiful views of the harbor and Sydney City.
From Wynyard station, you can also hop on a direct bus (M30). This takes about 40 minutes and it drops you off at the top entrance.
For those driving, you can enter the zoo’s car park off Bradleys Head Road. (Cost $18,-)
HOURS OF OPERATION
9:30am – 4:30pm (May – Aug)
9:30am – 5:00pm (Sept – Apr)
9:30am – 4:00pm (New Years Eve)
*Taronga Zoo is open daily including Christmas day.
|Gate Price||Online Price||Annual Pass|
|Adults||$ 47||$42.40||$ 110|
|Child* (4-15 Years)||$ 27||$24.40||FREE|
|Concession||$ 37||$33.40||$ 88|
I bought our zoo tickets online the night before (which you then have 365 days to use from the date of purchase in case the weather forecast is wrong). This meant I received a 10% discount off gate price and got to skip the cue, instead of waving the email confirmation on my iPhone at the gate (no need for a printer). I eagerly encourage you to do the same.
If you intend on visiting Taronga Zoo more than three times a year – in other words you have kids – I would also eagerly encourage you to invest in an annual membership, otherwise you can kiss home ownership goodbye.
What is your favorite zoo?
Let me know in the comments below.
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