A Holiday in Sydney: Taronga Zoo
As I mentioned, we wanted to take Conor to Taronga Zoo in our recent visit to Sydney. (Or is that, he wanted to take us to the zoo?) Conor is a big fan of zoos – we go to the Wellington one frequently – so we couldn’t miss taking a look at Taronga Zoo. It has a good reputation, being bigger with more animals and a spectacular location on the shore of Sydney Harbour, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The first thing that we noticed was the price! It cost us AUD51.50 each for tickets, including return ferry rides from Circular Quay. Luckily as Conor was under 4, both the zoo and the ferry were free for him. This is definitely the way to buy tickets to the zoo though, as it was cheaper than buying them separately, and avoided the queue at the zoo. The ferry ride too, is spectacular, especially on a nice day such as the one we had.
The zoo itself is set on a hill, overlooking a spectacular piece of coastline on the north shore of Sydney Harbour. It has fantastic views of the harbour, of the harbour bridge and Sydney.The animal enclosures are set in the bush on the hill, and there are numerous ares where you can look at the view.
I recommend entering from the lower entrance which is only two minutes walk up the road from the ferry terminal. Your other option is to catch a bus from the ferry terminal to the main entrance, but by the time you have got on the bus, you could already be in the zoo. The Seal Show is also relatively close to the lower entrance, so if you are arriving near the start of that, then your best bet is definitely the lower entrance.
The animals are themselves pretty cool – there is a great range. We saw sealions, seals, penguins, gorillas, orang utans, elephants, giraffes, kangaroos, lions, tigers, snow leopards, red pandas, gibbons, tahr, goats, zebras, komodo dragons, turtles, crocodiles, tapir, otters, fishing cats, dhole, tortoises, sun bears, bongo, condor, plus a whole lot of birds.
We also saw a couple of shows. The seal show was a lot of fun (we saw it twice) with some great tricks from the sea lions and seals. The bird show was even better. Versions of the seal show can be seen in different zoos or aquatic parks all over the world, but I’ve never seen anything like the bird show. A free flying (no cages or leads!) show with cockatoos, galahs, owls, and even a condor! It was fantastic and should not be missed on your trip.
So, while it was expensive, it was worth the money! We all enjoyed it, especially Conor. And that, after all, was the point.