"Taronga Zoo- Amazing views, Australian Animals and of course the famous elephants"
If you fancy a trip to a Sydney Australia Zoo then this is the one! Whilst there are wildlife centres in Darling Harbour and out to the West of Sydney (towards the Blue Mountains,) they don't really compare to Taronga Zoo.
The views are stunning. You get one of the best views of Sydney, the bridge, and the Opera House. Is it really any wonder then that these beautiful gardens are used for concerts in the evenings?
Below you will find my guide to what's at Taronga Zoo and which are the bits you should most definitely do, as well as information on getting to the zoo itself and what you can expect to pay.
How To Get To Taronga Zoo
The easiest and probably most impressive way to get to this Sydney Australia zoo, is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay.
This is where you will find the Opera House and there are hundreds of ferry departures from here every day.
There are two ferries per our (quarter past and quarter to the hour) You can buy an all inclusive ticket that gives you access to the zoo and will include your ferry tickets.
You can get a bus (no. 247) if you prefer but I strongly recommend the ferry - it's quicker and so much more scenic, especially on the way back when you get to see the Bridge and Opera House in all their glory.
What Are The Must See Animals?
In March 2010, a baby elephant was born at Taronga Zoo and the third baby elephant was born in November 2010. This has further increased the popularity of these lovely animals making them one of the star attractions of Taronga Zoo.
You can attend the "Elephant Keeper Talk" (usually at 1pm) The keepers explain how they look after the animals and some interesting facts about them. I found the talk a little long (there aren't many spots to sit down)but on balance, it's probably worth attending
I really liked the Giraffes and were probably my favourite because you could get up close and personal to them. Also the back drop made for some amazing photos.
The Big Cats
Whilst these creatures are well and truly behind bars, they are very beautiful. It was hard to get a good picture of them through the thick glass unfortunately but well worth sitting and watching them. They seemed very sleepy when we were there which was a bit disappointing.
The Australian Animals
Particularly good for the overseas visitor, is the fact that there are plenty of Australian Animals at Taronga Zoo.
The Koala area and Kangaroos are good. We enjoyed the Tasmanian Devil talk too. You can pay extra to have your photo taken with a Koala which is a nice idea. You need to book this in advance though. It's forbidden in the state of NSW to cuddle or hold a Koala. You will have to go to Victoria or Queensland to do this.
Alternatively you can attend a talk (usually at 3.30pm) and here you can get a bit closer to these cuddly looking Koala Bears..
Getting Around The Zoo
The only slight problem with Taronga Zoo is that it involves a lot of walking to get round all the animals. Not only that, there are some pretty big hills to climb too!
So, you need to plan what you really want to see or spend the entire day here and have a few breaks in between.
My advice is to catch the cable car from the ferry up to the top and then work your way back down. There are a few less hills this way!
What Will It Cost? Any Extras?
The costs are around:
$45 for an adult$22 for a child (defined at 4-15)Kids under 4 go Free
If you want to get a ferry ticket and the zoo ticket you save 10%.You need to purchase these tickets from Sydney Ferries which you can do at Circular Quay.
On top of this, you can pay extra for some "Animal Encounters" These are things like the Koala Photo (reptiles, owls and giraffes also have encounters) and costs are approx. $25 extra
Fancy Spending The Night At The Zoo?
Roar and Snore is a brilliant idea! You get to spend the night in Safari tents overlooking one of the best views in the world - The Sydney Harbour and Opera House.
You get a great dinner provided as well as special tours to see some of the animals up close and personal.
They get you up early (6.15am) and give you a good breakfast before you get a chance to go behind the scenes of part of the zoo.
For this, you really need to book in advance and I'm talking months not weeks. You may have more look mid-week but certainly during December and January (kids school holidays,) then forget it.
The cost is approx $260 for an adult and $185 for a child. It is something you will never forget though so it is worth it in my opinion.
Attend A Concert At This Sydney Australia Zoo
During the Summer/Autumn between mid Jan and the end of March, there are concerts put on over the weekends at Taronga Zoo.
You bring a picnic, a rug or a chair and enjoy the tunes.
Generally the bands are tribute bands - e.g. Queen, Abba, Van Morrison, The Beatles, Cliff Richard etc. It is a very relaxing evening but best to take a chair as it does involve sitting down on a hard surface for quite some time.
You need to book in advance for these concerts. Do a search under "Twilight At Taronga" and you will find all the information you need.
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