If you’ve read our last post about road trips, you may be wondering what inspired us to write about driving holidays and long-haul car rides. The reason for this is because we HAVE recently been road tripping!
Last week, we packed the car and left our cloudy, grey hometown of Melbourne for Australia’s busiest city – Sydney. We had a lot of sightseeing planned and some friends to meet, and we can’t wait to tell you about some stories from our driving adventure! One of the attractions we decided to check out was Taronga Zoological Park. Taronga Zoo is situated on the beautiful Sydney Harbour, and is just a ferry ride away from the famous Circular Quay and Darling Harbour wharfs. All of its park enclosures offer guests a spectacular view of the harbour, and it’s 350 animal species are sure to dazzle. We spent an afternoon in this beautiful park. And while it may not be one of the largest zoos in the world, it is certainly among the prettiest! We would definitely recommend it for animal lovers and tourists alike who have 4-5 hours to spend in Sydney.
Keep reading for some insight of our experiences of Taronga Zoo:
The first thing we did upon disembarking the ferry was ride the Sky Safari to the entrance. We discovered Taronga Zoo is built on a hill, and it’s a long way from the jetty to the front gates on the hilltop. Instead of walking, the Zoo offers an awesome cable car ride to the top! This cable car has some of the best views – not just of animal enclosures below, but also of the gorgeous Sydney Harbour.
Keeper talks happen every couple of hours and are given to the public on all the popular species. We found them entertaining and informative, and certainly worth our time. It’s a great chance to engage with animal experts and grow in awareness and understanding.
Shows and Performances
Each day, trainers put on shows to exhibit the amazing animals skills, tricks, and of course, the powerful animal-keeper relationships. The purpose of these shows aren’t just to entertain, but to raise awareness about human impact on the lives of certain species. They are absolutely essential to your visit. If you need help deciding on a show, check out the free-flight bird show or the seal show! They were our two favourites.
Taronga has several animal encounters that you can take part in to get up close and personal with the animal. You could feed then, walk with them, hold them, or get photos with them.
Are you visiting from overseas? Get to know Australian native wild life including Kangaroos, Koalas, Wallabies, Echidnas and many more. On this trail, you’ll find over 40 species of Australian native animals in very authentic natural habitats. You will also find the Dinosaur tree – or the Wollemi Pine – which is a native but critically endangered tree in Australia.
Some other things:
the view is incredible
When we bought our ferry ticket, the clerk told us “the animals have the best view of Sydney’s New Year fireworks”. And he meant it. The animals at the zoo have some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. The views are so good, it’s almost worth buying a ticket just to see them! The two photos below are just a small example of the zoo’s premier location. These animals must be so lucky!
A Century of Taronga
The park opened in October 1916, making it a century since it first opened its gates to the public. To celebrate this, the Zoo is undertaking various events including a self-described “party of the century”. All we can say is – if you’re planning a trip there, this is the year to go!
You can read more about Taronga’s Centenary Events on their Official Website.
Taronga is Committed to Conservation
Taronga Zoo is not for profit and is highly dedicated to supporting research, conservation, and a future for wildlife. This year, the Zoo plans to raise $1 million AUD and begin a long-term campaign to save 10 critical species from extinction – 5 of which are native to Australia. These species include the Corroboree Frog, Regent Honey-eater Bird, Platypus, Greater Bilby, Marine Turtles, Sumatran Tiger, Asian Elephant, Sumatran Rhino, Sun Bear, and the Pangolin.
We were lucky enough to see most of these magnificent species during our visit, and gained a better understanding of their situation in the wild.
Taronga is Pregnant!
Yep! As part of the Thai New Year celebrations, the Zoo announced that one of its Asian Elephans named Pak Boon is pregnant! Woo! On our trip to the Zoo, we discovered two things:
- Elephant pregnancies last up to two years – WOW! This tiny elephant baby is expected to be born in 2017
- This is the fourth elephant pregnancy that has occurred at Taronga Zoo since it began its conservation breeding program.
Fortunately we got to see Pak Boon, who was traditionally painted as part of the Thai New Year festivities. We are happy to say she looked happy and well. Congratulations Pak Boon!
You can find Taronga Zoo’s Website by Clicking here.