Taronga Zoo has been built on a hill overlooking Sydney Harbour, so the property has many stairs and steep paths especially at the lower end of the zoo. Wheelchair accessible lifts and ramps provide easy access to all areas for people with disabilities. An ATM is located at the front entrance plaza.Cafes and restaurants are scattered throughout the park with picnic tables provided at many locations. The zoo is easily navigated via a main path that winds throughout the entire zoo. Smaller loop paths that run off the main path take you deeper into individual sections.There is a large variety of enclosures including reptile house, Australian night life (nocturnal) exhibit and walk through bird aviaries. Seals and penguin exhibits are located at the lower end of the zoo. A cable car connects the lower section of the zoo to the front entrance. The zoo is heavily wooded with a great variety of plants on show that provide plenty of shaded areas.
The Sky Safari cable car is a great way to see the animal enclosures from a different perspective. Stations for the cable car are located at the front and back end of the zoo and it operates between 9.30 and 4.30. The price is included in the entrance ticket.
Taronga Zoo offers a variety of zoo keeper talks, photo opportunities with popular animals and shows throughout the day. A selection of personal animal encounters including zoo keeper for the day are available.
Western Lowland Gorilla, Snow Leopard, Tasmania Devil, Little Penguin
Stu’s Favourite Bit
Hard decision, but if I had to choose it would be the Western Lowland Gorilla enclosure. Especially at 11.30am because it’s feeding time with commentary from a zoo keeper. It’s fascinating to watch as the gorillas negotiate complex social protocols while they search for food that has been strategically hidden around the enclosure by the keepers
|Feeding time at the gorilla enclosure|
I also have to mention the Himalayan Tahrs enclosure. The enclosure is called Tahr Mountain. This is a rocky exhibit where you can see the Himalayan Tahrs perched up high on very narrow ledges, mimicking their natural mountain behavior.
Stu’s review and tips
I won’t beat around the bush – Taronga is one of my favorite zoos. It’s the type of zoo that has surprises around every corner. They have managed to design impressive enclosures that not only show off the animals but encourage natural behavior. The zoo keeper talks are very educational and I would encourage visitors to try and plan your visit around these talks and shows.
Some of the best views of Sydney Harbour can be seen from the zoo, especially the outlook of the giraffes enclosure, but there are great photo opportunities all over the ground for budding photographers. This zoo feels bigger than it actually is, mainly because the layout is a little tricky, especially on the feet, some of the paths are quite steep and there are numerous stairs to negotiate.
There are quite a few cafes and kiosks around the property and the food quality and choices are surprisingly good. If you are looking to bring your own lunch the zoo offers excellent shaded picnic locations.
My only gripe would be the penguin and seal enclosures at the bottom end of the zoo. They look sterile, lots of cement and glass. They do offer good viewing opportunities form above and below the water line but I think this area is in need of an upgrade to a more contemporary habitat.
For a great day out, grab a ferry and tickets from Circular Quay which includes return ferry across the harbour, a bus to the top of the zoo and zoo entry. The package including the Sky Safari cable car is Adults $52.00AUD Child (4-15yrs) $26.00 AUD.
Do your feet a favour and start your zoo experience from the main entry plaza at the top of the zoo. When you finish at the bottom of the zoo make your way to the Sky Safari cable car station and take a leisurely ride back up to the top.
Before going to Taronga Zoo check out their web page and plan your day, they have plenty of shows and talks and if you don’t plan well you could miss out.
Take advantage of Taronga Zoos cute little free iPhone app called Monkey Mayhem its great for kids and enhances their adventure
|Stu on ferry to Taronga Zoo|