Taronga Zoo in Sydney has got to be one of the nicest zoos I’ve ever been to. It’s set on a hill next to Sydney Harbour and has stunning views of the city and surrounding suburbs. While the zoo itself is not very large, it’s got plenty of animals and they keep all of the exhibits in stunning condition.
I’ve been to many zoos throughout the world, and Taronga Zoo appeared to be kept in one of the best conditions I have ever see. All of the exhibits were modern , clean, animals appeared happy, and there were plenty of staff on site. I even saw one zoo ranger walking around with a huge bowl of fresh veggies, such as broccoli. I assume she wasn’t on her way to cook dinner, but was going to feed it to some huge animal. In retrospect, I should’ve asked her which one, and watched her feed it. Would’ve been cool!
You can get there either by ferry at wharf 2 at Circular Quay, or take bus 247. I rode the ferry one way and the bus on the return. After the ferry ride you have a few options to enter the zoo:
Pre-purchased tickets after ferry ride:
- Take the cable car Sky Safari to the main entrance and enter from the top of the hill
- or enter at the bottom of the hill at the entrance near the ferry. Only a few minutes walk from the ferry pier
To purchase tickets after ferry ride:
- Hop onto the bus to the main entrance, about 3-5 minutes ride.
If you take the 247 bus to the zoo, it’ll drop you off at the main entrance so you won’t have any issues. The bus takes about 30 minutes to/from Wynyard in the CBD without much traffic.
All of the staff were really friendly and I liked the interactive nature of the zoo. There’s plenty of wildlife, such as birds walking around next to you, and you’ll get to get up close with many other animals throughout the zoo. I focused primarily on the Australian wildlife, but they also have big attractions such as giraffes and elephants.
When I went there was also a dinosaur exhibit which was included with admission. They’re really nice animatronic dinos which move and make noises. It was really cool to see, kind of like being in Jurassic Park.
You can also go have an animal encounter with a whole bunch of animals for an added fee:
|Koala Encounter||$19.95||11am to 2.45pm|
|Giraffe Encounter||$24.95||1.45pm to 2.15pm|
It’s a unique way to get personal and have some one on one time with your favorite animal. I didn’t do any encounters myself but it looked cool. Here’s a pics of the separated koala enclosures where you can get up close and get a photo of the koala. They were all chilling in the mist and sleeping, nothing too exciting to see in my photo unfortunately. To be clear, holding koalas is illegal in New South Wales and visitors do not touch the koalas.
The zoo is super kid friendly as well, so if you’re a family, it’s a great place to spend about half a day. There’s plenty of attractions including play areas for kids to jump around in. Taronga Zoo itself is not very large, but it is extremely hilly, so you’ll need to walk slowly if it’s a hot day.
Additionally, there’s a pretty neat cable car ride at the zoo called Sky Safari, which I mentioned earlier.. It’s about a 5 minute ride in each direction and flies over some of the zoo. To be honest, you can’t see that many animals from the Sky Safari, but it’s still a cool quick ride to enjoy, and free! You can take a roundtrip ride without getting out of the car incase you’re wondering.
Overall Taronga Zoo is a nice place to spend about half a day outside of Sydney. It’s a great place to walk around and learn about different animals. It’s also a wonderful venue to stroll around and enjoy views of downtown Sydney CBD. Unfortunately I got terrible pictures of the kangaroos and koalas. They were all hiding in the shade, you can take better ones when you see them in person or check at the zoo’s website! I highly recommend going to check out Taronga Zoo next time you’re in Sydney and want to visit some of the animals and enjoy the fresh air.