Hawaii Mom Blog: Visit Sydney: Taronga Zoo




August 30, 2023

Visit Sydney: Taronga Zoo

Disclosure: Our admission was complimentary.

Taronga Zoo Sydney was a must-place visit for us during our trip to Sydney.  Although we've been to zoos all over the world, our family always enjoys visiting zoos where we can see unique or rare creatures, and it's even more special when a zoo focuses on conservation and educational efforts, such as the Taronga Zoo Sydney, which is part of the Taronga Conservation Society Australia.

With over 5000 animals and over 350 species, some of which are threatened, the Taronga Zoo Syndey is home to creatures big and small - from giraffes and elephants to turtles and frogs. 

And of course - you'll see native animals, many of which you can find in the Nura Diya Australia habitat.  

We immediately went to look for koalas.  The nocturnal creatures were all sleeping, with little stirring, but it was neat to see them in the trees.  

For an extra fee, you can participate in the Koala Encounter, where you can get up close and personal with a koala and take amazing photos (the Taronga Zoo also offers other types of encounter experiences, with penguins, giraffes, meerkats, and other animals).
Photo taken by my youngest at the Koala Encounter

We also saw red kangaroos, dingoes, emus, and more.  

Throughout the day you can watch educational presentations or zoo keeper talks to find out more about various animals in the zoo.  It's a great way to learn more about the specific animals, and even get a close up look at some. 

We saw so many animals at Taronga Zoo - chimpanzees, camels, gorillas, meerkats, and all sorts of snakes, frogs, and feathered friends.

It's always fascinating to see animals that you wouldn't normally see anywhere, and it's always interesting to learn about them as well (such as how some snakes can swallow a small wallaby!).

The Taronga Zoo also has a playground as well as a Wild Ropes Tree Top Adventure, for kids (or adults!) who want to add to their zoo experience.  

There are a few eateries at the zoo, and we stopped at one to get a cool treat (despite being winter, it was quite warm the day we went to the zoo!).

My favorite animal at the zoo was (of course) the koala, but I also thought it was neat to see the Tasmanian Devil, as well as the Capybara - the largest living rodent in the world!

My youngest's favorite was the Indian Star Tortoise.  He was in awe of its shell.  This tortoise is one of many animals on the decline, and Taronga's efforts in breeding has resulted in new hatchlings over the years.  

As an Autism parent, I appreciate how the Taronga Zoo has "Access Taronga Days," where they welcome kids with autism and other special needs with an "Early Entry" opportunity.  You can read more about Access Taronga here.

The website says to plan for 3 hours at the zoo, which is doable (we were there for 2.5), but I would plan for a couple of extra hours if you really want to explore as much as possible without feeling rushed, and get the most out of your visit.  

You can get to Taronga Zoo easily via a short ferry wide from Circular Quay to the Targona Wharf.  At the Taronga Wharf, you have the option of walking 3 minutes to the lower entrance, or taking a bus to the main entrance.

We took the bus to the main entrance (use your Opal Card), and worked our way down to the lower gate where we exited and walked down to the wharf to catch the ferry back to Circular Quay.  I'm glad we did that option, because if we entered via the lower gate, it would've been a slow, uphill trek. 

The Taronga Zoo is overall quite hilly, but just take your time exploring the different areas and viewing all the animals.  It really is a wonderful place to take the family, and a place from which you'll learn and leave with more appreciation for the many amazing animals around the world, as well as more appreciation for organizations like the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, which helps to bring more awareness to animals, and helps to prevent the extinction of them. 

Taronga Zoo
Bradleys Head Rd
Mosman NSW 2088, Australia

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