Besides being known for the Sydney Opera House and Great Barrier Reef, Australia is also home to many native animals such as koalas and kangeroos. The best way to see the animals is in their natural habitat in the wild Outback. If you don’t have the time to make a trip to the Outback, a trip to one of Sydney’s zoos should more or less make up for it. Sydney has 3 zoos (Taronga Zoo Sydney, Featherdale Wildlife Park and Wild Life Sydney Zoo), an aquarium (Sea Life Sydney Aquarium) and a reptile park (Australian Reptile Park) to give you all the animal adventure you will ever want.
I chose Taronga Zoo Sydney for its proximity to Sydney central and its wide variety of animals. The 28-hectare Taronga Zoo Sydney has 4000 animals of 350 species.
How to Get to Taronga Zoo from Syndey
Taronga Zoo is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman, the trip from Sydney to Taronga Zoo by car should take approximately 15-20 minutes. There is parking available, at $18 for all-day parking.
Taronga Zoo Sydney is 12 minutes from Circular Quay from Sydney. Sydney Ferries depart from Circular Quay wharf 4 every 30 minutes. Independent ferry operators such as Captain Cook Cruises, Sydney Harbour Eco Hopper and Fantasea Cruising Sydney operates ferries from Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and Manly Wharf.
Those coming from Central, Town Hall and Wynyard train stations can take M30 Metro Bus to Taronga Zoo Sydney. If you are coming from Balmoral Beach area, you can take bus 238.
Taronga Zoo Ticket Prices
|Seniors / Concessions||AU$36|
|Child (4-15 years)||AU$26|
|Child (under 4 years)||Free|
|2 Adults & 1 Child||AU$106.20|
|2 Adults & 2 Children||AU$129.60|
|1 Adult & 2 Children||AU$88.20|
|Extra Adult with Family||AU$41.40|
|Extra Child with Family||AU$23.40|
Annual Pass (2 Free Kids with Every Adult Annual Pass)
|Child (4-15 years)||AU$55|
|Child (under 4 years)||Free|
|Transferable Guest Pass||AU$150|
You can get your zoo tickets from Circular Quay wharf 4 before you board the ferry. Save 10% off individual tickets and 20% off family group tickets when you buy your tickets online.
Your zoo ticket gives you unlimited rides on the Sky Safari cable car. Most people will take the Sky Safari Cable from the ferry terminal to the entrance of the zoo and start their zoo adventure from there.
Grab a copy of this map of Taronga Zoo Sydney at the main entrance and ferry terminal. You can find the PDF version on Taronga Zoo Sydney website. It shows you the recommended main path (hollow green dots) and trails in different color. The timings and locations of animal shows, talks and encounters can be found to the right side of the map.
You will start at Bush Birds where you can see kookaburra with their distinctive laughing call. Opposite is where the Koala Keeper Talk is held everyday at 3.30pm. Further on to your right is Reptile World where you can see freshwater crocodiles and komodo dragons. If you want to know more about reptiles, there is a Reptile Keeper Talk at 11.30am daily and Komodo Dragon Keeper Talk at 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Next to Reptile World are the chimpanzees. The Chimpanzee Keeper Talk is at 12pm. You can enjoy all-day screening at Centenary Theatre as you lounge in sandbags and enjoy the air-conditioning. Take a break and have replenish your energy at Taronga Food Market a short walk away.
Continuing on the green-dotted track, you will pass by Lemur Forest Adventure.
At Australian Walkabout, you will get to see the animals that Australia is famous for – platypus, koalas, echidna, kangaroos, emus and wallabies. Be sure to reach early for the Koala Encounter at 11am – 2.45pm.
Continuing on the green-dotted route, you will reach Kids Trail at the north-west corner of the zoo. The kids can enjoy activities such as Pat a Pet at 10.30am – 11am and 2.30pm – 3pm, Farm Animal Walk at 1.30pm (available only on Saturdays, Sunday and Public Holidays) and Farm Feed at 2pm. If you are hungry after all the excitement, The View Restaurant and Fish & Chips are just a few steps away.
Giraffe Encounter at 11.45am is the perfect time to get close to and feed these gentle giants or you can attend the Giraffe Keeper Talk at 1.30pm.
You can find long-tailed tamarins and saltwater crocodiles next to the giraffes and meerkats are just opposite.
The Seal Show is hugely popular with kids and adults alike so be sure to arrive early to snag a good seat. It is held at 11am with an additional show at 1pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
Take some time to learn more about gorillas at the Gorilla Keeper Talk at 2.45pm.
The Elephant Towers are open 10.20am – 10.50am and 12.45pm – 1.15pm. Do listen for elephant bath time which will be announced over over the public announcement system. There is also ANZ Asian Elephant Talk at 1.30pm.
You get to see palm aviary, leaf monkeys, pygmy hippos, binturongs and bongos in the Rainforest Trail.
The newly-opened Tiger Trek is directly opposite where you will not only get to see tigers but sun bears too.
Separated by a bush is the QBE Free-flight Bird Show which is held at 12pm and 3pm and Owl Experince at 12.30pm.
As you walk along the main green-dotted path, you will get to see tortoises, condors, otters, fishing cats, red pandas and wetlands aviaries.
There is a flight of stairs that will lead you to see seal and pelican enclosures. On the opposite side is another flight of stairs that leads to Seal Walk where you can see seals and penguins. Penguin Encounter is at 2pm, be sure to reach early.
Take a leisurely stroll along Athol Wharf Road back to the ferry terminal and which marks the end of your Taronga Zoo Sydney adventure.
You have to make a booking at Top Zoo Shop located at the main entrance for all animal encounters. Taronga Zoo Sydney is pretty big with a lot going on. It is a good idea to arrive early in the morning, but even then you may not have time for everything. Do get a copy of the Taronga Zoo Sydney map so you can plan ahead. Bring enough water and sunblock.
Taronga Zoo Syndey is a place of fun for the whole family. Adults and kids alike can learn about the different animals. ”