Australia travel

Visiting Taronga Zoo in Sydney

December 6, 2020

It’s been awhile since I’ve published a travel post. Of course it still hasn’t felt like the right time for travel content. However, with many parts of Australia now opening up, including Taronga Zoo in Sydney, I feel like it is ok to start sharing my adventures in Australia one year ago. After all it has been sitting in my drafts for ages!

If you go to one wildlife park in Australia, make it Taronga Zoo in Sydney. It’s such a great zoo and the beautiful views over the harbour are gorgeous. Taronga Zoo features so much of Australia’s amazing wildlife. But it isn’t just an Aussie wildlife park. Some of the more typical animals you find at a zoo also call Taronga home, from tigers, gorillas, giraffes and more. Visiting the zoo was my favourite thing as a kid, and Taronga Zoo brought be back to that, partly because it is such a well done zoo with such a great view.

Here’s what you can see during your time and some tips for visiting:

How much time should I allow to visit Taronga Zoo?

I easily spent over half of a day at the zoo and could have spent longer if I wasn’t trying to get the last ferry back which left about 16:30. If you want to see some of the shows or do some the activities, I would allow a whole day to see the zoo so you don’t miss anything!

Taronga Zoo’s Skyride cable car

After catching the ferry over to the zoo from Circular Harbour, I boarded the cable car which took me far above the zoo grounds, giving a bird’s eye view of the animals below such as the elephants. After enjoying the views of the harbour and the animals below, you’ll arrive at the zoo entrance.

View from the cable car into the elephant enclosure at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia
View from the cable car into the elephant enclosure

Areas to explore in Taronga Zoo

Australian Walkabout

After the cable car ride up to the top of the zoo, I emerged in the largest part of the zoo, the Australian Walkabout. Here, you can see some of Australia’s most famous residents and a few you probably didn’t know existed.

Following the trail, trail starts with the tree kangaroos, red kangaroos, koalas, tasmanian devils, Australian birds and more. You’ll also find my favourite part nearby. So I’m a little bit obsessed with platypuses (playtapi?) and may have spent about half an hour just watching them swim around. Just standing there watching because they are amazing. They were much smaller than I thought, while the wombats were much bigger than expected!

In the nocturnal house, I came across tons of little marsupials, many that I didn’t know exist from bilbies to flying squirrels, echidnas and more.

a wallaby eats a carrot at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia

Kid’s Trail

Even adults shouldn’t skip the Kid’s trail if you want to see more of Australia’s amazing wildlife. You’ll have the chance to see echidnas and quorkkas, both of which are adorable. Quorkkas have a reputation for being those little smiley marsupials that are native to an particular area of Australia’s West Coast. Echidnas are the other egg laying mammal along with the platypus and look like mash up of a hedgehog and an anteater. They waddle around a bit when they walk and I thought they were incredibly cute.

An echidna at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia

Rainforest Trail

a bongo at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia
This guy is called a bongo!

The best part was coming across a few species I didn’t recognise. Ever heard of a Bongo? Did you know pygmy hippos exist? I’m sure you’ve not heard of a binturong. You’ll find all of these along the Rainforest Trail. You’ll also come across otters, monkeys, red pandas, and of course, the elephants.

Elephant at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia

African favourites

No trip to a zoo would be complete without a look at some African wildlife. You’ll encounter, giraffes, gorillas, chimpanzees and more while exploring the zoo.

A gorilla eating at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia

Seal walk

Before boarding the ferry from Taronga Zoo back to Sydney Harbour, I took a walk through the last area of the zoo, the seal walk. You’ll also find some fairy penguins, a tiny species of penguin native to Australia (and one you can see in the wild in Melbourne).

Getting to Taronga Zoo

View of Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia

Most likely, you’ll be headed to Taronga from Sydney Harbour, so the best way to get there is by ferry. Ferries to the zoo leave from Circular Quay every half hour.

View from the ferry to Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo Tickets

Adult tickets for Taronga Zoo entrance costs A$49 at the gate or A$44.10 online. I bought one from the dock where the ferry left and got a combined ticket with ferry and zoo entrance.

Taronga Zoo’s Shows

You may want to plan your day around some of the zoo’s live shows which include seal shows and resident birds taking flight, as well as keeper talks. Find out what’s on here.

Souvenirs

Have a quick stop at the gift shop on the way to the ferry. The gifts, which feature some of Australia’s favourite wildlife support Taronga’s conservation work so I would definitely recommend picking up a souvenir here.

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