We are spoilt for choice in our amazing harbour city of Sydney. Home to over 4000 animals, including Australian native wildlife, as well as rare and endangered exotic animals, Taronga Park Zoo is a ‘must do’ for everyone of all ages.
The quickest and easiest way to get to Taronga Zoo is by public transport, it is just a short 12 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay. You can catch the M52 from Parramatta Westfield along Victoria Road all the way to Circular Quay. Otherwise its a 40 minute drive from Parramatta CBD through North Sydney to the Zoo at Mosman.
Great discounts are offered with combined public transport and zoo entry tickets. You can purchase these from Wharf 2 at Circular Quay. Once you arrive at the Taronga Zoo Wharf, if you have pre-purchased tickets you can choose to take the Sky Safari to the entrance or ride a bus up the hill. If you haven’t its a simple tap on and off with your opal card to ride the bus up the hill to the original entrance. Parking is also available at the zoo for a all day rate of $18.
To help celebrate the zoo’s 100th birthday, Australian residents over the age of 4 have the opportunity to register their details and receive a $1 entry pass to the zoo on their birthday (for the year 2016). Not only is it the best way to spend your birthday, you get a massive badge and every zoo worker yells out ‘Happy Birthday!’ when you walk past them. On top of this, I had a Seal sing me happy birthday during the Seal Show on my birthday!
The zoo is opened 365 days a year – even Christmas Day! Except this year, when the zoo is closed on Friday 7th October to celebrate its 100th Birthday and entry is only by ballot (balloted entry closed in August). Opening at 9:30 am and closing at 5pm (4:00 pm on New Years Eve) you can spend as long as you like admiring the amazing animals that call Taronga home.
Things to do at Taronga Park Zoo:
- The Seal show is a must with two shows daily (11am and 2pm), we arrived at the Seal Theatre at 10:30am and got a seat in the second row, right in the splash zone!
- See Eagles, Falcons, Owls and other birds at the Free-flight Bird Show at 12 pm.
- Check out the baby Meerkats who were born in January and have just gone on display. They are super cute and love playing with the toys in their enclosure.
- Enjoy lunch while watching the Asian Elephants play and listen to the keeper talk at 1:30 pm.
- Play in the super awesome (My almost 3 yr old’s words) playground complete with water wheels and pumps at the Farm Playground located on the ‘Kids Trail’. Don’t forget to pack a spare pair of clothes as the water can be very cold even in summer.
- These holidays kids have the opportunity to help the keeper make foraging toys the zoo’s Sun Bears, the magnificent Mr Hobbs and majestical Mary. Enrichment toy making will take place daily from 10:00am – 11.30am during the September school holidays.
- Ride the Sky Safari! If you didn’t ride the Sky Safari up to the entrance, I definitely recommend riding it down to the ferry wharf when you leave. You can see most of the zoo as well as the new ‘Big Cat’ enclosures they are building. Perfect way to rest your legs after a long day walking around the zoo
If you missed out on a ticket for the 100th Birthday Party on Friday the 7th October, you can still join in the fun on Saturday 15 October from 8pm. A parade of 10 giant animal light sculptures will make their way through Sydney CBD marking Taronga Zoo’s move from Moore Park to Mosman 100 years ago.
Beginning at Hyde Park, the fabulous light parade will be escorted by a cast of singing and dancing school children and staff who will retrace the steps of Jessie the elephant and other animals along Macquarie Street to the Sydney Opera House, where a spectacular grand finale dance performance will take place.
Check out Taronga Zoo’s website for a timetable of all the talks and feeding times as well as a downloadable map to help plan your visit.