We actually only started going to Wild Life Sydney Zoo once we bought the Merlin Annual Pass (which I highly recommend). And we got that to make going to Sydney Aquarium a few times a year a LOT less expensive. Funnily enough we now prefer Wild Life Sydney Zoo over the Aquarium – far less busy, less walking, we love going to the storytime and my boys love Rocky, the large crocodile. We can easily go once a month and it has become one of our wet weather go to’s.
Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
From 25th May to 16th June 2018, there is a special 100th birthday celebration for May Gibbs Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. You can listen to your favourite May Gibbs tales during Storytime at 11:30am and 3:30pm daily at the Koala Rooftop. And meet some of the animal character’s in real life under the Australian native flower arch.
Throughout Wild Life Sydney Zoo there are letters to find hidden by Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Plus a May Gibbs Reading Corner, with colouring and books. Adults can also enter at kids prices using the discount code MAYGIBBS.
Visiting Wild Life Sydney Zoo
We usually visit Wild Life Sydney Zoo in the morning and generally catch the ferry in from Meadowbank to Barangaroo (used to be Darling Harbour) wharf, which is about a 10min ‘kids’ walk away. The zoo isn’t that big and can be done in 45mins. Well if you don’t stop for any of the animal talks, storytime or go to the cafe. We easily spend a bit over 2hrs there by the time we enjoy storytime at 11:30am, do some colouring in at the cafe, have lunch and watch the Aussie animal adventure show.
Animal Talks and Enclosures
There are animal talks every 30mins from 10:30am and my boys are super excited that there is a crocodile talk at 11am and 2pm. We also enjoy regularly seeing a number of animals being fed by the friendly zoo keepers as we wander around in the morning. The most interesting we have seen would have to be the snakes being fed.
Most of the animal enclosures have floor to ceiling glass. This makes it easy for little ones to see in or out of a pram.
There is also a new crocodile enclosure, with a crawl space and raised viewing dome inside the water. So you can get eye-to-eye with a very large saltwater croc called Rocky.
Daily at 11:30am, kids are treated to a special storytime just outside the cafe, near the koala encounter.
The storytime was developed by a few of the female zoo keepers and delivered as a trial during the 16/17 summer school holidays. Thanks to great feedback from families attending, it is now continuing for the foreseeable future. It is led by a lovely zoo keeper, there is one story and at least one of the animals in the story makes a guest appearance. We have gone about quite a few times and have met a koala, lorikeet, sugar glider, galah, beautiful stick insect and snake.
There are benches along the way for a rest, a cafe (though this now only serves hot drinks and cake) and seating area near the koala rooftop enclosure. You will find three baby change tables at the toilets near the crocodile viewing area, at the rooftop and near exit.
There are some educational display cabinets in the area between the lift and cafe. And there is now a reading corner there as well.
Sadly the Outback Adventurers Cafe closed early 2018. Now they just serve hot drinks and snacks, like banana bread and packets of chips. Remember, if you are a Merlin annual pass holder you get 20% off.
There is though plenty of seating in front of the cafe where you can eat your own food. You also have a view down to the walkabout section and surrounded by a number of koalas. There is plenty of natural light but you are still protected from the elements.
The kids area has been moved to behind the cafe now and you will find small tables and stools, plus colouring in sheets of native animals and books.
We have a LOT of annual passes and this one would have to be the best value for money (when the kids are little). Particularly considering the variety of attractions you have access to, the fact that the renewal price is only $69 for adults. With the Merlin annual pass you can visit nine attractions across three states as well as the aquarium in Auckland.
Places of Interest Nearby
Finding Wild Life Sydney Zoo
Wild Life Sydney Zoo is in Darling Harbour next to Sydney Aquarium. It is about a 10min ‘kids’ walk from the new Barangaroo ferry wharf. We now catch the Parramatta Rivercat in but used to drive and take advantage of the discounted parking included with entry.