Sydney’s Taronga Zoo never wastes an opportunity to bask in those oh so glorious harbour views – oh and the animals are fabulous too.
When: Open 365 days a year, 9.30am – 5pm (9.30am – 4.30pm from May – August)
Where: Bradley’s Head Road, Mosman, Sydney
Cost: Adult $44, child $22, family $122.20, Zoo Members FREE. Click here for more information.
Having now made a few visits to Taronga Zoo I have to say arriving by ferry trumps all entrances… no scratch that, arriving by ferry and then catching the gondola up to the front entrance is the only way to do it! Not only is it totally fun, you also get to take into some of the best views in the world and get a quick overview of the layout of the Zoo along the way.
If you want to head straight onto the gondola from the ferry you need to have pre-purchased your zoo ticket (or be a zoo member) you can do this online or at Circular Quay ticket office. At the top of the gondola you arrive in the main entrance area of Taronga Zoo, turn right and head into the zoo. You can collect a map from the staff at the gate.
Expect all the usual zoo fare – monkeys, gorillas, elephants, giraffes, snakes etc. We particularly loved the Seal Show (times differ day to day, so check the timetable when you first arrive so you don’t miss out). Front row might get a little bit splashy – but it’s worth getting up close as the seals do come up to the edge of the pool and also out into the crowd. The day we went we sat in the third row to the very left of the stage – which happened to be the perfect spot for when one of the seals came out into the audience.
You really could easily spend a full day at the zoo – our three and a half hours probably gave us time to explore most of it fairly quickly, but it did feel like we cut it a little short and the kids certainly could have happily stayed longer if there wasn’t that pesky business of a flight back to Melbourne that we had to make.
Probably the only thing I could wish for in our day out was better dinning options – there was the very predictable fast food selection, but when it came to healthy options it was a bit limited and ditto for kid friendly meals. The only option I did find was the Kids Healthy Snack Pack at the Bakery (located in the Food Market). This included half a wrap, a juice box, a muesli bar and a piece of fruit for $8.50 – if only we’d looked up from the counter and seen this sign before purchasing sandwiches! Ah well, next time…
And finally having a Zoo Membership really paid off – entrance alone into Taronga Zoo would have cost us $74.81 (group of 1 adult 2 kids), considering the Zoos Victoria membership fee costs $91 it’s been a very worthwhile investment! Not only have we visited Melbourne Zoo multiple times, but we’ve also been to Werribee and Healesville – all very worthwhile excursions which the children love.