A 12-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, this forested harbour hillside is full of kangaroos, koalas and similarly hirsute Australians, plus numerous imported guests.
The zoo’s inhabitants have million-dollar harbour views, but seem blissfully unaware of what the humans consider a privilege. Encouragingly as far as zoos go, Taronga is said to set benchmarks in animal care and welfare. If you want to know more go to their website where there is detailed information about the zoos contribution to conservation, transforming zoos, and caring for the wild.
Highlights include the nocturnal platypus habitat, the Great Southern Oceans section and the Asian elephants enclosure. Feedings and encounters happen throughout the day, while in summer, twilight concerts jazz things up (see www.twilightattaronga.org.au).
Prebook your zoo tickets online for discounts of between 10% and 20%. There's also the option to include Wild Ropes, a high-ropes courses offering special views (it's cheaper to buy this with zoo entry than separately).
Visits to Taronga Zoo Sydney (and Taronga’s other Zoo in Dubbo outside Sydney) include Roar & Snore, an overnight family glamping experience and a more luxurious eco-retreat also onsite at the zoo.
Getting to Taronga Zoo
If you are driving and staying a while, note that the zoo car park is cheaper than the metered parking on the streets around.
Getting here by bus is the cheapest option; the M30 heads here from Wynyard in Sydney’s city centre.
Taronga Zoo ferry
Catching the ferry is part of the fun of a visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney. From the wharf, the Sky Safari cable car or a bus will whisk you to the main entrance, from which you can traverse the zoo downhill back to the ferry. Access for people with disabilities is good, even when arriving by ferry.