VISITING TARONGA WITH KIDS
Taronga Zoo is my top thing to do in Sydney with kids. Whether you are visiting or a local it doesn’t get much better that spending a day at Taronga.
It may seem daunting spending a whole day out on your feet with your kids but it need not be. I have set out this list of handy hints to make sure that it as good as can be and you don’t feel like a novice.
Straight off the bat I’m going to suggest that you don’t go on the weekends or over the Christmas period if you can avoid it.
If you’re really want to be prepared for your visit you can download the map before hand or download the interactive app .
Second most important tip – get your coffee at the top entrance. It’ll stand you in good stead for the rest of the day!
If you’re after a full review of Taronga, check out the post Taronga Zoo, Mosman.
How to visit Taronga with Kids
- Take a pram with you or a baby carrier, there is a lot of walking. If you don’t have a pram you can hire one from the shop at the entrance.
- If you have an annual pass validate your parking ticket when you arrive so that you don’t forget about it on the way out.
- Pick up a map from the ticket counter.
- Take the kids to the loo at the beginning because the next toilets are a bit of walk.
- Start at the top and meander down. Always take the Sky Safari up. You do not want to walk up those hills, my legs have paid that price. The Sky Safari is awesome so I’m going to dedicate a whole subsection to that.
The Sky Safari is a cable car that you can ride from the top entrance down to the bottom where the ferry wharf is. The Sky Safari is included in the price of your ticket. My advice is to take the safari up the hill.
The other alternative is to take a round trip, but you can only do this from the top entrance. Before you hop on at the top be sure to ask if round trips are allowed as they are not in peak season.
A warning to the wise – the Sky Safari is “scarier” going down than back up. If it’s a really windy day just be warned that you may swing a bit for a few minutes in the middle.
Where to go at Taronga to keep the Kids Entertained
- There is a small area at the entrance where kids like to play but this is the least entertaining area in the zoo.
- Water play is best at the farm yard but it’s packed over the lunch period because of the heat.
- Seal show at 11 is great and bird show at 12. You can easily catch both shows. If you’re not with kids then you could even fit the gorilla keeper talk in at 11:30.
- The bird show at 12 is lovely but sit at the top so you can be in the shade. Don’t feed the kids at the bird show because the birds may snatch food from them, it’s unlikely but may happen.
- There is a great play area next to the Lemur enclosure.
- Just alongside the seal show exit (not the place you queue to enter but at the bottom where they open a door at the end) is a “beach”. There is water that comes in waves and a boat shaped structure for kids to sit on. In the hot weather my kids love standing and spashing in this water.
- Pat a pet at 10:30 at the house above the farm yard.
A new addition to Taronga (March 2017) is the theater. It shows a 10 to 12 minute film every 15 minutes.
I am so unbelievably impressed with it. From the set up to the film that they’ve produced, it’s a really great addition to an already great experience.
The set up is incredible. The screen extends really far on either side so it seems like it wraps around the room and coupled with the amazing sound you feel like you’re really part of the experience. There are bean bags right in front of the screen for kids to sit on and some wooden benches higher up for the adults.
On the day that we visited it was completely empty except for us and two elderly ladies.
The film that is shown is lovely, it’s about the zoo and three of wildlife operations. It portrays the zoo exactly in the way it makes you feel when you visit. My kids were absolutely enthralled watching it.
Walk through enclosures
- Next to where you take picture with koalas is a walkabout with kangaroos, emus and wallabies.
- At the farm yard you can sit alongside a few different animal enclosures.
- Beyond the farm yard is another Australian walkabout with red kangaroos and a resident emu. This walk will take you through into Wombat house.
- The lemur enclosure allows small groups to walk through with a guide.
- The cute squirrel monkeys from South America are housed in a walk-through enclosure. Also in small groups with a guide.
Where to sit and eat
I would recommend you take your own food when visiting Taronga with kids. There are a number of places you can sit down and eat.
- At the farm yard
- The playground next to the Lemur enclosure has some seating where you can eat.
- There are picnic tables dotted around and spots for you to sit and eat.
- Tables at the very top entrance.
- The concert lawns
The fish and chip shop is not good food. If you want to buy food rather get it from the cafe at the top entrance.
What to pack for a visit to Taronga with Kids
- Lots of water
- Pack spare clothes for water play.
- I would also recommend taking a small hand towel to dry off the kids so you don’t have to listen to them moan because they’re wet 🙂
- Hats and suntan cream – there is very little shade when you are walking around.
- Hand santizer is also a good option because the kids want to touch everything and then get hungry and put food in their mouths…
- Camera or phone. You’ll find so many things you want to take pictures of.
- Pram is essential for little kids, they and you will get tired if you spend more than 2 hours there. If you forget you can pay to hire a pram at the zoo.
Make sure the kids wear good walking shoes.