TARONGA – THE BEST ZOO IN THE WORLD
Taronga Zoo is an amazing place to visit. Whether you are a local or a tourist, a family or a couple. Taronga is unique in that it is a tourist attraction in itself but then it also boasts some of the most spectacular views of the City.
In the last year that we have held our membership we have been at least once a month and we still have not seen everything.
I’m very critical about animals in captivity but a lot are rescued. The staff and the company care about of the care and conservation of animals and not just making a quick buck. Additionally, there are a number of breeding, conservation and support programs.
Where is Taronga Zoo, Sydney
Taronga Zoo Sydney is in the suburb of Mosman, a suburb of Sydney’s Lower North Shore. It is North East of the Sydney Opera House. If you’re on a ferry in the harbour heading to Manly you will actually be able to see Taronga on your left – but that is only if you know where to look.
How to get to Taronga
There are three main ways to get to Taronga – drive yourself in, take a ferry or catch a bus. Sydney’s North Shore does not have train access.
With kids this is probably the easiest option.
There is generally sufficient parking during the week and during holidays and weekends you will just have to get there early (as if early with children is ever possible).
The parking on-site is paid parking. If you are a Zoo Friend (if you have a membership) it will cost you less than $10 to park all day.
Ferry from the Cit
There is a ferry directly to the Zoo from Circular Quay (Warf 2). It’s only a 12 minute trip!
From the wharf the Zoo is very evident, you can then take the Sky Safari up to the entrance and walk your way down.
There are also private companies that sell tickets for the zoo which incorporate a ferry ride on a privately operated ferry.
There are various options that run from the City and from Chatswood Interchange on the North Shore. You cannot take a train to Taronga. You would have to take a train to the City if you are coming from South of the Zoo and then hop on a bus. Coming from the North you would take a train to Chatswood and then hop on a bus.
Taronga Zoo Features
The tickets for Taronga are not cheap but once you’ve seen the quantity of species homed and the quality of the place it will make sense.
There are a number of shows and talks that run through the day.
Included in the price is Sky Safari – it is a cable car ride from the bottom of Taronga up to the top entrance.
You can pay extra to:
- take a photo with a koala;
- feed a giraffe
- sit with the penguins
There are also tons of interactive areas for kids and stations set up for playing – water play, slides, climbing areas.
Taronga Zoo Facilities
Taronga caters for everyone. It is completely accessible. If you come across stairs that you think you need to go up you will definitely find a ramp alternative. You will not get stuck.
There are food outlets throughout the zoo but the best of the bunch is at the main entrance of the zoo. The little cafe opposite the ticketing desk. I really wouldn’t eat anywhere else, I would rather take my own food.
There are places where you can buy water, soda and ice creams dotted around the zoo.
There are toilets dotted throughout the zoo and they cater for families, kids, babies and people with disabilities.
There are bathrooms at the top between the ticketing counter and the zoo entrance so go before you start the walk through to zoo.
You can buy tickets online, at the gate or via vendors. For online tickets head to the Taronga website.
Please remember there are 2 Taronga Zoos one in Sydney and one 5 hours away so please make sure you buy for the right place.
You can often get specials on Groupon, Cudo etc.
My top tips for visiting Taronga Zoo, Sydney
- Don’t go during school holidays if you can avoid it! It’s such an awesome place so it’s always crowded on weekends and school holidays.
- 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.
- 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.
- Don’t sit in the front row of the seal show unless you want to get wet but do try get early to sit under the shade cloth.
- If you’re a zoo friend, validate parking ticket before you go into the park. It’s a standard $7 charge.
- If you want to see the Gorilla go just after the keeper’s talk not before because they’re generally not in the enclosure.
- The koala encounter is a lovely experience for overseas tourists, you will have to book a time when you buy the ticket (at the Zoo shop) so make sure you give yourself enough time to get there.
- The fish and chip shop is not good food, take your own because there are picnic tables dotted around.
- Get your coffee at the top entrance – it’s Lavazza, my favourite.
For special tips on visiting Taronga with children please read my guide Taronga with Kids – A Mom’s Guide.