Taronga Zoo

Taronga is a zoo which offers wonderful interactive opportunities. In the Backyard to Bush exhibit your kids will set out to explore a couple of ordinary-looking houses and find a worm farm, a frog pond, a possum box, pet lizards and farmyard animals. They’ll let out squeals as they discover slugs in the letter box, mice in the walls, cockroaches under the sink and ants in the sugar bowl. Through playing around, patting the animals, smelling the fragrant plants, exploring a giant underground 'wombat burrow’, your kids will discover many ways to live in harmony with the environment.

Price range

HIGH COST

Contact details

Bradleys Head Rd, Mosman; (02) 9969 2777

Don't Miss

■ The free-flight bird show and the seal show. Be there early for a good view, as seats start to fill 45 minutes before the shows begin.

■ The keeper talks – your opportunity to get a really good look at the animals who recognise their keepers and come close, expecting to be fed.

Fabulous Facts

Taronga, along with other zoos and wildlife parks, runs insurance breeding programs for endangered animals to make sure they do not disappear entirely. One of the animals on this program is the Tasmanian devil, the largest surviving carnivorous marsupial in the world. The devils eat small mammals, including wallabies, devouring bones, fur and all with their powerful teeth and jaws. Early European settlers eliminated large numbers of Tasmanian devils using traps and poison because they feared the animals were taking their lambs. Now, due to the spread of Devils Facial Tumour Disease, Tasmanian devils are vanishing from the wild altogether.

Insider Tips

■ Check the website before you go. You can download a map (also available at the entrance), find out the times for the keeper talks, animal feeding and special shows, and plan your visit in advance.

■ The zoo is on a hill. If you arrive by ferry you’ll be down the bottom. Catch the free Sky Safari (cable car) to the top of the hill or take the escalators or lift from the food court. Plan your visit
so you don’t have to climb up and down the hill too much – but if little legs get too tired, keep your eye out for the trackless electric trains that roam around.
 
■ The busiest times are school holidays, sunny days and weekends. Arrive as early as possible to avoid the crowds and pre-purchase your tickets online so you can bypass the long queue to get in.
 
■ There are various wonderful opportunities available at extra cost. Animal Encounters offer a special experience with your chosen animal. On the Wild Australia Experience tour you prepare delicious titbits like fly pupae, mealworms and frozen mice in the animal kitchen, and then the zoo keeper lets you feed and pat the animals. Check the website for more information.
 
■ If you really like the zoo, consider staying the night!

See Also

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