It was a very hot Christmas day in Sydney. Most of the shops and eateries were closed but I did my research beforehand to know at least one place would not be closed. Taronga Zoo is opened 365 days a year and we decided to pay a visit there!
The entrance cost AUD 46 (~SGD 50) per adult, but you can save 10% by reserving the ticket online!
Taronga Zoo is a city zoo in Sydney Harbour at the suburb of Mosman, which was in operation since 1916. Taronga Zoo overlooks the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge. Covering 28 hectare of land, Taronga Zoo is the house of more than 4000 animals of more than 350 species and actively contributing to the conservation programme of endangered animal.
Taronga Zoo can be reached by ferry from Circular Quay to Taronga Zoo Wharf and it cost AUD 5.74 (~SGD 6) one way. The journey is only 15 minutes or so and it is quite pricey for that. A little trick to save the money, visit the zoo on Sundays so you can enjoy the ferry ride for only AUD 2.5 return. What a catch!
Upon alighting the ferry at Taronga Zoo Wharf, we had 2 choices of taking the bus or joining the queue to the cable car. Since we have purchased our tickets online, we were asked to proceed to the queue and enter the zoo via cable car.
|What a hot hot hot day|
|Welcome to Taronga Zoo|
|Cable Car Station|
|View from the cable car|
Taronga Zoo consists of 7 zones and the zoo map can easily be downloaded here. We decided to visit every one of them, according to what's suggested in the map. We reached Taronga Zoo around 10:00 a.m., 30 minutes after the opening hour of the zoo. From the entrance, we proceeded to Reptile Zone, African Safari and Australian Walkabout before stopping to have our lunch. We then continued to Kids Trail, Rainforest Trail and Seal Walk. We called it a day shortly before 5:00 p.m.
|Entering the zoo|
|Sleeping koala, the first animal that we spotted|
|I am shorter than baby giraffe!!!|
|Bath time! But they still stink|
|Moving on to Australian Walkabout|
|Taronga Zoo is part of platypus' conservation programme|
|Kangaroo? Or wallaby?|
|Wallaby, of course|
One thing I learnt here is how to differentiate a kangaroo and a wallaby. Kangaroo has a squarish-shaped face while wallaby has a cone-shaped face. From afar, I don't think I can differentiate them. Both of them hop anyway.
|Faber Castell bird, a parrot|
There is a special exhibit for Tasmanian devils too. But we did not get a chance to see them, probably because they are sleeping. Tasmanian devils are currently considered endangered animals too and one of the major cause of their deaths is traffic accidents. Many other animals are killed by vehicles on the road and their bodies are left unattended. Since Tasmanian devils feast on the dead bodies, traffic accidents are the big risk for them too.
|Cancer, another major cause of death for Tasmanian devils|
Time for lunch. There are some food kiosks and restaurants at the end of Australian Walkabout. There is a lawn as well for people that bring their picnic lunch. So, it's up to you. The zoo does not restrict people to bring in their own food into the zoo.
|The picnic lawn|
|Our picnic lunch!|
|Happy face for lunch|
|From the lawn, we can directly view the Sydney Harbour Bridge|
We continued the exploration on the extremely hot day after the lunch. About 3 hours to the closing time.
|Hens with style|
|The family of gorilla and their Christmas treats|
|He was frustrated with my unbelievable photo-taking skill|
|Can you see the heart at the butt?|
|Fishing cat, looks like tiger, swims like fish|
|Seal needs sunbathing too|
We managed to walk around all the zones but we missed all the shows. So, if you are going there and intend to watch the Keeper Show or the Bird Show, plan your route and time properly.
After finishing the Seal Walk, we went to the last exhibit of Red Panda but we did not see them. It was almost the closing time and we proceeded to the exit and back to the wharf. To our surprise, the wharf was more than full and we needed to wait for about 1 hour to be able to board the ferry back to Circular Quay.
|One last pose|
|The queue to enter the wharf, terrible!|
We were so tired after the long day and got a very good night sleep that night.
Merry Christmas from Taronga Zoo.
Love is in the air,