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Taronga Zoo

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  1. Photograph: Supplied
    Photograph: Supplied
  2. Photograph: Supplied
    Photograph: Supplied
  3. Photograph: Supplied
    Photograph: Supplied
  4. Photograph: Supplied
    Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

What's not to love about the zoo?

It's beautifully laid out, the paths are wide and meandering, and – most importantly – the place is full of animals. Really interesting ones too: along with the lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) there are impossibly cute new young elephants, chimps and giraffes, as well as Taronga classics (pygmy hippos, the komodo dragon, koalas, platypi, Andean condors) and many exotic creatures you may not be immediately familiar with. We don't want to play favourites, but if Malaysia's noble bear-cat is binturong, we don't want to be binturight.

Taronga is also the most fun way possible to have your conscience pricked about the parlous state of the planet for many of our co-inhabitants. For an example of a sobering statistic: right this minute, you almost certainly have more Facebook friends than there are wild Sumatran Tigers. As that little factlet suggests, the zoo is also making a song and dance about its conservation work as well as its education, research and breeding programmes, so you can spend freely on site knowing that your money is going towards funding worthwhile causes. That stuffed penguin you bought for your nephew might be making the difference between the survival or the extinction of the Corroboree frog.

Make a day of it and take in the shows (especially the bird and seal performances) as well as the feeding times, which are available at the website, in order to see the beasts at their most lively. It's worthwhile getting a combined ferry/skyway/zoo ticket if you're coming from south of the bridge: the trip across the Harbour is an always-welcome reminder of just how beautiful our city is, and you get to arrive at the zoo entrance via the Sky Safari cable car – looking down on the elephants and chimps as you go.

Written by Andrew P Street


1 Bradleys Head Rd
Opening hours:
Daily (summer) 9am-5pm; daily (winter) 9.30am-4.30pm

What’s on

Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo

  • Fairs and festivals

With Vivid back making an illuminating return for 2022, allow us to shine a light on the return of Taronga Zoo’s own contribution to the after dark delights during the festival of light.  Wild Lights at Taronga Zoo is roaring back into action from May through to June. It’s an immersive and inspiring experience where guests can explore the zoo after dark on an illuminated night walk, all whilst connecting with wildlife and conservation.  You can discover animal lanterns that capture the likeness of 14 different species, from enchanting echidnas to a magnificent lion pride, as well as installations and light sculptures from the renowned Ample Projects Mini Beasts collection, including the breathtakingly beautiful Jellyfish Bloom. This year you can also see three never seen before, purpose-built inclusive installations contributed by Cushman & Wakefield.  This year there’s a strong focus on accessibility, as Wild Lights showcases a shared planet under the theme “Where Nature Shines”. Visitors will be transported around the world – to the jungles and savannahs of Africa, to the forests of Indonesia, the Australian outback, and a deep dive under the sea, with an array of oceanic inspired lanterns. Wild Lights is an all-ages, Covid-safe, ticketed event that makes for the ultimate family night out or the perfect addition to any zoo visit or overnight stay at Taronga Zoo Sydney. The event runs from May 27 to June 18 from Wednesday to Sunday (as well as the public holiday on Monday J

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