Taronga Zoo in Sydney is one of the city’s must-see attractions. Officially opened in 1916, it quickly became one of the most famous zoos in the world. Here you’ll find all the information you need on how to get there, how much it costs and what to expect when you arrive.
Taronga Zoo in brief
- Taronga Zoo is home to 5,000 animals and over 350 species.
- It is Australia’s largest zoo and was officially opened in 1916.
- Taronga is an Aboriginal word meaning “beautiful view”.
- In 2003, it became the second zoo in Australia to breed platypuses.
With around 1.5 million visits every year, the Taronga Zoo is one of the best places to sight in Australia. It has been a home to over 4000 animals of different species for over a century and is spread across 28 hectare (69 acres). Taronga Zoo tickets offers a wide variety of experiences like Tiger Trek, Elephant Trail, Serpentarium ,Explore iconic and unknown Australian fauna and much more. Their vision is to secure an intact future for wildlife and people.
Why Visit Taronga Zoo in Sydney?
Taronga Zoo aims to consistently enhance the animal habitats while striving to raise their visitor experiences. They enclose a cafe, a zoo shop and information centre. The zoo is divided into 8 zoo-geographic regions. You can also find the nearly threatened species of Platypusesin here. You can meet animals like kangaroos and wallabies which are a part of native Australian wildlife, which are allowed to freely roam around as you pass by.
Taronga zoo also witnessed Australia’s first elephant birth when an Asian elephant named Thong Dee gave birth to a male calf. It is also home to Sumatran tigers which are critically endangered with fewer than 350 individuals alive all over the globe. One of the Zoo’s most loved landscape features is the “Rustic Bridge”, a romantic pathway concealed by plants.
Get to Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is located in the suburb of Mosman, on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour.
If you’re already on the north side of the Harbour Bridge, you can easily catch buses and taxis to the zoo. Alternatively, if you’re close enough, you can take the coastal footpath to the zoo.
If you’re in the city centre, getting to the zoo is fairly straightforward. The easiest way is to board one of the ferries at Circular Quay and take the peaceful, relaxing ride to the zoo. Taronga Zoo has its own ferry dock, making access to the zoo very simple. The ferry ride takes 12 minutes from Circular Quay.
Alternatively, you can take the M30 underground bus to Central, Town Hall or Wynyard station, which takes around 10-15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can drive to the zoo and enter via Bradleys Head Road. Parking is available at Taronga Zoo for AUD 19 per day.
If you are looking for accommodation close to Taronga Zoo, simply book into a Sydney city centre hotel as Taronga Zoo is very accessible from the city.
Taronga Zoo is open from 9.30am to 4:30 PM on all days of the week, giving you plenty of time to explore. There are over 350 species to see, so take your time! Sky Safari – the shuttle service that gives you a bird’s eye view of the whole zoo and beyond runs from 10am to 3pm.
You can also take advantage of the facilities available for groups and families throughout the day, such as the Taronga Food Market and picnic areas.
The Zoo is open even on Christmas eve. The recommended time is 4 hours to as long as you want to experience it and its landscapes completely. Make sure you check the official Taronga Zoo Sydney website before you visit.
Best times to visit
Many Taronga Zoo customers would say that any time of day is a good time to visit. But arriving as early as opening time has its advantages, such as the fact that most of the animals are more active in the morning. If you’re not too keen on crowds, it’s best to visit during the week. But if you like the vibrant energy of bank holidays and weekends, don’t hesitate to visit at those times!
Weather-wise, late spring is one of the favourite periods for visitors, particularly from August to November. The weather is ideal – not too hot, not too cold – for exploring the attraction outdoors. For the best possible experience, check the weather forecast before you go.
Taronga Zoo Tickets
An adult ticket for Taronga Zoo will cost you around $47 AUD and a child ticket around $37 AUD.
The easiest way to get tickets is to book online! Choose the date you want (tickets are fixed-date) and book your tickets; you’ll receive instant confirmation in your e-mail. If something unexpected happens and you have to cancel, you can do so free of charge with 24 hours’ notice!
Spend a day at Taronga Zoo
A day at the zoo is not only a great way to explore the world’s most iconic zoo, but also to slow down your trip to Sydney and get a magnificent view of the CBD.
A day at the zoo will most likely include a walk at a relaxed pace as you get to know each animal in the enclosure. You’ll have a great day out, but at a leisurely pace. Sometimes you just need a day like this.
Have lunch in the site’s huge café, with a front row seat to the elephant enclosure, before taking the tiger trail and the Australian bush walk. Enjoy shows and lectures. Meet the kangaroos and discover the true beauty of these animals.
Finish off with an ice cream on the quay while you wait for the ferry to take you back to the city.
Animals to see
The zoo located in the centre of Sydney, is home to a wide variety of animals – 5,000 to be exact, with over 350 species. If you check your map, you’ll see several themed areas, all home to different species that might inhabit that area in real life.
The African Savannah, for example, lets you interact up close with African animals. On the other hand, Wild Australia features several sub-zones showcasing iconic Australian animals, from koalas and kangaroos to wombats and bush fauna such as dingoes.
The Great Southern Oceans exhibition features animals from the cold Antarctic region, such as the sub-Antarctic fur seal and various species of penguin.
Penny the Red Kangaroo is taking a laid-back approach to the weekend. Orphaned as a joey, Penny was hand-raised at Taronga and has grown up to play an important role in helping teach thousands of children about protecting native animals and their habitat at Education Centre of zoo.
Shows and lectures at Taronga Zoo
Several shows and educational talks take place throughout the day at the zoo. A crowd favourite is the ‘Seals for the Wild’ show, where you’ll see Australian and Californian sea lions, as well as long-nosed fur seals in action.
You can also learn more about the zoo’s diverse wildlife through a podcast hosted and produced by Hayden Turner, Taronga’s Visitor Experience, People and Programmes Manager.
My opinion of Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is sure to be a highlight of your trip. Especially as they are currently expanding the African exhibit to add even more animals to the zoo, you’ll definitely spend a few hours here.
It’s a must-see for tourists to Sydney, offers some of the most spectacular views of the city and is one of the most iconic zoos in the world. What’s not to love?