I love animals. Dogs, cats, horses, you name it. I love it. I even feel a twinge of guilt when I see cows frolicking in the pasture. So before heading Down Under, I had to decide which of Sydney’s many wildlife parks/zoos I would visit.
After visiting, it became apparent that this would be zoo to put on my future children’s bucket list. Here are my reasons why:
Proximity to the City Center
I took one ferry ride from Circular Quay to get to Taronga, and it was not confusing. I boarded the ferry overwhelmingly full of tourists and their prams. (I noticed there were no children on leashes, which is common in the US). The ferry stopped right at the zoo, and everyone piled onto a bus, or rode the skyrail to the entrance. I was jealous I didn’t buy an advanced ticket, so if views from above are your thing, get a ticket!
Hilly Taronga is a great way to see the Opera House from a new angle, and I stopped whenever I had a break through the trees to snap some photos.
The Unique Residents
Not much needs to be said here. Australia is home to some of the most unique animals in the world, and they are on display as part of the 350+ species that reside at Taronga. I was thrilled to see a platypus, but unfortunately my photo didn’t come out well enough to post. Their eyes are sensitive to light, so flash photography was discouraged. You’ll have to visit to see them for yourself;)
The Breeding Programs
I was ecstatic to not only see a Tasmanian devil, but I loved to see that Taronga is trying to give these endangered animals a fighting chance. Their numbers are being impacted by facial tumors. For more information about all of the animals they are saving, check out Taronga’s website.
Zoo visitors can directly interact with animals. You can choose to feed giraffes, meet a tortoise or an owl, but I was more interested in meeting the animal that I could probably only see in Australia-the koala. It was definitely a bucket list.
I was slightly disappointed at first that I could not touch the koalas, but that quickly changed when the zookeeper explained that it impacts their livelihood to be constantly pet by the mass amount of visitors (over 1 million every year). The stress of being touched raises their cortisol (the stress hormone), and it makes them susceptible to cancers like lymphoma. I instead touched the tree branch, and I have no complaints. As long as they are healthy, I am happy to be in their presence.
Taronga has something for everyone. So if you find yourself Down Under, take the ferry over to the zoo making an inedible mark on some amazing creatures. For hours and ticketing information, please visit their website.