Giraffes with a View at Taronga Zoo

Giraffes and Sydney Opera House

Giraffes and Sydney Opera House

 Sydney, Friday

Sydneysiders often say the animals at Taronga Zoo have the best view in Sydney.

We spent much of New Year’s Day here, with Clive’s son, daughter-in-law, and their two pre-school boys.  It was a birthday outing for the younger, who was born on New Year’s Eve 2006.

Australian Birds and Wildlife

I’ve never been much of a zoo person, though I appreciate that in recent years zoos have become increasingly animal and visitor-friendly.  Friends and family who are into zoos love Taronga, and I’d include it on a list of Sydney highlights for visitors with limited time who are interested in Australian animals.

Yesterday we saw koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles, and wombats, along with imported creatures like a pigmy hippo, lions, giraffes, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, snow leopards, and seals.

Koala at Taronga Zoo

Koala at Taronga Zoo

 Location, Location, Location

For me the best part of Taronga Zoo is its location, directly on Sydney Harbour.  It’s a 12-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, which is between the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

As you walk around the zoo, you get constant glimpses and views of water, sky, and the city skyline, usually accompanied by a breeze.

Being on Sydney Harbour often means being on a hillside.  Clive’s son and daughter-in-law love amusement parks and zoos, and have visited many in Australia and Europe.  I asked them if Taronga is one of their favourites, and they said, “Yes, except for the hill.”

Small Group Waiting for One of the Many Zoo Shows to Begin

Small Group Waiting for One of the Many Zoo Shows to Begin

I started to notice young parents sweltering a bit as they pushed heavy strollers uphill, trying to keep up with children running ahead.  Fortunately, the entry fee includes unlimited rides on the cable car that runs from Taronga Wharf at the bottom of the hill to the main zoo entrance at the top.

My Favourite Things

1.  Watching the boys’ enjoyment of the animals.

2.  Riding the cable car with the almost-5 year old, and feeling quite special when he said, “just me and Carolyn.”  (He then agreed Grandad should join us as well.)  I took the Taronga ferry to and from work for the first four years I lived here and have been to the zoo before, but yesterday was the first time I rode the cable car.

3.  Spending time with this young family on a beautiful day, in a beautiful location.

Happy Second Birthday, E.


2 Responses

  1. Yes, the zoo certainly has a great location!

    I was watching a video tape of my daughter at the Des Moines Zoo taken in 1990 – she was only 3 years old at the time. It is fun to see how excited children get seeing giraffes or other animals.

    Like you, I have never been overly excited about zoos but do agree they are better today than they used to be. I try to remember that a main purpose of a zoo is to allow for research and, thus, to help animals overall – not just to cage them so people can walk by and look at them.

    Have a great new year and know I enjoy your blog a great deal!

  2. Thank you Russell.

    I agree re research focus is a good thing.

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