Taronga zOO

Sydney Travel Blog

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7.35am flight back to Sydney, the shuttle bus that we caught to the airport was choco block, packed.  We literally fell asleep as soon as we got on the flight, there was a little turbulence in the air but we landed safely at 9.30am.  We paid $28.80 for an airport exit and a day tripper, with a plan to visit Taronga Zoo.  The ferry terminal at circular quay is packed out with noisy, crazy, hyped up kids.  Not exactly the wisest choice to visit the zoo on a school holiday and when the sun is out.  When the ferry pulls up, mum's with huge prams and an armful of kids rush to push onto the ferry.  We held back a bit because I didn't fancy having my feet run over by a pram.
  We headed up onto the top deck so that we could enjoy the view and also get the rush of wind in our hair.  The ferry ride was about 15mins long.  On exit everyone makes a beeline for the cable car.  The minimum wait time is 30mins and so we decide that we'll just catch the bus up to the entrance and get the cable car down when we finished.  Again the ticket queue is huge, the adult prices are $41.  I thought that was pretty bloody expensive but luckily for me I had grabbed a discount voucher for 15% off.  With that extortionate ticket price they don't even give you a free zoo programme, it cost $3.  They would only give us one map between the two of us.  The one thing I really wanted to have done was a picture close up with a koala bear.
  The cost of one of those $19.95, at this point in my holiday I've already spent a million bucks and decide that that price is too pricey and totally not worth it.  I guess my opinion has changed since as I now wish I had one done, as a souvenir, just so I can say I have one of those pics!   

My concern was to see all the Australian wildlife, so we headed first to the koala enclosure.  There were two of them, one was sleeping and the other entertaining the crowd.  The entertainer was very active eating, climbing and scratching.  They are so cute and chubby, they look like huge cuddly teddy bears.  Their claws did look quite frightening though, long, sharp, black claws.  We stayed there for quite a while watching and managed to catch the entertainer having a bit of a scratch in his groin area.

The next part was the bush walk.  There was a whole indoor room full of nocturnal wildlife, there were a whole load of posum, ratlike and foxlike marsupials.  It was so strange looking at a rat like figure hopping around like a kangaroo.  It was smelly and dark in there so you had to concentrate to be able to see them.  The kids were screaming and banging on the glass window panels and this clearly scared the animals.  Next we went looking for the kangaroos.  We stumbled upon them while they were having an afternoon nap.  There were two of them laying side by side chilling out.  They look big even when laying down.  After about 5mins of watching them one of them decided to get up.  He did a bit of a walk around and looked around and then started having a scratch around on the ground like he was digging a hole.
  He then had a scratch and like of his groin area and then proceeded to do a poo.  It was pretty gross seeing it from the back view.  He dropped a few dollops and then crawled back into his laying position.  At this point I noticed that an emu was in the same enclosure.

Now satisfied with the Australian outback we just followed the path of the zoo.  Enjoying the sights of Sydney harbour bridge, the opera house and the general skyline.  You can get some pretty good shots from here.  We past the crocodile ponds and managed to catch the glimpse of the top of the crocs head.  We waited a while to see f he'd come out of the water but he didn't.  I didn't spot any others but there were millions of kids waiting for something to happen.

Enroute to the elephant enclosure we past a monkey compound and they were swinging around in the trees and performing for us.  There was only one elephant in the compound, which we only realised later was the breeding area.  The breeding area had lots of pictures and the history of how the elephants made it all the way over to Sydney.  When we reached the populated elephant enclosure there were quite a few of them including a small baby one.  They all stood around together socialising and playing all except one.  The lone elephant stood alone by himself and looked on into the crowd with a sad expression.  When the rangers came in to feed them they all went nuts for it.  The lone elephant wasn't even interested in the food he just wanted some affection from the ranger.
  He used his trunk to stroke the leg of the ranger and waited for a response.  The ranger rubbed his trunk and encouraged him to eat and he specially saved some branches for him.  The scene was so cute to watch, the relationship between the elephant and the ranger was something special.  The other elephants just helped themselves. 

The silver back gorilla was hiding behind the screen area just sitting and chilling and even though there was a clear sign on the window for people not to bang on the glass panel all the kids were doing it to try and provoke a reaction from the gorilla himself.  They did not succeed.  Instead the baby gorilla was running around and creating a little exciting scene for us.  The baby kept attempting to go outside and mamma gorilla kept dragging him back in.

At this point I'm getting quite tired and the zoo seems endlessly big.  We are in time to see some feeding and shows.  The pelicans were being fed.  There were three of them and three zoo rangers.  They climb onto pedestals and wait for the fish to be thrown into their beaks.  At one point the rangers goes into the pen with them and his naughty pelican starts to misbehave.  The pelican was trying to snatch the fish out of the rangers hand and was biting his leg!

There was a lot more to see and I did wander around but I was too tired to even remember what was happening.  I do remember that the map was not completely up to date.  There were some areas that were on the map but were empty.  Some things had been moved around.
  The queue for the cable car was not so busy so I decided that I could easily take the cable car down.  The wharf was full of kids again waiting on the ferry heading back across the harbour.        
vila says:
Great blog, Nina, very thorough and informative. Glad you had a great time!
Posted on: Jan 06, 2010
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photo by: Sunflower300