Out and About: Taronga Zoo

As I wrote this post, the realisation hit me that I need to start a new section on my blog called ‘baby friendly’ activities or ‘toddler friendly’ activities. Because let’s face it – there’s going to be a lot more of these to come. So for now I’ve placed it under ‘Out and About’ but I’m already planning to move it to the new section as soon as I set it up.

So about 3 weeks ago we rode a train, ferry, bus and cable car all in one day to see the famous Taronga Zoo. Sydney’s Taronga Zoo is one of the most famous animal parks in the world and one of Sydney’s best activities for children. A family outing to the zoo is definitely a must when you live in this beautiful city. However bear in mind that a trip to the zoo is a whole day trip and a bit of planning can make your day a lot better.

We set off early in the morning to catch the train to Circular Quay where we met up with another friend with an ever eager toddler. Taronga zoo has a great website that can help you plan your trip. Best option is to catch the train to Circular Quay and wait for the ferry to take you to Taronga zoo (the zoo is on an island). Ferries operate every 20 minutes or so and take about 12 minutes to get to the island. We booked our tickets online the night before to avoid any rush.

It was great weather that day and the short ferry ride very enjoyable. Once you get to the island, you have to commute to the zoo either through a bus that meets you right in front of the ferry, or you have to use the cable car. We decided to take our kids on the bus and use the cable car on the way back. Cable car has an amazing elevated view of the harbour so make sure you try it at least one way!

Getting around the zoo is very easy- lots of signs and a helpful map. I would say Taronga zoo isn’t as great as Singapore zoo (best zoo in the world in my opinion), but its still a nice zoo and very enjoyable for kids. We planned our itinerary to catch a few good shows. In my opinion that is the best way to make the most of the day – try to plan your day around the animal shows. The bird show is well worth it- amazing view of the city right next to you.

A zoo trip can get exhausting for both parents and kids as the terrain is hilly so make sure you plan regular rest stops and give yourself plenty of time to explore all the enclosures to avoid disappointment. There are few options for food but they seem to be pricey and not very kid friendly. We packed a picnic as there are plenty of beautiful spots to sit for lunch and enjoy the view.

Also be sure not to miss the kid’s farm – Z got to feed goats, it was his highlight of the day. There’s also a water area for kids to play at. All in all – we had a great time especially with the cable car ride on the way back but I’m not sure if its worth going more than once. I don’t think we will do another zoo trip anytime soon so Z probably won’t get to see Taronga zoo for another few years!

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