New South Wales
Get closer than ever to the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger at the immersive new experience, Tiger Trek, at Taronga Zoo. This Indonesian-themed experience provides an amazing opportunity for you to get up-close with these magnificent, critically endangered Sumatran Tigers and learn how simple shopping choices can help to preserve their precious, natural habitat.
A trip to the zoo always means taking a walk on the wild side, but the new Tiger Trek exhibition at Taronga Zoo is an immersive experience that brings you face-to-face with tigers in a whole new way, recreating the tropics of Sumatra as though you are really there.
The scene is set from the moment you ‘board’ the experience by lining up at an airport gate to catch your flight to Sumatra! Your ‘boarding passes’ are checked, and as you move along the line, you catch a glimpse of the interior of a plane up ahead. Then, you (and your excited kids!) board the flight simulator and friendly cabin crew members in airline uniforms show you to your seats. As soon as you strap in and the crew take you through the safety procedures (just like a real flight!) the ‘plane’ takes off. Outside the windows you watch as the tarmac disappears beneath you and the ocean appears, before being replaced by visions of the lush green forests of Way Kambas National Park. The illusion is seamless and the sounds effects and motion of the ‘plane’ transport you and your imagination!
The cabin doors then open, and the crew wave a friendly goodbye as you step into a recreation of a Sumatran village. Wandering the dusty streets with the sun beating down and colourful buildings around you, you feel a world away from Mosman! It’s easy to believe you really have flown to a faraway village, especially when the meandering paths take you between buildings and across stepping stones to the other side of a river, where a rocky outcrop extends over a dark den… the home of the tigers.
The gorgeous, golden-eyed creatures have a sprawling area of their own, but the clever setup gives vantage points that allow you see them as they roam between abandoned oil barrels, across crumbling structures and up into the rocks. There’s a viewing room that has touchscreens and interactive exhibits set into the walls to entertain anyone waiting to see the tigers, and a few steps ahead there’s a generous space with just a huge glass panel separating you from the tigers. There’s also an abandoned jeep that actually juts out into the tiger arena, so you can sit behind the wheel while the animals leap on to the bonnet to stare you in the eye! We all crammed into the jeep just as two tigers jumped on to the roof and started pacing, their footsteps incredibly light for such massive animals.
The Tiger Trek experience is the natural expansion of Taronga’s efforts to help save the Sumatran Tiger, but it also extends to wider education about palm oil. As you leave the exhibit, an interactive ‘shopping’ experience gives you a shopping trolley and a list of supermarket items, which helps you discover how we all have a role to play in saving this species from extinction by choosing Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in things like cereals and soap.
Tiger Trek is a free, immersive experience included in your Zoo entry. Find out more details here about Taronga Zoo.