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NSM Review: Taronga Zoo – a day out with the young ones

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If it has been a while since you’ve visited the zoo you should definitely put it high on your to-do list, suggests North Shore mum Lisa Warrener.

We recently went at the request of our three-year-old daughter who really wanted to see the ‘effalants’. We got there early and found parking very easily on the street right near the entrance, but also noted the covered car park that was just a short walk from the front gates ($17 flat rate for the day).

As it was a bit of a last-minute outing I hadn’t done my normal routine of jumping online to find out everything I could possibly need to know prior to a day out with a three-year-old and seven-month-old, and I was pleasantly surprised when I went to pay that children under four are free. Score!

tarongazooentrance

We grabbed our map and after making a bit of a rough plan we were off in the direction of the elephants. Well, it must have taken almost a good hour just to get past the kangaroos, emus and koalas! We really wanted to make the Seal Show at 11am, so I had to move things along a little. I told Miss 3 that if we didn’t hurry the elephants would spray us with their trunks for taking so long – that got her moving, although I think she secretly wanted to get sprayed! She was suitably impressed with the magnificent creatures although a bit concerned when she saw them swimming and playing with a ball in the water but didn’t have their floaties on.

We made it to the Seal Show 15 minutes early, which was lucky because it drew quite the crowd! The line was long but, surprisingly, we all fit in the arena and we actually found ourselves right up the front in the ‘splash zone’ (which made someone very happy). Since our visit a brand new sea lion pup called Max has arrived, and I would recommend fitting this Show into your schedule as it’s very entertaining.

Now, our three-year-old is very independent and likes to walk everywhere and not sit in her stroller like her baby sister, BUT she was more than happy to hop in and out as her feet got tired and I was so glad we took the stroller with us. The zoo is very hilly and it’s a long and tiring walk, so if in doubt I would definitely say to take one (they also have strollers for hire).

Another thing I would recommend is catching the Sky Safari up from the bottom of the park – not only do you get to enjoy the beautiful views of Sydney Harbour but it will save you a lot of energy going back up the hill. It’s included in the price of your ticket and a fun experience for young and old.

At the end of the day, just before she nodded off in the backseat of the car we asked our daughter what her favourite animals were and, would you believe it, she said the chickens and the pigs! I wasn’t going to argue with her and say, ‘What about the awesome elephants or the funny orangutans?’ – the kid likes what she likes. But my favourite … the giraffes.

giraffesenjoyingtheirview

I can’t wait until the girls are a bit older so we can do the Roar & Snore overnight adventure (kids need to be over the age of five). Until then I think we will try to make the zoo a bi-annual outing. Such a fun day out and it really is a place the whole family can enjoy.

Opening Hours: 9.30am to 4.30pm (May-Aug) and is open every day of the year
Price: Adults $46, Child (4-15 years) $26, Concession $36, Family Pass (2 adults and 2 children) $129.60
Facilities: ATM, Cafe/Eateries, Picnic Areas, Water bubblers, Lockers, Stroller hire, Parents Room
For more information: visit the Taronga Zoo website.

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Have you taken the kids to the zoo lately? Let us know your must-see attractions there, in the comments section below.

More on Sydney attractions…

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