Yesterday, Sanford and I went to Sydney’s Tarongo Zoo. The zoo is set up on a hillside by the harbour and is therefore quite hilly, but it is well laid out. You can get to the zoo either by bus, car, or ferry. We chose to go by ferry, which means we arrived at the “bottom” of the zoo. Once off the ferry, there is a cable car to take you to the top of the hill, which is where the entrance is. While in the zoo, you work your way through the exhibits going down the hill and to the exit, and you are back to the ferry. If you come by car or bus, you arrive at the top near the entrance and then once you get to the bottom of the zoo you take the cable car back up to the parking or the bus stop. I thought it was a neat system.
It is expensive to go to the zoo here. The entrance fee for an adult is $46! Because we travelled by ferry, I was able to purchase a package that included a return ferry trip and the entrance fee for $53. The price though doesn’t seem to be a hindrance to attendance; they get, on average, 6000 to 7000 visitors a day.
The zoo is divided into zoogeographic regions. And is home to 4000 animals of 340 species. There are nine trails in the zoo taking you to different collections of animals; Reptile World, African Safari, Orang-utan Walk, Australian Walkabout, Kid’s Trail (farm animals), Rainforest Trail, Big Cats Trail, Bird Show Road, and Seal Walk. We went on all the trails except for the Kid’s Trail and Reptile World.
We also took in a two hour History Walk with one of the volunteers and learned about the history of the buildings and some of the animal enclosures. Although interesting, because it was my first time, I didn’t have any recollections of the zoo to compare memories to present day so it was not as meaningful to me as to others in the group who have been coming to this zoo since childhood. We also caught part of a talk on the Tasmanian Devils and learned about a cancer that is wiping them out and the attempts to stop them from going into extinction.
We arrived at the zoo around 10:30am and stayed until the 4:30 closing. We could have stayed longer, there is that much to see and do. My favourite animals were the pelicans and the penguins. It was a fun day.