Not many zoos in the world are as unique as Taronga Zoo.  Located only 12 minutes from Sydney City, Taronga Zoo is best approached by ferry where the sweeping views of the Sydney Harbour are astounding.

In fact, Taronga Zoo is one of the best places to view the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Ferry Docking Point at Taronga Zoo.

We bought a 24 hr hop-on hop-off ferry ticket from Captain Cook Cruises, including the entry tickets to Taronga Zoo and Sky Safari cable car for AUD $65.  It’s highly recommended as we made full use of the hop-on hop-off service to travel extensively between Darling Harbour (Sydney Aquarium, Wildlife Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds, Star Casino), Circular Quay (Sydney Opera House, the Rocks Historic Precinct, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Royal Botanic Gardens), Fort Denison, Watson Bay and Luna Park.

Taronga Zoo occupies the slope of a hill and part of the reason why it is so unique is that it begins with a exhilarating cable car ride up to the top of the hill.  This is where we got our cameras ready, for the ride up provides us with one of the most unforgettable views of the city skyline.

It is also one of the best places see a grand overview of the animal enclosures below.  In fact, many children enjoy it so much that they continue to stay on for another loop in the cable car.

We found a free roaming peacock at the top station of Taronga Zoo…

and lots of cute cuddly plush toys at the souvenir shop.

The Koala enclosure at Taronga.  Though not as large as the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane, it is unique in its own way with a spherical walkway for visitors to view the sleepy koalas.

Reptile World in Taronga Zoo has one of the most extensive collections of reptiles, including Komodo Dragons at its entrance.

It’s feeding time for the frogs!  These animals are so well blended with their environment that the zoo-keeper had difficulty locating those which had not been fed!

More toads and frogs!

Sailfin Lizard – with small fins on their back.

Star Tortises – Beautiful Shells.

Green Iguanas, one of the largest lizards in South America.

If only the animals at Taronga Zoo know just how prime their property is!   From the vantage point of the zoo, the views of the Sydney City landscape is as good as you can get.  The giraffe enclosure occupies the very best spot for city watching.  Lucky giraffes!

We’ve been to many zoos and farms, and many of them allow us to get close to tame animals like kangaroos to pet them.   But at Taronga Zoo, this is the first time we got so close to wilder animals behind the safety of glass enclosures.

This family of chimpanzees happened to venture near the viewing gallery where we were at.  We literally stood just next to them, divided by a layer of glass.

And this is the viewing gallery where we were at.

The chimpanzees in their ‘natural’ environment.

Up close with the Barbary Sheeps.

A lone Pygmy Hippo.

Asian Elephants, best viewed from the cable car.

Other than the Giraffe enclosure, the Bird Show amphitheatre is another fantastic place to see Sydney Harbour.

On the trail to see sun bears, tigers and lions.

Sun Bear Close Up.

Into the Tiger’s Den.

Lions resting.

The aquarium is a must see at Taronga Zoo.  This see-through enclosure gives us such amazing views of sea lions soaring effortlessly through the depths of water.

Time flies when one has so much to see! Soon it was time to say good bye to Taronga Zoo.

Great views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House on the ferry ride back to Sydney City.  We were deliberating between the Wildlife Sydney Zoo and Taronga Zoo, and in some ways, we were glad to have chosen Taronga Zoo for such a exceptional experience.

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