The Zoo With a View

Ouch! While I might not have ranked Sydney’s Taronga Zoo as the best in the world, I definitely dispute Trip Advisor’s list of the World Top 25 Zoos..Taronga Zoo doesn’t even rate a mention. Adding salt to the wound, Melbourne Zoo came in at number 12. Tell me, who’s ever heard of Melbourne Zoo? Indeed, who has even heard of Melbourne? I’ve heard of a place somewhere south of the border but we don’t fraternise with Victorians.

The Elephant Enclosure, Taronga Zoo.

The Elephant Enclosure, Taronga Zoo.

Sydney is Sydney.

When it comes to zoos with a view, Taronga Zoo’s view over Sydney Harbour is pretty hard to beat..especially as the sun sprinkles all her magic sparkles over the water on a perfect day.

Happy Birthday, Mister. He will always be our Superman!

Happy Birthday, Mister. He will always be our Superman! This photo was taken at his party back home.

Anyway, here to set the record straight, come and join me on yet another magical, mystical tour in my great time machine. Today, we’re switching the clock back to the 8th March, 2009 when our family went to Taronga Zoo to celebrate our son’s 5th birthday. Turning 5, in case you’ve forgotten, is an incredible achievement for a little kid…almost as good as turning 18 and becoming “legal”. At that’s when you’re allowed to drink in Australia.

Miss admires the Horological Clock, Taronga Zoo, Sydney.

Miss admires the Floral Clock, Taronga Zoo, Sydney.

Anyway, our visit to Taronga Zoo was momentous for another reason. It was a huge hurdle for me to visit the zoo with my disability and health issues. You see, Taronga Zoo is perched on the edge of a very steep hill on Sydney Harbour. This means that you’re not just walking around a lot but  there are also some pretty steep inclines. That said, you could always catch the cable car from the bottom back up to the top and perhaps that’s what we did. I just remember what a hurdle it was in my head to even get to the zoo let alone get through the day.

Yet, we did it.

If you are visiting Taronga Zoo from overseas, you would naturally be more drawn to the Australian animals. However, as Australians, we were more interested in the more exotic animals. Here is a photographic tour of our day at the zoo. It didn’t include one pto with a marsupial..sorry!

They say the best things come in little packages.

They say the best things come in little packages.

Seal Show, Taronga Zoo.

Seal Show, Taronga Zoo.

Here's Big Ears.

Here’s Big Ears.

When I grow up, I'm going to be as tall as a giraffe...

When I grow up, I’m going to be as tall as a giraffe…

Mister with an “elephant”.

This has been an incredible journey revisiting my son’s 5th birthday and our trip to the zoo. He has always been such a character and to be able to see and almost touch those tiny fingers and bask in his smile has been absolutely wonderful. You might notice that our daughter has her arm in a cast. She had a nasty encounter with a broken bowl, which severed her tendon and she was off to Westmead Children’s Hospital for surgery and 6 weeks in the plaster. The surgeon told us he’d done his job and it was now up to us to keep the royal finger safe…not an easy task with a 3 year old with a rambunctious older brother!!

For those of you who are interested in gardening, here is further information about Taronga Zoo’s Floral Clock, which was donated to Taronga by the late Sir Arthur Rickard, KBE, of Sydney. The clock was officially started on 19th December 1928.

Just in case you’re now inspired to make a visit, here’s a link to locational information on their web site:

Well, this has been the letter Z from the Blogging A-Z April Challenge. But that’s nmot quite all folks. Wait…there’s more!

Have you ever visited Taronga Zoo? What is your favourite zoo? I understand that having our wild animals in zoos is far from ideal but with so many species seriously endangered, these zoos are becoming mjodern Noah’s Arks…just take the example of the Tasmanian Devil.

Best wishes,

xx Rowena

12 thoughts on “The Zoo With a View

  1. TanGental

    I loved the zoo when we took the kids. I remember the slopes and the sweat it induced! I was lucky enough to do a behind he scenes tour of London zoo (something courtesy of the Vet who has work experience there) so that has to be my favourite. Like you I prefer the wild but good zoos do enormous good so, hey, we need them

  2. maxwellthedog

    I loved Taronga Zoo and made it a visit every time I was lucky enough to travel to Sydney. From the time the ferry boat left the quay until return it was always a highlight. Great family photo at the start of your story and a tale told well. Sorry to hear of Miss’ misfortune with the broken bowl.

  3. roweeee Post author

    Yes, that ferry ride to the zoo is amazing. We get these Sunday family travel fares and you have unlimited travel for $2.50 each and my son and I spent the day going from ferry to ferry as Miss rehearsed with the choir. It was a fabulous day.
    By the way, Lady had quite a fettish for chocolate, which we of course, do not give our dogs. It’s from her past life. Anyway, saw her head down tail up and was curious. Just caught her eating my Ferrero Rocher Easter Rabbit. By the way, those fleas of hers, the “Tenterfield travellers” (song by John Williamson but not about fleas). Have proven resistant to everything. Geoff popped home while we were in Palm Beach and had to flea bomb the entire house twice. Without the dogs at home, the fleas were thrilled to see Geoff. Both dogs now have flea collars in addition to the topical treatment. Grr!!

  4. roweeee Post author

    I remember going to Taronga back in the 80s and feeling so sad seeing the caged animals..particularly the orangutans and seals. The orangutans used to live in this miserable looking cage like prisoners and it was obvious they were depressed. That’s all improved now.
    My attitude has also changed because of the conservation issue.
    I am very envious of you even going to London Zoo, let alone having a behind the scenes tour. I think about the back story to Winnie the Pooh. Funny though. I didn’t even consider going to the zoo when I was in London in 1992. Went to Keats house in Hampstead, British Museum, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace. I remember going in a black London cab. That was a serious indulgence for a backpacker!!

  5. Shivani Foundation

    Oh it’s such a beautiful Zoo!! You get to be so up close with animals, and feed Giraffe. I love the baby Gorilla on her mum/dad’s back snap! It’s too cute. Looks like you’ve had a really great day out.

  6. roweeee Post author

    It was a fabulous day. We also go to the Macadamia Castle near Byron Bay and that’s even more intimate. If you look at the wombat with thet5ea cup in Travelling Tea Cups, that was taken there. The wombat has since been relocated as he was rather grumpy.

  7. TanGental

    1992? Interesting year, between children arriving. Just moved into our current house. If you ever make it back, Row, I’ll make sure you get to see a lot more!

  8. Shirley Corder

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve never seen a wombat. I had to look it up on Google! It’s been a fun ride on #AtoZ. We must do it again next year! And BTW your family is gorgeous!

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