Taronga Zoo – tickets, prices, discounts, keeper talks, what to see

Taronga Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals, and is an extraordinary wilderness experience for both kids and adults alike.

It is spread over 50 acres of harbour land, offering fantastic views of the Sydney harbour.

Taronga is also a not-for-profit organisation supporting wildlife conservation.

In this article, we explain everything you need to know before visiting Taronga Zoo.

1. How to reach
2. Opening hours
3. Best time to visit
4. Tour duration
5. Tickets discount
6. Taronga Zoo tickets
7. Combo tours
8. What to do?
9. Zoo map
10. Reviews
11. Roar and Snore
12. Restaurants

How to reach Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo is on Bradleys Head Road in Mosman, right on Sydney Harbour.

It is close to Sydney’s Central Business District (CBD).

Getting to Taronga Zoo

There are various ways to reach Taronga Zoo.

Taronga Zoo Ferry

If you prefer a ferry to reach Taronga Zoo, you can get one either from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour.

Sydney Ferries services have one ferry going towards the Zoo, every 30 minutes. 

The traveling time is only 12 minutes.

From Circular Quay, you can also get on board one of Captain Cook Cruises’ Zoo Express boats.

Fantasea Cruising has two cruises daily to the Zoo which you can take from either Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. Book their cruise + Taronga Zoo entry

By Bus

You can board the M30 metro bus from Central, Town Hall, and Wynyard Train Stations every 10-15 minutes.

If you are trying to reach the Taronga Zoo via the Northern suburb bus routes, get down at either Spit Junction or Mosman Junction and board the M30 bus.

If you are coming from Balmoral Beach, opt for bus route number 238 to get dropped at the Sydney’s Taronga Zoo main entrance.

By Train

If you are trying to reach the Zoo by train, get down at the Circular Quay train station and get a ferry.

Taronga Zoo parking

Taronga Zoo Sydney’s full day parking costs 18 AUD.

The entrance to this parking zone is on Bradleys Head Road.

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Taronga Zoo opening hours

Taronga Zoo opens every day of the year from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm.

It does not close even for Christmas.

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Best time to visit Taronga Zoo

The best time of the day to visit Taronga Zoo is as soon as they open.

That’s when the animals are at their most active and come out to enjoy the sun. 

There are three other advantages of starting your day at the Zoo early – the temperature is still low, the crowd is yet to turn in, and you have the whole day to explore. 

The best months to visit Taronga Zoo are September, October, November – Sydney’s spring. 

The next best months are fall and winter months of March to August when both temperatures and average humidity come down drastically.

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How long does Taronga Zoo take

Taronga Zoo is divided into eight geographic regions and covers an area of 28-hectare (69-acre).

It houses more than four thousand animals, which makes this Sydney Zoo a huge attraction.

If you explore at a brisk pace, you should be able to cover most of the exhibits in 90 minutes.

If you are visiting as a family with kids, and plan to attend keeper talks, feeding sessions, etc. you will need 3 to 4 hours at the Zoo.

If you want you can turn it into a day-long activity by finding a picnic spot with stunning views of the Sydney Harbour.

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Taronga Zoo tickets discount

The most significant discount is reserved for kids three years and below – they enter the Zoo for free.

Children between 4 to 15 get the second-best ticket discount – they get a waiver of 20 AUD on the full adult ticket price.

Taronga Zoo discounts tickets that are bought online.

Yes, thats right. The entry ticket costs extra at the tourist attraction.

This is because when you buy Taronga Zoo tickets at the venue, you also pay what is known as ‘ticketing window surcharge’ – the cost of maintaining a ticketing window.

The below-given cards also qualify for a concession of 10 AUD on the ticket price –

1. Pensioner Concession Card (PCC)
2. Companion Card
3. Health Cards (HCC)
4. Seniors Card
5. Student Card

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Taronga Zoo tickets

There are three types of Taronga Zoo admission tickets you can buy.

1. Basic Zoo entry tickets
2. VIP Tour of Taronga Zoo
3. Guided Taronga Wild Australia Experience tour

All three are smartphone tickets.

You don’t need to take a print out – on the day of your visit, just show the tickets in your email and walk in.

In case of last minute change of plans, you can cancel them up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

1. Basic Zoo entry tickets

This ticket gets you full access to all the nine different zones of the Taronga Zoo, including all the keeper talks and feeding sessions.

When you buy this Taronga Zoo tickets online, you get to skip the line at the ticketing counter and walk right in.

Taronga Zoo Prices

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years): 47 AUD
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 27 AUD
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry

Book This Ticket

2. VIP Tour of Taronga Zoo

You can book this 90-minute VIP tour of the Zoo either for 9.45 am or 1.15 pm.

This is an opportunity to let a Zoo expert guide you and help you understand Australia’s unique wild animals.

You also get to see to areas of the Taronga Zoo which are not accessible to the general public.

This tour is perfect for families with children or small groups.

Tour Price

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years): 99 AUD
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 69 AUD
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry

Book This Tour

3. Guided Taronga Wild Australia Experience tour

During this two-hour tour, you meet the wild animals of the Australian bush, up close and personal.

The experienced guide helps you visit the koalas, common wombat, platypus Tawny Frogmouth bird, Australian bilby, etc. where you can take great photographs.

You also get to see behind-the-scenes Zoo kitchen where food for the animals is prepared.

Entry to the Taronga is part of this package.

This tour is available at two slots at 10.15 am and 2 pm.

Tour Price

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years): 129 AUD
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 83 AUD
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry

Book This Tour

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Taronga Zoo combo tours

Because of its proximity to the Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, it is possible to combine your visit to Taronga Zoo with an equally exciting activity nearby.

Many tourists prefer these combo tours because when two or more activities are booked at the same time, you end up getting discounts of up to 40%.

1. Sydney Harbour Cruise + Taronga Zoo

You start this tour from one of these three locations – Darling Harbour, Circular Quay or Manly.

You get on to the Rocket Ferry operated by Captain Cook Cruises and travel to Taronga Zoo and on the way enjoy stunning views of the Sydney Harbour, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, etc.

After your Zoo visit is over, you get on the Rocket Ferry and get back to where the tour started from.

Tour Price

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years): 59 AUD
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 35 AUD
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry

Book This Tour

2.  Whale Watching Cruise + Taronga Zoo

The first part of this tour is a two and a half hours cruise to see Humpback and Southern Right whales during their winter migration.

The all-weather lounge (with outdoor viewing platforms) and the 95% guarantee of seeing whales makes this a popular tour.

If you don’t spot a whale on your cruise, you will be offered a second cruise for free.

The second part of this tour is a visit to Sydney’s famous Taronga Zoo.

Tour Price

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years): 109 AUD
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 75 AUD
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry

Book This Tour

3. Jet Boat Ride + Taronga Zoo

The first part of this tour is a thrilling jet boat ride on Sydney Harbour.

The skipper of the jet boat reaches high speeds, performs high-speed spins and breaks, etc.

After this adrenaline-inducing activity, you take a Yellow water taxi to Taronga Zoo.

This tour is not suitable for those with back problems.

Tour Price

Adult ticket (16 to 64 years): 147 AUD
Child ticket (4 to 15 years): 95 AUD
Infant ticket (0 to 3 years): Free entry

Book This Tour

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What to do at Taronga Zoo

There are many things to do at this Sydney Zoo.

This section also doubles up as Taronga Zoo’s timetable,  because we also mention the schedule of all the activities here.

Attend shows

There are two shows you must try and pack in during your Zoo visit.

Both are free for Taronga entry ticket holders.

However, they get crowded fast so you may want to reach 10 minutes before the scheduled time to save a seat.

1. QBE, the free flight bird show

This show begins at 12 pm and 3 pm daily, and no booking is required to attend.

It showcases the natural behavior of birds like Andean Candor spreading its three-meter broad wings.

2. The Seal Show

This show begins at 11 am and 2 pm daily. On weekends an additional show happens at 1 pm.

This showcases the natural behavior of seals like catching fishes, climbing etc.

You also get to see other species such as Australian Sea lion, Californian Sealion etc.

Attend Keeper Talks

You can spend the whole day attending Keeper Talks at this Zoo.

All Taronga Zoo Keeper talks and feeding sessions are free to attend – they are included in your entry ticket.

Most of them last only 10 minutes, so it is better to arrive early.

1. Elephant keeper talk

You get to see Taronga’s Asian Elephants up close and learn how the lady of the house leads her herd.

Time: 1.30 pm, daily
Duration: 10 mins

2. Giraffe keeper talk

You get to understand why Giraffes are such amazing animals. How they are gentle and yet can be firm when required.

Time: 1.30 pm, daily
Duration: 10 minutes

3. Meerkat keeper talk

Meerkat family in Taronga Zoo Sydney is a lively bunch and to watch them eat insects, fruits, and vegetables during their feeding time is fantastic.

Time: 11.30 pm, daily
Duration: 10 minutes

4. Gorilla keeper talk

Gorillas have interesting social dynamics, and you get to learn and see it for yourself during this talk. You will see first hand why Gorillas are known to be intelligent.

Time: 2.30 pm, daily
Duration: 10 minutes

5. Chimpanzee keeper talk

Chimpanzees have interesting family dynamics, which you will be able to observe from up close as they have their lunch.

Time: 12 pm, daily
Duration: 10 minutes

6. Penguin keeper talk

The keepers tell the story of the penguin’s journey to the Taronga Zoo. How the injured and washed up penguins reach the Zoo and settle down in their new home.

Time: 2.40 pm, daily
Duration: 10 minutes

7. Reptile keeper talk

You can see and learn a lot about Australian reptiles such as the Black-headed Python, Blue Tongue Lizard, etc.

You can also take photographs to show off later.

Time: 11.30 am, daily
Duration: 10 minutes

8. Koala keeper talk

Koalas sleep for 18 to 20 hours a day, so no hard promises on if you will see them all active.

However, you can learn a lot from the Zookeepers as the marsupials rest amongst the eucalyptus trees.

Time: 3.30 pm, daily
Duration: 10 minutes

9. Spider keeper talk

Not all get excited at the prospect of seeing a spider, but those that do want to know everything about the eight-legged beings.

Time: 3 pm, daily from Monday to Friday
Duration: 30 minutes

10. Komodo Dragon keeper talk

Komodo dragons are aggressive carnivores. In this talk, you get to see how ruthlessly the World’s most giant lizards can eat.

Time: 11 am on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays
Duration: 10 minutes

Encounter the animals

At the ‘Encounter the animals’ session, you get closer to the animal for a one-on-one.

These animal encounters are paid activities, and your Taronga Zoo entry ticket doesn’t cover these.

The numerous animals you can encounter from up close are Koalas, Penguins, Giraffes, Meerkat Encounter, Birds, and Elephants.

These animal encounters can’t be booked in advance.

You must visit one of the Zoo’s shops or Animal Experience stations to book your encounter. Book Your tickets

Tiger Trek

This trek allows you to get close with endangered Sumatran tigers and discover ways to save them from extinction.

Every day this free-to-enter activity starts at 9.30 am and goes on till 4.30 pm.

Sky Safari

The gondola operates from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm every day.

This ride is absolutely free for all visitors.

From the Taronga Sky Safari, you get fantastic views of the Sydney Harbour.

During adverse weather conditions, Sky Safari is paused for a while.

Watch a movie

Access to the Centenary Theater is included in your admission ticket to the Taronga Zoo.

The theatre has a day-long schedule of screening animations, live shows, and short films.

10 am to 11.30 am: Movie called ‘Lights for the Wild’
10.30 am LIVE show: Super-smalls! GIANT bug show
11.30 am LIVE show: Reptile Keeper Talk
12 pm to 12.30 pm Movie: ‘Lights for the Wild’
12.30 pm to 2.30 pm Movie: Wild Squad (continuous screenings)
2.30 pm LIVE show: Super-smalls! GIANT bug show

Meet the bird keepers

This experience comes free with your day entry ticket.

During this session, you get to meet Blue Mountains Bushwalk Keeper, Bush Bird Keepers, Wetlands Aviary Keeper, and the Pelican Keeper.

Wild Ropes

This is a paid activity, and you can choose from four adrenaline-fueled Wild Ropes courses.

Both kids and adults can strap on a helmet and navigate suspension bridges, climbing walls, flying foxes, etc. even as they see the animals below and Sydney Harbour in the horizon.

Depending on which course you choose the duration of this course can be from 45 minutes to two hours.


This is perfect for smaller kids. They are sure to love petting rabbits and Guinea pigs.

They also get to know what it takes to be a pet owner.

Farm Animal Walk

Kids can go for a walk and learn how animals live on the farm at Taronga Sydney.

This 15-minute free activity is available on the weekends at 1.30 pm.

During school holidays this is scheduled daily.

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Taronga Zoo map

We recommend you look at Taronga Zoo’s map before you visit this Sydney attraction.

Especially if you are traveling with kids.

It will help you plan your route – and thus not miss any exhibit.

Besides the animal exhibits, the map also points out visitor services such as restaurants, washrooms, ATMs, picnic areas, free WiFIs, etc.

We recommend you bookmark this page or keep a printed copy of the map while exploring the Zoo.

Download Map

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Taronga Zoo reviews

This Zoo in Mosman, Sydney is a highly rated tourist attraction.

Check out two Taronga Zoo reviews we picked from Tripadvisor, which give you an idea of what to expect at this attraction.

Day trip to remember

We had a great day at the Zoo. Our only regret is that we did not get up earlier and spend more time there.

The Kangaroos and Wallabies were great (you get close) but the highlights for us were probably the Platypus and Australian nocturnal animals – some of which we had not heard of before.

A really good, active day out. We could have easily filled 2 days rather than the about 3/4 we gave it. – Alekstomczyk, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Perfect day for a young family

Try to go outside of busy times (school holidays). The seal show is amazing – the kids were captivated! Also, bring a spare change of clothes and swimmers in warm weather as there are great playgrounds with water features to play in. – Alison B

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Taronga Zoo Roar and Snore

This is also known as Taronga Zoo Sleepover, and as part of the overnight stay at the Zoo you get to experience four things –

1. Overnight safari with animal encounters
2. Delicious food at Campsite
3. Comfortable accommodation
4. Fantastic views of Opera House, Harbor Bridge etc

Since Roar and Snore experience is outdoors, and it is best to come prepared for an extreme weather change.

Since there is a lot of walking involved, it is best to wear comfortable shoes/sandals.

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Taronga Zoo Restaurant

This Sydney Zoo has three restaurants.

Forage and Graze

This food joint is near the Zoo’s entrance.

Serves pizzas, croissants, toasts, Bacon and eggs, sandwiches, wraps, muffins, etc.

Opens at 9 am daily.

The View

You need to book your spot for The View.

It is open only from Thursday to Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm.

During the NSW school holidays, it is open on all days.

Serves a la carte menu and makes for a relaxing setting against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour.

Taronga Food Market

This eating place serves diverse and contemporary hot and cold food options.

We recommend the freshly cooked roast chicken or their fantastic salads.

Popular attractions in Sydney

# Sydney Opera House
# Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb
# Sydney Aquarium
# Sydney Tower Eye

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