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Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

Malibu, California
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Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

We want to get up close and personal with koalas and kangaroos (and all other Aussie animal life). The zoo offers a special VIP tour called "Taronga's Wild Australia Experience, which allows for a small, personalized group escorted by a keeper to "venture into the wilderness of the Australian bush" with "excellent photo ops with koalas, kangaroos and echidna." It also includes viewing the underground burrow of the "Bare-nosed or Common Wombat . . . Behind the scenes in the Australian Nightlife house and enjoy encounters with nocturnal creatures . . ." It sounds like we get up close and personal with the animals, which is what we are looking to find.

Am I correct about this? Has anyone done this particular exclusive tour? How does it compare to the experience at Sydney Wildlife World? I've read that the view of the harbor from the zoo is alone worth the trip to the Taronga Zoo. Given all of this info, what do you recommend we do?

One more thing -- we are two adults, no kids with us, if that makes a difference in your response.

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the overflow
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1. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

C'mon Malibu.....you are doing an outstanding job of research and planning for a short trip to sydney......the taronga tour you have found is much superior to the wildlife world.....taronga is in a wonderful location and your tour will more comrehensive and a much better depth than wildlife world...it is expensive but i am sure you won't have to mortgage the beachside place at malibu to afford it.

to get the most out of it wiki marsupial and monotreme

when you get off the 8.45 ferry let the crowds hurry away and look back across the harbour to the city and opera house and bridge.....then you will know one element of what makes sydney special and the premier new world city on the planet...

Edited: 17 February 2012, 05:37
Malibu, California
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2. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

Thanks, Clancy. I so enjoy your replies. I certainly felt that the Taronga tour would surpass Wildlife World, but when I've never been to either, and I see so much talk on the boards about both, I started to doubt my decision. Thanks for the clarification, and I look forward to hearing more from you as I put all of my questions out there!

the overflow
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3. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

OK...now take it easy on the southern charm or clancy will get carried away and try to sell you the harbour bridge.

the harbour is an important element of what makes sydney special...you should take several ferry trips in your short stay here..

quay-darling harbour-milsons point

quay zoo

quay-watsons bay or manly.

get your self a good harbour map and do some research and (god forbid) talk to some of the locals

how is your last day looking? you can get a taxi direct from the quay to mrs macquaries chair (10 minutes)

Edited: 18 February 2012, 23:12
Malibu, California
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4. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

Thanks. Last day looks like this:

10 - noon: Wild Australia Experience Tour at Taronga Zoo

1-ish: Botanic Gardens Walk (from Gallery of NSW) to Opera House

This takes us back to the ship in time for sailing. However, as you suggested, we can take a taxi from Circular Quay to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair and walk back to the Opera House if we decide to stay longer at the zoo and find ourselves short on time at the end.

Our time in the harbor on the water looks like this:

The trip to Taronga Zoo is ferry #1.

New Year's Eve will have us out on the water on the cruise ship as part of the Harbor of Light Parade flotilla, then positioned under the Sydney Harbor Bridge inside the off-limits Harbor Exclusion Zone. This constitutes "in the harbor" on the water as ferry #2?

Our sightseeing on Dec. 31 is walking in the city and a visit to the Art Gallery of NSW. No actual harbor ferry. If there is time at the end of the day we could take a round-trip ferry to Manley just for the harbor ride (very doubtful since we will probably be required to be back on board for the NYE activities sometime in the afternoon -- won't know what time exactly for a few months).

New Year's Day/Jan. 1 has us SLEEPING IN and then, a tour of the Opera House at 10 or 11. From there, we will explore The Rocks.

Can you tell me whether or not we should visit the Susannah Place Museum? It looks interesting, but I'm not sure.

By 2:00-ish, we will follow your suggestion of taking the ferry at Circular Quay all the way around to Darling Harbor and then, back past Circular Quay to Milson's Point to walk across the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Any idea how long this ferry ride will be? Are we required to disembark the ferry and re-board, or can we just stay on and keep riding? Doesn't the ferry go back to Milson's Point from Darling Harbor BEFORE it returns to Circular Quay? Shouldn't we get off the ferry at Milson's Point then?

Once on the bridge, we will climb the 200 steps to the Pylon Lookout. We will continue to the end of the bridge, where will end up again in Circular Quay. This is ferry #3.

If time permits (and we didn't do this on a previous day), I would then like to take a round-trip ferry to Manly just for the ferry ride. Yes, ferry #4.

I would also like to go to the Opera Bar for a pre-dinner drink followed with what I hope will be a fabulous dining experience somewhere in Sydney. What do you think? Will it be possible to do all of this on one day? Is there a better time on our itinerary to include the ferry to Manly?

Looking for your great advice again, Clancy! Thanks!

Sydney
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5. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

You WILL stay longer than 2 hours at the Zoo - it's just fascinating.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

absolutely taroonga zoo. The wildlife world is just a poor cousin to the real thing.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

Sounds like a great itinerary you've got planned, and well researched! Just afew comments:

1 try to get to Mrs Macquaries point in the morning. If you're there after about 2pm you're looking straight into the sun as it heads west- not good for photo ops! You could walk there around Farm Cove from the quay, or from the Art Gallery along Mrs Macquarie Rd, quicker than a cab could get you there.

2 The ferry from the Quay to Darling Hbr runs about every 15 mins and takes about 25 mins as it makes a lot of stops. You're right in thinking that if you stay on you can return to Milsons Point, on the north side of the bridge, before the ferry goes on to the Quay. Walking across the bridge is a great idea, as is going up the pylon lookout- a nice harbour view right to the heads on a clear day.

3 as already observed, the zoo needs more than 2 hours.

4 Manly is okay, but very touristy and not in the least unspoiled. North Head is interesting- its a short cab ride from Manly wharf- very rocky and dramatic cliff view of the city and harbour. Watsons Bay (the southern harbour promontory) is also quite scenic and not as touristy. You can catch a ferry there.

Sounds like you need more time! Better come back for another trip!

Malibu, California
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8. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

It definitely sounds like we need another trip, doesn't it?! That's exactly what I have been telling my husband. Unfortunately, we cannot extend our time in Sydney (this trip!) because the ship continues the cruise after the 3 days allotted for Sydney. Trying to fit everything in that I want to do has been my greatest challenge.

Thanks for the great tips. Definitely we will visit Taronga Zoo, not the Wildlife World. Regarding the walk to Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, it was recommended that we walk FROM the Chair TO the Opera House so that we have the view in the right direction. Should I just take a taxi there and then take the walk in the "right" direction back to the Opera House? How long will it take to get to the Chair by taxi? One poster suggested 10 minutes. Do you agree? Does that account for traffic? Lastly, I was thinking that we would just take a round-trip ferry ride to Manly for the views within the harbor, but would not have enough time to actually spend time in Manly. Do you think it's better to go to Watson's Bay for this? Or should we go to Manly, get a cab, and go to North Head (asking the cab to wait while we look at the view?) Then, the cab could take us back to the Wharf for the ferry. Your thoughts on this?

Thanks for your help. I can't wait to get to your beautiful city!

South Pole
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9. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

i wouldn't bother with a cab to mrs. mac's chair. just walk there from the OH, turn around and walk back.

with the manly ferry, u have to get off and reboard. so why not at least walk down to the beach or even better get a cab to north head and see the city from there.

watsons bay will have a similar feel to north head but imo not such spectacular views.

'

Malibu, California
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10. Re: Taronga Zoo vs. Sydney Wildlife World

Thanks. Unless you tell me that the beach in Manly is like no other, then I'm thinking we should take a cab to North Head. The view is more dramatic there than at Manly? We live in Malibu, so we see the Pacific Ocean daily. Although we do not live right on the beach, we nonetheless get to appreciate the beach all the time. Do you think it makes more sense to go to North Head? If so, how long will it take to get to North Head from the Manly Wharf? Are there taxis waiting at the Wharf? Do we need to allow more time at North Head other than to look over the cliffs -- in other words, will a taxi be willing to wait for us, or is there a chance we could be stranded unless we call a taxi company?

Thanks again for your help!