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Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

Chicago, Illinois
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Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

While most comments about the Taronga Zoo are positive, the emphasis seems to be on the scenic route via the ferry ride. If I'm already taking a boat trip (Groupon special for whale watching that departs from Darling Harbor and goes past the Heads - http://gowhalewatchingsydney.com.au/) does that give me good enough reason to skip Taronga and make my Blue Mountains day a combination trip with Featherdale?

I thought about doing both but with only four full days in Sydney I want to use the time wisely but still leisurely. I will probably buy the Groupon special for the Sea Life Aquarium too so maybe that covers much of my interest in seeing animals?

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sydney
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1. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

If you want to hand feed animals (kangaroos etc) and get right up close & personal with a koala (alghough not actually 'cuddle' it) then Featherdale would be my choice - no additional charge for these after park entry

Will you have a car or are you relying on public transport? .. there are also tours that combine a visit to Featherdale and the BMs

When are you visiting?

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

It's two different experiences, so you really can't compare. As Helen points out, if you're wanting to experience hand feeding and up closeness with native animals, Fearherdale definitely.

But underselling Taronga Zoo by thinking the great majority focus on the ferry ride is a mistake. The locals emphasize the ferry ride, as it's an additional selling point for visitors. It compliments the zoo experience, not the other way around.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

For me the ferry is Ok but the view at the bird show is the seller... great spot to down a sarnie (aka sandwich)

2 different experiences

a zoo

a wildlife park

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

A more up-close experience with that wildlife in a natural like setting is probably preferred because it's more unique to Sydney/Australia as a whole. I'd guess that I've had the typical zoo experience, as great as they are, at many other city zoos. Taronga seems to be a beautiful well kept home for the animals so regardless of the ferry ride it's still of interest though.

I don't plan to have a car in Sydney (18-23 Nov) at this point. I would rather not drive to Blue Mtn/Featherdale so as to enjoy the scenery and take a break from the car rentals that I'm spending on in Melbourne (11-14 Nov) and Port Douglas (14-18 Nov). I like the idea of a tour so I don't need to plan routes/stops but maybe public transit is the cheaper option for that day.

Edited: 06 November 2013, 09:32
Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

Chrissy if you have a car in melbourne then healesville might suit you better?

Edited: 06 November 2013, 09:34
Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

I did consider a Healesville/Yarra Valley winery day but because I have less time in Melbourne I thought it best to push the wildlife park and wine outings to Sydney. I'm not 100% set for Melbourne, but so far planning on using the first full day for a Greeter walk of downtown followed by a drive to St. Phillip, the second full day driving the Great Ocean Road. My travel days are light, probably St. Kilda the first night of arrival and Queen Vic Market the last morning before departing.

If Healesville is that much better than Featherdale, should I make the switch, or are they interchangeable enough? In Sydney I could also do a single car hire if that makes it significantly better for time?

Edited: 06 November 2013, 10:23
Brisbane, Australia
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7. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

Here's even another point of view ... a trip to the Blue Mtns deserves an entire day to itself. Adding Featherdale to a mountain day trip just ruins it for me, just not enough time to enjoy either properly.

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8. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

I totally agree with able58. Day tour to the Blue Mts is a crying shame to start with as it is rushed. Add in Featherdale ...

I've been to both in the last month. The day trip people get about 45 mins at Featherdale - rush in, pose, take photo, rush out. It's a stampede as all the coaches arrive at the same time! Featherdale is nice enough, and you can get up close, but it is a long way out in suburbia.

For me, Taronga wins every time - ferry ride or not. it's a super setting with stunning harbour views. Lots of Aussie wildlife. Plus that bird show is excellent. But it is not cheap and is large, so you need to be prepared to allocate it half a day.

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9. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

Hi,

To put things in perspective for you.

Taronga zoo is just that, a zoo (exotic animals and some Oz species) in the process of being modernised in a spectacular harbour setting.

Featherdale is an Australian wildlife park, not a zoo with native animals as the focii, in an outer western suburb of Sydney that happens to be on the way to the Blue Mountains.

Healesville is a more extensive version of Featherdale with IMHO better displays and more of an emphasis on breeding programs and rehab than Featherdale.

Cheers,

Christchurch, New...
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10. Re: Featherdale over Taronga if ferry views aren't a factor?

Featherdale is privately owned iirc, whereas Healesville is part of Melb Zoo & thus has more Govt funding, more research etc. Both take time to get to. Featherdale is well worth the stop if you only have time for one.