My son Jared invited me to join him for an overnight trip to the zoo.
Roar and Snore -Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia, is a wonderful experience and I was truly blessed to spend it with Jared- my wildlife animal lover.
At 6:00pm we arrived and were met by our guides at the front gates, who would be spending the evening with us including a couple of young teenagers who volunteer. They all have a passion not just for the animals, also conservation and shared their knowledge with us that made us all think about the world we live in. The zoo actually closes around 4:00pm.
Our bags were tagged and taken to our “camp” whilst our group headed off on foot with the guides, armed with wet weather gear at the ready, as it was a drizzly looking evening.
We stopped to see animals that are right under our noses, however we have never seen them, possibly due to them being more active at night, or perhaps we are always rushing by to get to another exhibit.
The zoo is always under going changes, as they often obtain grants to upgrade parts of the zoo from corporate companies and also government funding, which needs to be used in it’s calendar year, or it must be returned. At present, the new Savannah is being created through the middle of the zoo and from all we could see, it will be amazing.
Our first tour lasts for over an hour before we arrive into camp and are shown our tents. The tents are housed close together and there is a main tent where we are offered yummy drinks and nibbles. Our guides brought a few native Australian animals for us to see and touch. In the camp there is a basic amenities building that has showers/toilets and all the supplies.
After our canapés and drinks, we left camp with the plan being to bring whatever we needed as we were having a small tour on our way to our dinner and then we would be heading off on a night tour after our meal.
Our group wonder past the elephants, the sun bear, the tortoise and the giraffes, stopping for small chats along the way and head to the View Restaurant, where a beautiful buffet awaits. We can sit wherever we like, and there are more drinks offered along with our buffet. Dessert will be after the late night tour back at the main tent.
With full bellies, we again stroll though the zoo in darkness, hearing lots of animals calling out. Our guides take us to see the Australian fur seals as there is a new pup there called Torre. The guides have ultra red lights to shine on the animals so as not to disturb or irritate the animals, so everything is glowing red. As we approach the exhibit, Tess one of the guides is super excited as the mum and new pup are right up against the viewing window and the pup is actually feeding from it’s mum! Super cute and a privilege to see.
The Meerkats are zoozing and not making an appearance, so we head off to The Sumatra exhibit to see the 3 new tiger cubs. With mum front and centre at the viewing window licking her paws, it was like she was waiting for us. As we all stand oo-ing and ahh-ing, she stands and walks over to a small open shed, and nudges her babies as if to say come on up you get we have visitors- how wonderful seeing her razz the kids awake then trots them all off to bed.
We are all super excited to have seen the new editions to Taronga Zoo. On our return to the camp, although we try to find the Sun bear on our way to the tents. Never mind we have had a blast tonight and seeing the new babies at the zoo has been a highlight!
A night cap, of tea and coffee with yummy chocolate brownies and it’s light out….. Well not quite but as it’s 10:30pm and we will all be up early or may not sleep with the animals making noises, our guides leave us and let us know they will be back at 6:00am with more tea, coffee and protein balls for our morning adventure! Oh and if you hear an alarm don’t panic, it just means there is an animal on the loose ! So here is the emergency contact in case there is a drama- good night.
I slept like a baby until around 5:15am. I woke to the Mumma tiger calling out -it almost sounded like NOOOOOOOO as she called her cubs. A quick wash and we pack out bags, brush our teeth and it’s off to see behind scenes of the zoo again.
There are mostly couples and a few families on our tour. Before we head off we all grab a quick pic of the beautiful Sydney Harbour and City, as Taronga Zoo has one of the best views of our wonderful city. We watch the Manly Ferry still with lights on cross the harbour on it’s way to Circular quay, and the song by the 1980’s band Australian Crawl sticks in my head……. Reckless- ” As the Manly Ferry- cuts its way to Circular Quay….-Hear the Captain blow his whistle- so long she’s been away”
Jared helped “feed” the giraffes on our way to breakfast and we gave a quick hello to some of the asian elephants and also the Meerkats standing as a guard!
Breakfast is another amazing buffet with plenty of food. The zoo is well and truly awake and preparing for the days activities. We have 2 more experiences before the zoo opens.
Tess our guide take us all to the Heritage listed Indian Elephant House that I remember having an elephant ride from when i was young. Here we got to see inside the building the beautiful old architecture and photos and also meet a cute possum called Atticus, who was 6 years old and has a twin sister- just like me!
Our last experience is down at Seal Cove, were we see the breeding Male and boy is he large. We all sit as he “parades along in front of us with his carer, happily having all his checks done on command like teeth, ears and skin checks, before he dives into the exhibit ready for his day.
The tour ends here and you have the opportunity to spend the day at the zoo. It’ such a great experience and as I have been lucky enough to do both Dubbo Zoo and Sydney – I’d choose to do Sydney again, as it’s more personal and up close ….
Happy reading! Mrs Wong