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What are the Best Animals to See at Taronga Zoo, Sydney?

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by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published January 4th 2023
If you plan on visiting Taronga Zoo these school holidays, then check out their website to see the range of animals they have on display. There are over 350 species at the zoo, so your favourite animals are sure to be there. On a personal note, I used to work at Taronga Zoo over 20 years ago (where did that time go?), so I was keen to visit again with my family and see what had changed. Although plenty had changed, the basics remained the same - attractive natural enclosures and shady areas to sit to view the animals. Two decades ago, I used to love watching the chimpanzees in my lunch break and nothing had changed - they were still one of my favourite animals on our recent visit.

What animals do you love to sit and watch when you visit Taronga Zoo? I would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your personal favourite(s), which will then get listed below. Scroll down for our family's favourites - are they yours?

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Graceful giraffes and gentle zebras, living happily side-by-side


Giraffes & Zebras were together in the one area, just as they would live alongside each other in the savannah. Their large enclosure had a variety of viewing areas, so visitors could look at the giraffes from the ground level and above, to admire them eye-to-eye. Keepers had positioned different plant species up high up on the fences for the giraffes to eat, which meant that visitors could get a closer look at their striking markings and enviable eyelashes.

We watched the giraffes for a long time, amazed at their size and grace as they seemed to walk in slow motion on their stilt-like legs. When you stand above the enclosure, you also get a scenic view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the background. It was a popular spot for tourists to take a selfie with a giraffe!

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Giraffes in front of the iconic Sydney background


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Follow your map to the African Savannah to find the giraffes & zebra


The Chimpanzees were also fascinating to watch, as it was interesting to observe their interactions and familiar human characteristics. On our recent visit, they had been given coconuts to try to break into and drink the milk. It was amusing to watch the hierarchy in action, as younger chimps tried to steal the coconuts from older siblings and then squabbles broke out amongst them with a lot of screeching. Older chimpanzees were not amused. One lone chimpanzee was very pensive as it sat by the waterfall and enjoyed drinking from his coconut and then banging it on the rock to try and break it open. No other chimpanzee approached him to steal his coconut, so he seemed to have respect in the large family group.

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A chimpanzee, quietly enjoying his coconut


If you are reading this article before you visit, ensure you get there early and don't forget your suncream, hat and energy. The zoo is located on a hill, so you will be walking up and down many steps and slopes which tires everybody out - especially the kids. Luckily there are plenty of conveniently located chairs in the shade, so you can watch the antics of all the animals - particularly the chimpanzees.

What is your favourite animal at Taronga Zoo? The elephants? Red Pandas? Meerkats? Please leave a comment at the top of this article and share which are your favourite animals or any tips about how to enjoy a day at the zoo. One thing is for sure, the chimpanzees are guaranteed to make you smile...

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Allow plenty of time to watch their antics!

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