I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Do you like the idea of camping out at Taronga Zoo Sydney but like a bit of luxury in your life? Treat yourself and a loved one to a stay at Wildlife Retreat at Taronga. The entrance to the elegant eco-retreat is about 100 metres past the entrance to Taronga Zoo. The retreat is owned and operated by the not for profit Taronga Conservation Society Australia and your stay here contributes funding towards the care of Taronga's animals and conservation programs in Australia and the rest of the world.
The accommodation is architecturally designed to fit into the existing landscape and tree line, whilst making the most of the views of Sydney Harbour. Green initiatives such as roof-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, recycled water for irrigation and sustainable construction materials decrease the environmental impact. The wings of the building surround a private sanctuary, where native Australian animals roam and some rooms offer great views of koalas.
Elegant accomodation to complement the surroundings (image JW)
The nightly rate starts at $550 per room for a midweek stay in a bushland room and includes two exclusive tours, a three-course dinner, breakfast, undercover parking, and zoo entry. In 2020, adjustments have been made to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, such as limiting the number of guests, having smaller groups for tours, no minibar and breakfast is served to your table rather than a buffet.
Our recent stay was a wonderful experience from our welcome at the N'gurra lounge until our after stay zoo visit. Upon dropping off our bags, we were notified of our dining times and given a choice of tour times. The afternoon tour of the private sanctuary was informative and enjoyable and all the keepers and staff we met during our stay were professional and incredibly passionate about the environment, animals and conservation. Dining overlooking Sydney Harbour in Me-Gal, the on-site restaurant, was wonderful as was our sunset bubbles on the outdoor deck of the N'gurra lounge. After a good night's sleep, the pre-breakfast, pre-opening tour of the zoo was great fun and provided excellent photo opportunities.
Wildlife Retreat at Taronga is suitable for couples as well as families. Some of the rooms can sleep four adults or two adults plus two children. Cots and high chairs are available, mealtimes are earlier and tours can be adjusted as necessary. Zoo Friends members receive a 10% discount on their stay.
N'gurra the welcoming reception/lounge area (image JW)
In their words "above all, expect to leave changed forever. Having found your place in a bigger purpose. And knowing that your stay has made a meaningful difference. Because at Taronga we're not for profit, we're for the wild".