When most people think of Australia they have in their mind a few images, and the Koala is surely one of them. Watching T.V. commercials of Qantas and the cuddly Koala would make anyone want to travel there just to be up close and personal with one of these magnificient creatures. I have seen thousand of Koalas in zoos, but I wanted to actually touch the furry creature.
Fondest memory: When we planned our trip, my only requisite was to get close and personal with a Koala. To my disappointment you are not allowed to touch, feed or otherwise get too close to the Koalas at Taronga Zoo.
The only experience you actually get is to be photographed with these wonderful creatures, a shame, I really wanted to touch that thick coat.
Kangaroos were another creature I wanted to see while in Australia, but in Sydney, the only experience you will have with them is here in Taronga Zoo.
Seeing the Kangaroos in their native land was nice, I guess if I wanted to see one in the wild, I'd have to travel to the "outback".
All in all, it was fun seeing them hop around and finding a comfortable spot to lay in.
One of the highlighs to the garden for me were the "flying foxes". Flying Foxes are fruit bats and there were hundreds of them flying in the garden during daylight time making these horrible screaking sounds.
The park ranger informed us that our visit coincided with their mating season. (More info on my Botanic Gardens travelogue).
Something that amazed me in Australia, not just Sydney, are that there are wild birds that here in Canada are only found in pet stores and zoos/aviaries.
My friends and I came out of a restaurant to see all these Cockatoos in the trees and on the ground. Just amazed and thrilled me. My friends were amused at my reaction - they were used to it.
I am sure that there are more around Sydney but the only ones that I have seen are those highlighted at Taronga Park Zoo.............so if your time in Sydney is limited, I can recommend a trip over the harbour on the ferry and to the Zoo. If you go to the top and work your way down these drawings may be found in the Australian section that starts immediately from the left hand side when you come through the turnstyles. PS it is a good idea to pick up one of their maps from the kiosk just to your right when you go in.
Fondest memory: I can remember singing in the School's choir every year and performing on the Sydney Town Hall with representatives from all of the other schools. Must be a sign of age, or is it that the long term memory rushes up to take the short term memory's place? Ha Ha.
The one activity that was a must for me during our visit to Sydney was getting up close and personal with a Koala. On my Birthday trip in 2007; Chris took me to Taronga park for my first Koala encounter. I must admit the bears are very cute and fuzy but they are rather stinky(Phew.....). Our particular Koala seemed attracted to the smell of my hair but thanks to a quick thinking trainer he was grabbed before he could "climb" me.
Since that first experience I have fed and petted the fuzzy creatures at Featherdale and at Symbio. They still are stinky but so adorable.
Favorite thing: I guess this is an OK attraction. It would have been better if we were younger or had children. The park is reasonably sized with about 40 exhibits of Australian wildlife, including a kangaroo petting area. This is a tame zoo environment suitable for small children and educational in that it puts on reptile, wool shearing and other shows. If you hold cookies in your hand the dingos follow you from one end of the cage to the other.
Favorite thing: The Botanic Gardens and Domain were teeming with beautiful and exotic (well for me anyway) birds. It amazed me and I loved the fact that they went about their business while not minding people at all.
Favorite thing: While many of the birds that seemed to populate the city were common to Sydney-ites, it was new and unusual for me to see them wandering around like pigeons. What is considered a pest in one place. . .is worth a fortune in another.
Take plenty of pictures of the harbour bridge otherwise they will all be of the Opera house. I do not have a photo of the Zoo, but you can visit the Sydney zoo and get the bridge and Opera house in the background. Well worth a half day at the zoo. It's about the only chance to see a Kangaroo unless you want to eat one in one of the keyside restuarants. You can see a Wallaby too...so cute....the girls will love them.
Crocadile Dundee isn't there but there are plenty of crocs there. You can also eat them as well by the way, in the harbourside restuarants. You shouldn't feel too guilty about this as it is usually the other way around.
Fondest memory: At the zoo, we took lunch first as it was near noon. I only ate a couple of gut bombers (fast food hamburgers or hot dogs). and chips because I still wasn't hungry because that good, hot breakfast was still with me. There were doves and seagulls flying overhead. We were lucky not to have been their target, which is more than I can say for a group of German tourists 3 tables over. We saw animals unique to Australia such as the duck-billed platypus and the Tasmanian Devil. On taking photos of the platypus, I didn't know photos were prohibited. I didn't get caught, the picture turned out, so forbidden photos are worth a lot more than ones you have permission to take.
Fondest memory: We went on 4 July 1991 to another zoo about a half hour west of Katoomba. However, in this one, you can interact with the animals. There are photos of me together with a kangaroo and of an emu (an Australian ostrich) chasing my brother for 10 minutes, blocking his escape route. I'm guessing the "Metallica" decal on the back of my brother's jacket freaked the emu out. I don't know if the bird was a country fan, but it's nice to see a bird with discerning musical tastes.
Favorite thing: Take a 'four wheel drive tour'. We stopped at a wildlife part west of Sydney and got a good look at some of the native wildlife up close. Aftwards we went out and saw some wild wildlife. This Tawney Frogmouth is an strange bird.
Animals encounters are a must do when in Sydney; especially getting up close and personal with Kangaroos. Liz and I enjoyed visited two Animal Parks: Featherdale and Symbio. Both parks allowed guests to feed the Kangaroos which was awesome. The Kangaroos were very tame and hoped right over to get fed. We were able to pet them and experience their soft fur.
Fondest memory: Animals encounters are a must do when in Sydney; especially getting up close and personal with Kangaroos. Liz and I enjoyed visited two Animal Parks: Featherdale and Symbio. Both parks allowed guests to feed the Kangaroos which was awesome. The Kangaroos were very tame and hoped right over to get fed. Even little kids were able to get up close and touch the Kangaroos; they were very gentle. We were able to pet them and watch them hop about. If you are an animal lover this is a must do when in Sydney.
My wife has a big love of Koalas. During our trips to Sydney I have found ways to have Koala encounters for her. Taronga Park lets you take a picture with the Koala but no touching, plus the last time the Koala wanted to eat her head...long story. Symbio and Featherdale Animal Parks both have Koala encounters where you can touch and feed the Koalas. Both Symbio and Featherdale allowed Liz her up close and personal experience with her favorite "Fuzzballs", as she calls them.
If you are an animal lover or travelling with children I would suggest you try visiting Symbio and Featherdale for these Koala encounters.
**Just like any animal; they do poop. Be prepared for a little Koala poop pellets when you get up close and personal. They are animals and do have a strong smell; so be prepared for the stink. ***