Zoos in Sydney - which one is the best? Taronga, Featherdale Wildlife Park or the Wildlife Sydney Zoo... Which Sydney zoo should you visit?
If your time is limited and you have to pick only one wildlife park, here is a detailed comparison of all 3 plus photos to help you decide where to go to discover native and exotic animals. This guide compares the range of animals, the locations, the atmospheres...
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Welcome to the Battle of the Sydney wildlife parks
TARONGA vs WILDLIFE SYDNEY ZOO vs FEATHERDALE
Which ones are the best zoos in Sydney?
INFO - Zoos in Sydney
While traveling to Sydney, Australia, you might want to spend time in some of the top attractions of the city. Why not discover the Australian wildlife: kangaroos, koalas, echidnas, Tasmanian Devils etc? Or do you just want to escape the buildings and spend some times with animals? Sydney offers a variety of options. So the only question is which zoo to visit…
Today I am battling 3 wildlife zoos located in the Sydney area to help you decide which one you visist based on your expectations. The 3 contestants are
Remember that if you prefer seeing those animals in the wild but are short in time, I did a special tour for that. Check out my story about spotting wild Australian animals.
Sydney zoos comparison table
Here is a table summarizing my opinions regarding Taronga zoo, Featherdale and Wildlife Sydney zoo in regards to the following criteria:
- Set up
- Animal variety
This opinions are my own to those Sydney Zoos and based on visits in 2014.
By the way, those parks propose encounters and behind the scene tours. Check out my day as a keeper at Sydney Taronga Zoo!
Sydney Zoos battle winner
You might have understood via this comparison table, I was not a big fan at all of the Wildlife Sydney Zoo. The settings were not practical, the animals not so vibrant and numerous.
Then between Taronga and Featherdale Wildlife Park it really depends on your expectation.
- Taronga is more of a classic zoo with animals you can see everywhere but in wonderful settings. Their installation for Australian Native animals is not so great though.
- If what you want is discovering all the native Australian wildlife and you don’t mind getting out of the city, then Featherdale is for you. I really loved the park! You can see the animals very well.
So it is a tie!
I know: "BUMMER"
Featherdale Wildlife Park - Photos and Practical Tips
Featherdale Wildlife Park Photos
If you love Australian animals here are some of my shots from Featherdale Wildlife Park:
Featherdale Wildlife Park Tips
- Located outside of the city center
- The zoo is not tool big, so you can plan a couple of hours to really enjoy the animals
- Avoid mid-day when it is too hot for the animals to be active
- If visiting on your own, come in the morning to avoid the bus crowd
- 2AUD to get some grass and get the animals to eat from you hand, especially the kangaroos
How to get to Featherdale Wildlife Park
This is the only one of the 3 Sydney zoos that is located outside of Sydney, in the Western Suburbs. But it should not stop you from making a trip there!
- Get there with your own car - Location Parking Featherdale Wildlife Park GPS: 33°46'00.3"S 150°53'03.9"E
- Get there by Public transportation - Train North Shore and Western line to Blacktown, walk to Bus Stand E and take Bus 729 during 10 minutes
- On an organized tour with the Blue Mountains - just sit and relax, the guide takes you in the morning to admire the mesmerizing blue of the Blue Mountains and on the way back you stop at the Featherdale Wildlife park where you have some free time to meet the animals before a river cruise back to Sydney - check programs and prices
Sydney Taronga Zoo - Photos and Practical Tips
Sydney Taronga Zoo Photos
See how the exotic animals stand out in their surroundings:
Sydney Taronga Zoo Tips
- Where good shoes and take some water - its is set up on a hill!
How to get to Sydney Taronga Zoo
Taronga Zoo is located in the heart of Sydney
- You can pre-purchase your Taronga entry ticket to save time and avoid queuing at the ticket booth - Get it here
- By car - Taronga zoo parking entrance GPS: 33°50'29.9"S 151°14'37.1"E
- By public transport - Take the ferry to the Taronga Zoo wharf and then the bus or the Gondola to the entrance at the top of the hill - or come by bus: line 238 and 247 stop near the entrance
- Or Save money and time! Buying a ticket that includes the Return Boat trip from Darling Harbour, the Gondola ride and the Entrey to the park - Get the combo ticket here
Wildlife Sydney Zoo
I was so underwhelmed by the park that I have very little photos to show you... Just this typical bird (of which I forgot the name) during feeding time
Other options to see wildlife and animals
If you can't choose....
If you love animal and can't choose, you can purchase an Adventure pass that include all 3 zoos in Sydney, plus the aquariums plus many other attractions.
Get your Sydney Attraction Pass
And if you are interested in the marine wildlife check out the Sydney aquarium battle: Sydney vs Manly!
And further away...
This is a long way inland but for a truly amazing zoo experience, consider flying to Dubbo to visit the Taronga Western Plain Zoo (see this article from Christine).
Or for something different
Check out this day trip to see Australian animals in the wild from Sydney
Aren’t they adorable?
Hey, I just want to check with you which zoo offers the most up-close experience with the animals? Thanks!!
Claire Robinson says
They all have encounters and feeding times with animals especially kangaroos and koalas.
The enclosures are well done so you see the animals really well (except at Taronga for the lion and other dangerous animals of course).
On est en vacance a sydney et nous souhaitons nous rendre a un des zoo avec mes enfants (4 personnes) mais on nous renseigne pas sur les prix au guichet. Car nous n’avons pas de carte pour effectuer des achats via internet.
Hey, I simply need to check with you which zoo offers the most very close involvement with the creatures? Much appreciated!!
Claire Robinson says
They all offer to get up-close encounters with koalas for pictures and with kangaroos to feed them yourself.
They all offer planned feeding times for you to see the animals better. But it is only watching.
In Featherdale you will see feedings of only of Australian animals. In Taronga you can see the feeding of giraffes which is fun and meerkats for example.
Taronga also proposes half day tours called Keeper for a Day during which you really interact with animals and their enclosures.
I hope this is what you meant by involvement.
you can’t feed the kangaroos at Taronga
Sue hall says
Can you hold a koala at Sydney zoo or taronga zoo
Claire, the Travel Planning Geek says
As written on the Taronga website: “To let them practice their wild habits, guests are not permitted to touch or hold the koalas”
You have opportunities to get closer and sometimes feed wild animals but not to hold them.
I wish you happy travels!
Faye Whitney says
We are travelling to Sydney, Australia & New Zealand in February 2010. We are very interested in seeing Koalas and Kangaroos, I would really like a picture with both. I am aware that you aren’t allowed to hold the animals.
We have heard about the Taronga & Featherdale. Do you know anything about Koala Park,?
Thank you for your time.
Claire, the Travel Planning Geek says
I am sorry I have not been.
I am going back to Sydney in March and will try visiting this park to add it.
I checked many reviews for you and they are very polarized from ‘amazing experience because you get close to the animals’ to ‘disgusting and the animals looked like they were dying’.
Sorry not to be more helpful at this point.
Koichi Ito says
I never visited Australia, but price of admission to Taronga Zoo and other Australian zoos is too expensive. In fact I live nearby Washington D.C. where it national Zoo admission fee is free. So I do not pay any money to enter National Zoo in Washington D.D.