Part two of Mick’s Sydney weekend
He soaked up King’s Cross and ticked the Bridge Climb off his bucket list in part one, now Mick gives us the lowdown on Taronga Zoo and his favourite things to do in Sydney.
Situated on the north shore of Sydney Harbour, in one of the more exclusive suburbs in the city on a prime piece of real-estate, is Taronga Zoo. There is nowhere else in the world that you can experience dozens of different exotic animals in such a glorious location. It is often said that the Taronga Zoo giraffes have the best view in Sydney.
The easiest way to travel to the zoo is via ferry from the central Circular Quay. A short ferry ride on the most famous harbour in the world with million dollar photo ops is worth doing in any event, but it was lovely that we could tie this in with travelling to the zoo on a glorious day.
Because the zoo is literally situated on a cliff-face, the entire day is spent walking down-hill, which is a good thing for elderly and young-uns alike. A cable car takes us from the bottom to the top of the zoo where we started our exploration.
The zoo houses a huge array of local and international fauna. The chimpanzee, elephant, gorilla and tiger enclosures, just to name a few, stand out as excellent examples of giving animals room to grow and live. One of the highlights of the zoo when I was a child was the seal exhibition, so we made sure to attend on this day. We were glad we did. It was just as entertaining as I’d remembered for kids and adults. Even a little bit of a shower is included.
A lot of improvements have been made to the park since I was small however, with the ‘concrete jungle’ that it once was, making way for bushy pathways, a large array of food and drink options as well as interactive shows and displays. You could spend hours exploring all sides of the zoo with more hours watching displays, talks and shows given by the experienced staff. It really was quite impressive to see.
After a long day’s walking it was a relief to once again board a ferry back to the city, soak in the sea air and relax.
Some of Mick’s other favourite things to do whilst in Sydney are:
● Wander around The Rocks – This area of Sydney is so old you’ll feel like a convict yourself! Check out some of the wonderful pubs, like the Lord Nelson, restaurants and architecture of this historical piece of the city.
● Grab a beer and a bite to eat in Surry Hills – This popular area, particularly Crown Street, has a number of beautiful cafes, restaurants and pubs. Check out The Winery on Crown St or The Norfolk on Cleveland St for good examples!
● Visit the ‘Paddo Markets’ in Paddington – For a massive array of art, fashion, jewellery and craft, visit the Paddington Markets on a Saturday morning and get inspired by the creative talents of Sydney locals!
● Centennial Park walk and an outdoor movie – Centennial Park is a hidden gem in Sydney. This massive public park with glorious local landscapes and open spaces makes for a perfect afternoon stroll. Give yourself an hour to walk around it and then stay for the Moonlight Cinema that shows through the summer.
● Check out the beach – Whether it’s Bondi, Coogee, Bronte or Manly, there is a beach for everyone in Sydney. Cafes and pubs dot the coastline at all these beaches but taking off your shoes and walking the water’s edge is the best way to experience Sydney’s natural beauties. Or if you want to leave your shoes on, do the Bondi to Bronte coast walk and marvel at the sea on one side or the amazing coastal homes on the other.
● Yum Cha in Chinatown – Sydney’s Chinatown is a bustling exciting part of town and it’s worth wandering the streets of Haymarket to experience it. Whilst you’re there, grab some excellent Yum Cha at Zilver. It’s cheap and cheerful and good for the whole family!