The zoo was on my list of must-do things, mainly because of the whole ‘see a cute koala’ issue – I’d promised my youngest I’d do this at the very least. So it was onto the ferry again – by now, I was feeling like I knew my way around a bit, and I enjoyed the ride out to Taronga. It turns out you can buy a ticket that gets you on the ferry and then into the zoo. I noticed it could also include a cable car, but I told the ticket lady I wouldn’t be needing that (like planes, cable cars are really not my thing). I did think she looked at me a little strangely, and when I got off the ferry I discovered why: if you have a pre-paid zoo ticket, you get to the entrance via the cable car. Well, this being a time of bravery and new adventures, I decided I should continue to conquer my fears.
Around this point, I realised I was the only person standing in the cable car queue without an entourage of small children (apart from the Chinese tourists posing for hundreds of photos). Somehow, the cable car attendant seemed to think a middle-aged woman must necessarily be attached to offspring, so he assumed I was with the people in front of me (a dad and his three children), so they adopted me for the ride, and being their momentary mum took my mind off the fact that we were in the sky! It was amazing, actually, because you get to look down on the whole zoo. Happily, we didn’t appear to travel directly above the crocodiles – and how many times in your life do you get to take a photo of elephants from above?!
Taronga is an excellent place if you want to see Aussie animals and birds – I decided to stick mainly with creatures that normally live here, although obviously I had to have a little look at my other favourite animal. Check out the giraffes’ daily view – yes, it’s that skyline again!
I found emus, wallabies, kangaroos, lemurs (like little cat-bears, I think!), tiny penguins… I tried to see the platypus, but was a bit creeped out by the very dark room you had to go in – having just visited the reptiles, I was slightly anxious about what I might not be able to see in the dark! And apparently, platypus (platypi?) are very shy, so I didn’t stay in there for long.
I’m reserving my award of ‘new favourite animal’ to this: a tree kangaroo. A TREE kangaroo! Yes indeed, it turns out there’s a kangaroo that lives in a flipping tree! Even Pete, my Aussie friend, thought this was a joke along the same lines as drop bears (you definitely have to google that one!), but no, I have the photographic evidence – this was not some weird, sun-induced dream. Sadly, that evidence is currently only on my proper camera, but for now here’s a picture from Taronga’s library, with bonus tiny baby tree kangaroo:
So, the koalas – I was toying with the idea of actually doing that tourist thing and having a cuddle, but what do you know, they only have a limited number of ‘appointments’ and that day’s had all been sold. However, I did get some quality time cooing over them from a short distance – the zoo has a little family of three, and the baby was performing death-defying acts of climbing and nearly falling out of the tree. At one point, it fell onto its mum’s head, and she bit it on the bottom as punishment! So here’s the obligatory photo of a cute koala: