March 30th – Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo Old Elephant Enclosure

There’s nothing more special for young kids (and some old ones) than a trip to the zoo.

Built in 1916, Taronga Zoological Park sits at the end of Bradley’s Head, near fashionable downtown Mosman, only a handful of kilometres from the city. It’s easily accessible by bus or ferry, and recent renovations have meant parking on-site is easy too (and cheap for Zoo Friends!).

From it’s early beginnings, Taronga Park was hugely famous as an entertainment venue. Fifty years into its existence however the elephant rides, mini-train, performing monkeys and carousels were removed, and the scope of the park changed to a more informational and educational purpose.

The landscape of Taronga Zoological Park is forever changing. A cable-car takes visitors from the ferry wharf to the park entrance, there is revamped seal show amphitheatre, and the free-flight bird show shouldn’t be missed.

My picture today is the iconic old elephant enclosure. Despite being kept fresh with a bright new coat of paint, it is now abandoned and can be walked through, largely as a showpiece of how cruel we as humans once were. A modern building next door to this construction is the new home to a single male Asian elephant.

Another reason Sydney-siders are spoiled – if you get bored with looking at animals, you can take a seat and enjoy magnificent city vistas. After all, the word “Taronga” is translated from the aboriginal word meaning “beautiful view”.

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