elliott · family · travels

Sydney Shenanigans: WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo

Two days after we visited Taronga Zoo, we headed to the WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Yes, you read that right. Two zoos in three days. I guess that’s what you do when you’re a parent of a little one. Also, because we have a 3-attractions-for-1-price ticket, we decided that it would make sense to check it out.


Thanks to the InstaWeather app, I also remember that it was an insanely cold and windy day – 14 degrees! It was so windy that on our way to Darling Harbour, I had to duck into Myer to buy a winter (!) scarf that was on sale because I couldn’t stop shivering in my light jacket. I was really glad that I had the foresight to wrap the little man up like a blue burrito with his windbreaker and a wool blanket. Definitely a good day to stay indoors!

I love the idea of a wildlife zoo in the middle of the city. Most of the exhibits are indoors except for 3 outdoor ones which mean that unlike Taronga Zoo with its huge wide spaces, it was easier to manage with little ones.

Thanks to our pre-purchased tickets, this time round, we did not have to queue. BIG PHEW.

First up was a lovely Butterfly Tropics where pretty butterflies flew around the visitors. One particular butterfly was really friendly and sat around on our fingers. That was pretty cool.


As you can tell from the pictures, Elliott was fascinated by the little creature. He kept attempting to touch it and I knew that he is a little too young to know how to do so correctly. True enough, when he actually got his grubby fingers on it, he grabbed it a bit too tightly, much to our horror. Thankfully, said butterfly was probably an experienced one, having had one too many manhandling by little hands, and promptly flew to safety.


Most of the exhibits had large glass windows that allowed young ones to peer through. Unlike the zoo where we had to carry him to view the exhibits, here, he could stare at them for as long as he liked.


Some even had floor to ceiling glass panels, like this one at Devil’s Den. There is also an outdoor area where you can watch the resident Tasmanian Devil named Topsy scurrying around his enclosure.



Not all enclosures were low enough for Elliott but as far as I can remember, he was able to walk around and explore on his own for quite a few of them.

Can you spot the frog in this picture?



One of the highlights of the visit was watching Elliott touch a live snake and lizard.


I am not a fan of reptiles. In fact, I am terrified of them. Gulp. However, I am well aware that kids do not know fear unless they learn it so when faced with this live lizard, I subtly told the boy to please carry Elliott so that I can quietly slink away. Hur hur.

Desktop2That shy smile. So much cute 🙂

We also encountered some kangaroos in the outdoor enclosure. As it was a pretty cold day, we did not stay long. Also, these kangaroos were in an enclosed area so you can’t go up close.



So we contented ourselves by taking a photo with a giant fake kangaroo. Ha!


We also managed to catch Rex, the resident saltwater crocodile in action during the animal encounter show. It was really crowded so we were lucky to snag a spot.

Our last stop for the visit was to check out the koalas on the roof top. It was pretty crowded and because we already had a close encounter with a live koala at Taronga Zoo, we just took a quick peek and left.


As with most attractions, the gift/souvenir shop is the situated near the exit so it is near impossible to walk out without passing rows and rows of souvenirs. Thankfully, Elliott is not interested in the many stuffed animals on display. This is him giving the crocodile a hug. Awwwww.


Overall, we enjoyed our visit to WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo because it is a contained, indoor area where little ones can explore on their own. It is also a lot smaller than Taronga Zoo which means that it is more manageable with little ones with the attention span of 3.56 seconds. I would highly recommend it for little ones below the age of 5 years old.

Also, there is a cafe at the entrance of the attraction serving drinks (hot and cold), croissants, simple sandwiches, etc. If you don’t manage to grab some food before heading there, you can do a quick pitstop here before heading in. Don’t expect fancy gourmet fare though. It’s purely a fill-your-tummy-to-manage-squirmy-kid type of place 🙂

PS. We did not manage to check it out due to the rain but I understand that there is a wonderful children’s playground at Darling Harbour. Probably worth a visit if you’re in the vicinity!


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