If you’re looking for a unique Sydney experience like no other, then you’ve found it at Taronga Zoo’s “Roar and Snore”. This is a wildlife and camping experience set amongst the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbour. Taronga Zoo has been on the site for 103 years so it certainly a strong part of Sydney’s history.
We love that Taronga is a non-for-profit organisation and all money spent on entry tickets and in the zoo, goes back to supporting Conservation programs.
The experience is an all inclusive package, where for $278 per person, you receive tickets to the zoo, overnight accommodation, canapés and drinks, buffet dinner, dessert, continental breakfast, night walks, up close animal encounters and a fully hosted experience with four zoo staff. The cost also includes your parking and a full day to explore the zoo after you finish the program.
Your accommodation is inside the zoo in what could be described as “glamping”. Huge safari style tents with beds that can accommodate up to four people. We had two people and our tent was fitted out with a double and single bed. Each bed has a pillow, blanket and even an electric blanket to keep you warm. Staff can provide you with more blankets if you need them, though we’re sure you won’t.
As you arrive, park in the parking station and check is made easy and staff will take your bags and deliver them to your tents.
We begin with an introduction to the staff accompanying our group: Maz, who was leader of the group, the carnivore keeper gave an overview of the program. He was super enthusiastic, knowledgeable and ran the program very smoothly, always there to answer questions and give us a good insight into conservation and environmental tips. We also had Abbey who researches koalas and Indigenous culture, Danni – who loves all things reptiles as well as another Danni who is a zookeeper and vet nurse. The group was also supported by Sam, a youth volunteer. The staff attitudes really made it a great experience since it was clear that they love their job and are so passionate about animals and the environment.
Maz gave an acknowledgement of country, the Cammeraigal Country – the people who are the traditional owners of the land which the zoo stands on. We love that the zoo gives acknowledgement to the first peoples both through this welcome and also through many of the artworks on display around the site.
Following this is a night walk around the site, seeing nocturnal animals awake, like the Koala. The guides taught us about a few different animals before heading to the campsite. We see a peacock from
India, a tree kangaroo from New Guinea, and some possum. We also saw the Bongo Antelope and learned about this amazing animal, being supported by the zoo since there are only 70 left around the world.
After this, we head to the camp site and have some canapés provided for us in the main tent, consisting of crackers, cheese, dips and fruits as well as a drink or two of our choice.
Beers, wines, soft drinks and juices were on offer as well as hot drinks. Whilst we snacked, the staff brought around some reptiles which we could touch and also learn a lot about.
We then went for another night walk before having a buffet dinner which was lovely. Food included rice, curry, roast beef, soup, freshly baked sourdough and salad.
There was also plenty of drinks there too.
This was followed by another night walk where we were so lucky to be the first group to see the baby cub tigers, at just 32 weeks old which is amazing! Dessert was then back at our campsite. After a great night we settle into bed approx 10:30-11pm.
The next morning if you wake up early enough you can get an amazing sunrise view before heading out to the up close animal encounters. Prior to doing this, the staff offer hot drinks and a protein ball to fill your bellies before exploring.
The animal encounters were kept a surprise and our first one was the giraffe. Heading into the animal enclosure, we had the opportunity to get up close and feed the giraffes which was amazing!
We then had brekkie, a continental breakfast with pastries, cereals and fruits in the view restaurant.
Our second animal encounter was a seal. Here we watched the staff show off the talents of one of their seals. The animals you get to see will vary experience to experience and kept a surprise for you.
The program finishes at 9:30 am and you have the opportunity to explore the zoo for the rest of the day.
We stayed to check out the Tiger cubs and their mother in the day time. They have a new exhibition called the “tiger trek” where you begin in a flight simulator to feel like you’re travelling to Sumatra and getting off the simulator into the national park.
We also saw the gorillas and the new addition to their family, a 2 month old baby gorilla, as well as plenty of other animals like the sun bear and red panda.
The zoo is committed to ecological sustainability and doing their bit to help our world. Whilst there, we learned some wonderful tips and easy changes to make to help the environment. One single act can make the world of difference to our environment and the animals
⁃ Use recycling bins and compost
⁃ Refill your water bottles
⁃ Take 3 for the sea. Take 3 pieces of rubbish with you when you’re at the beach
⁃ Try to replace your plastic with reusable cups and containers
⁃ When you buy seafood, look for the logo for the MSC marine stewardship council branded fish.
⁃ We love that they have a display encouraging the use of certified sustainable palm oil, ensuring that we can protect places from deforestation. They encourage us to thank companies that use CSPO (certified sustainable palm oil) and write to those who don’t.
All in all, a night at Taronga Zoo’s Roar and Snore amazing and absolutely worth the money. We couldn’t recommend it more.
Address: Bradley Head Road, Mosman
Hours: open 9:30-4:30