“Taronga Zoo is the city zoo of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Officially opened on October 7, 1916, it is located on the shores of Sydney Harbour in the suburb of Mosman. Taronga Zoo is managed by the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales under the trading name Taronga Conservation Society along with Dubbo’s Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
Divided into eight zoogeographic regions, Taronga Zoo is home to over 2,600 animals on 21 hectares, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world.”
Accessibility informationGeneral accessibility features:
General accessibility further information:
- Accessible booking options (eg online or phone or email)
- Accessible toilets
- Adult change facilities
Carers and companions
"Taronga Zoo offers free entry to carers or essential companions of those with disabilities. We accept the national Companion Card."
"Wheelchair accessible toilets are located at the north and south entrances, at the Food Market, outside the Function Centre and at the Concert Lawns. There is also a wheelchair accessible bathroom at Parents Change Room located near the Giraffe exhibit. Facilities are indicated on the Zoo map."
"Taronga Zoo Sydney adheres to strict quarantine regulations and unfortunately cannot admit guide dogs, hearing assistance dogs and other assistance animals. Pre-arrangements can be made to have these animals looked after on site whilst you enjoy your visit to the Zoo.
If a request is received for such an animal to attend an event at the Taronga Function Centre, other than the designated quarantine areas (i.e. in the Zoo grounds), consideration is at the discretion of the senior veterinarian."
Interactive and hands-on activities
"Backyard to Bush is an area that comprises of an urban home and backyard, a rural living area and the bush. The area is an exciting and stimulating area for children with and without special needs.
Covered areas in this exhibit include the “Keen House” in the urban section, the farmyard barn and the underground wombat burrow in the “bush” section. Toilets (including disability accessible facilities) are adjacent."Mobility accessibility features:
Mobility accessibility further information:
- Wheelchair hire available
- Paths wide and not slippery
"Taronga Zoo Sydney is on a site of 28 hectares and the topography is quite steep in some areas. All paths are bitumen and many that traverse the Zoo are reasonably level, however some paths linking the various levels within the Zoo are steep.
Visitors with limited mobility are still able to traverse the entire Zoo with a number of elevators and ramps located around the site, indicated on the Zoo map.
More than 95% of our animal displays are wheelchair viewable. Accessible amenities are: all food outlets, shops, shows and presentations are wheelchair accessible, and all new developments since 2001 have been fitted with elevators.
For advice on the best routes, speak to our staff at the Visitor Centre when you arrive."
Hiring a wheelchair
"Taronga provides sturdy, all-terrain manual wheelchairs at no cost to those who require mobility assistance. ID is required and a disclaimer form must be completed. These wheelchairs must be pushed by a carer/companion and seat belts are required to be worn. Advanced booking is recommended by contacting the team."Vision accessibility further information:
"Large models of animals including a life size gorilla, komodo dragon, rhinoceros and elephants can be found throughout the grounds. These can be fully explored by children with vision impairments.
Tactile experiences are also provided to visitors including ‘touch-tables’ and smaller interpretive sculptures including a variety of comparative skull and hand/paw installations."Autism/Sensory accessibility features:
Autism/Sensory accessibility information:
- Quiet hour
- Quiet room or space
- Information available in various types
What to bring
"We suggest that guests bring along some of the following items to help make their day more manageable.
- A bracelet or name tag with contact details and anything else we should know if they become separated from your group
- Ear plugs or headphones. Areas of the Zoo can become crowded and noisy
- A favourite device or activity. Bring their tablet, video game, book, or anything else you think might distract them and keep them occupied during any periods of waiting. Please note that some items are restricted from entry to the Zoo.
- Reinforcers for good behaviour. The average visit to the Zoo is 3 hours, so an item to keep them entertained can be helpful. The sights, sounds, smells and movements through the Zoo might become overwhelming, so a sensory toy could be useful.
"Below are some of the services you can expect to be available for you on your visit to Taronga Zoo Sydney:
- VIP badge: If you feel you would like our team to provide extra assistance due to autism, we have a special orange VIP badge that guests can wear to alert our team to offer help when needed. Please note that a name and email is requested to obtain a VIP badge so that we can inform you of future Access Taronga days. These badges are provided free of charge.
- Social Story: Taronga has worked with Autism Spectrum Australia to develop a social story. Social stories are short descriptions of real life situations that help children with autism to understand what they might expect from a visit to the Zoo.
- Tranquil Zones: We have some beautiful picnic venues throughout the Zoo that can provide a tranquil zone for you to relax. Please ask our team for the nearest quite zone or see our accessibility map.
We understand that our guests have varying needs and are more than happy to help accommodate special requests as best we can. Please speak to a member of the Taronga Zoo team if you require any additional assistance."
Access Taronga days
"On select days throughout the year, Taronga welcomes guests with autism and their family or friends to enjoy early entry to our Zoos. Access Taronga days like this are a great opportunity for you to enjoy the peace and quiet of the Zoo before it opens to the general public.
On Access Taronga days, Taronga Zoo Sydney will open 1.5 hours early (8am) to provide exclusive access to the Sky Safari Cable Car, extra animal meet and greets and first access to the Zoo's many exhibits."Other accessibility information:
For further thoughts and information, read Havewheelchairwilltravel.net's review of Taronga Zoo
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