4 May 2008: The Madrid Family are visiting Sydney from the Philippines. They flew in from Melbourne in the early morning and stayed at the beautiful Meriton Apartments right at the centre of downtown Sydney. Jeanne and I took the early train to meet up with them. The plan was to take them to Taronga Zoo if the weather is clear – or take the Red Bus around Sydney on a wet weather. The day turned out to be a perfect autumn day – bright and not so cold.
Taronga Zoo is a good place to visit for first time travellers to this city. Natz and Shirley have been to Sydney but has not yet seen the zoo. The day can begin with a ferry ride from Circular Quay which boast the water view of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. It is also a short ride between ports, before you know it – you’re at the zoo. There are 3 ways to get in to the park after reaching the port – a cable car (access to this was not operating today), a short walk to Gate 2, or a bus ride to Gate 1. We took the bus ride.
The zoo is spread over a slope, and Gate 1 is at the top. Once inside the park, we took a cable car ride and since there were not that many patrons using it, we went around twice. It gave us a bird’s eye view of the place and we were even surprised to see a large Orang-utan perching on top of his tower.
|[flashvideo filename=media/Tiger-show0.flv height=260 width=340 image=media/Tiger320x240.jpg /]|
We visited animal displays of marsupials, birds, reptiles, cats, apes, etc at a leisurely pace. We even had the chance to touch and pet an elephant. The Madrid’s also had the obligatory photo with a real Koala.
I was specially fascinated by the antiques of some of the animals. My favourite is split between a tiger who paced his area so close to the public isolated only by a thick glass – and a chimpanzee who decided to give an acrobatic show while encouraging the public to clap. These are not trained show animals, for this chimp – it is definitely a learned behaviour from constant exposure to human. A third choice would be the Orang-utan who was relaxing on a hammock using a sack as a blanket. It looked like an old lady having a nap. When we were there watching, she decided to get moving, came down for a closer look and sat contented as people watch on.
Here are some photos of the day.
|Ferry Ride to the Zoo||View from the Cable Car||View From the Zoo|
|Touching the Elephant||Obligatory Kangaroo Shot||Walking In The Park|
The complete set of photos in in our Gallery.