While queuing for the Skyway ride at Scenic World the previous day, I was trying to find tickets to watch the Sydney Harbour Firework display on my mobile, as we finally reach the front of the queue  I have success booking tickets for the viewpoint near the zoo looking back towards Sydney Bridge. Left it a bit late perhaps but as we find out the next day it was well worth doing. With the tickets sorted we decided to spend New Year’s Eve at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo  as we planned to watch the fireworks on Bradleys Head overlooking the Harbour Bridge later on.

Taronga Zoo

A Barking Owl
The Bird Flying Display
An eastern Barn Owl
Red Tail Black Cockatoo

The Zoo is located in North Sydney on a hillside overlooking  Athol Bay. We make our way through the district of  Mosman and find a parking space on a residential street leading to the entrance of the Zoo, knowing we can stay all day and chill out in the campervan  later before walking back to Athol Bay to watch the firework display this evening. As it is NYE the park is closing early today and parts of the foreshore are being set up for the display tonight.

The entrance of the Zoo is at the top of the hill overlooking the harbour, it is obvious at the beginning that this is no ordinary zoo, the views are fantastic stretching out over the bay towards Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.  It would be easy to spend all day wandering around the zoo just because of it’s stunning location.

After  we entered we quickly head towards the bird display as a show is beginning to start in the arena. The show is fantastic, well researched and an exciting display as series of birds are displayed including the impressive Condor and Wedgetail Eagle.

Wedge-tail Eagle
Reaching the higher branches
The Elephants cooling down
It’s Feeding Time
Hitching a ride
Heading in for some privacy
It’s all Kicking Off


Beautiful Zebras
A tree Kangaroo
Climbing claws

Many of the animals we’ve already seen in Tasmania or along our route in the wild, but not these, lucky the crocodiles are behind bars.


The View Restaurant for a late afternoon meal overlooking the harbour.

At the base of the zoo, we watch the ferries departing tacking visitors back across the harbour towards Circular Quay. Time to head back to the bus and relax for a couple of hours as the end of the year approaches.


Travelling Notes

Check out the visitors website : Taronga Zoo  located on the hillside on the northern side of Sydney harbour, Taronga Zoo provides fantastic views out over the city towards the harbour bridge. It is easy to spend all day wandering around the zoo, it is  very picturesque. 

Sydney New Year´s Eve  info for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Where : Taronga Zoo, Athol Bay, North Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Travelling : from Dural in the northern suburbs  of Sydney it took us about 45 minutes to travel the 32 km along the M1 into Sydney and out towards Mosman in North Sydney. The Zoo is on the peninsula Bradleys Head which sticks out into Sydney Bay called Athol Bay.  

Camping or CampervanSydney Hills  An Active Holidays site near Dural.  It takes 45 minutes to reach the centre of Sydney by jumping on the bus, which stops just outside the camping site. Alternatively park at Pennant Hills Station and take the train straight into  Sydney jumping off at Wynyard Station, this takes 40 mins and you get to go over the Harbour Bridge.    

Don’t tell anyone: The View, the restaurant has a great view over the harbour away from the pizza and cola crowd.

Next up: City of Colour, Sydney

Fading Light

pjbourne is a full time architect, urban masterplanner and sustainability designer. In his free time he’s outside with a camera, running, hiking or mountain biking through the Alps where he lives or indoors in front of the iMac planning another long road trip in a campervan to the other side of the world.

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