Sydney: Sleeping IN the zoo?

Old Sep 20, 19, 6:17 pm
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Sydney: Sleeping IN the zoo?

The Sydney Zoo has some overnight accommodations that include special after-hours tours and visits with some animals.
As far as I can tell, they've had the "rustic" accommodations for some time, but they've added a new Lodge, with more upscale accommodations.
Has anyone done this? Or know someone who has? If so, how was it?

We've made reservations for after our cruise in two months, and we've requested an "Animal View" room. They have a couple of other types, including "Harbor View", but given that we'll just be off a cruise... I don't think so!

We'd love to hear especially about the after hours activities (the evening before and then again before the zoo opens the next morning).
This sounds like a very unusual and special opportunity, and especially in the new, more upscale Lodge.

Many thanks!

GC
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Old Sep 21, 19, 5:32 am
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Nobody can answer your question as the Wildlife Retreat opens Oct 10 so nobody has stayed there yet. It looks to have different program elements than the Roar&Snore program (which uses tents). More luxurious and less active, targeting a different demographic (the tents are very kid oriented). Maybe good Geezer material
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Old Sep 21, 19, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by number_6 View Post
Nobody can answer your question as the Wildlife Retreat opens Oct 10 so nobody has stayed there yet. It looks to have different program elements than the Roar&Snore program (which uses tents). More luxurious and less active, targeting a different demographic (the tents are very kid oriented). Maybe good Geezer material
You got that right!
Some years ago, we would have preferred the rustic version. Indeed, those days included lots of backpacking, but we've, er, evolved a bit.

I was hoping someone might have some input about the experiences with the animals, which is the key point.
The pictures of the Lodge rooms seem pretty self-explanatory.

Thanks.

GC
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Old Sep 25, 19, 11:47 pm
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I've done the Roar and Snore. The tents are very luxurious - more glamping than camping. Definitely recommend it. Being there in first thing in the morning as the animals are moving around and there are no other tourists in the zoo is worth every cent. We even had the incredible luck to be there for the very first public outing of a new born elephant. Just brilliant.
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Last edited by secondsoprano; Sep 25, 19 at 11:48 pm Reason: more info
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Old Sep 25, 19, 11:54 pm
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At zoos in Australia, it's wonderful to do the walk among the kangaroos when it's quiet and empty. Rowdy kids tend to scare them to the fence of the enclosure, far back from the paths for people, but if you're there when it's quiet, the odds are excellent that some of the roos will come very close to you, and even eat from your hand in zoos that allow this (and sell the food, of course).
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Old Oct 2, 19, 3:49 am
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I've just stayed at Dubbo Zoo. We were all so excited every time an animal walked past. It was so relaxing.
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Old Oct 3, 19, 1:03 pm
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Sydney Zoo is not Taronga Zoo Sydney

Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
The Sydney Zoo has some overnight accommodations that include special after-hours tours and visits with some animals.

GC
(Gee, this is going to get confusing) "Sydney Zoo" is not yet open and is nowhere near the harbour. It is a new zoo being developed in Western Sydney and has no affiliation with "Taronga Zoo Sydney" which is on the harbour. Don't get the two mixed up when you are visiting.
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Old Oct 3, 19, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by woodg View Post
(Gee, this is going to get confusing) "Sydney Zoo" is not yet open and is nowhere near the harbour. It is a new zoo being developed in Western Sydney and has no affiliation with "Taronga Zoo Sydney" which is on the harbour. Don't get the two mixed up when you are visiting.
Thank you.

We know the "name" of what we thought was "the" Sydney Zoo, but now we'll be careful to be more specific.
When is the "generic" Sydney Zoo open?
Do you know how it will differ (or not) from the Taronga Zoo in Sydney?

We'll be stopping along the way during the cruise from Auckland to Sydney at some other locations with native animals, as that is something of special interest to us once we are in the region.
Any other suggestions (including several regular port stops in New Zealand, then Hobart and Melbourne) would certainly be welcome, in case we haven't stumbled across it.
In case it matters, we are still seeking some place to see penguins a bit up close, but without needing strenuous or long walking.

Thanks again!

GC
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Old Oct 3, 19, 11:45 pm
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melbourne penguins

https://www.melbournegems.com/pengui....GMgK4FwL.dpbs

St Kilda Penguins: Melbourne Best Kept Secret

Even some locals do not know that there is a little colony of penguin living in the heart of Melbourne.

St Kilda penguins are on St Kilda breakwater every night of the year.
You need to go at the end of the St Kilda Pier. And best things of all, this is absolutely free.

If you are visiting Melbourne you can certainly spend a day at St Kilda beach. Enjoy the beach, the shops and restaurants at Acland street then visit the little penguins.
In mid winter you may only see a few but in summer there are plenty. Best viewing is just after sunset.
You are not allowed to take flash photographs because flash can frighten or disorientate a penguin. So it is extremely difficult to get a good picture.

Do not try to touch them. Please respect their home and do not climb on the rocks.
Penguin Guides are on duty during the daylight saving period and will answer your questions.
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Old Oct 4, 19, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by rojaan View Post
https://www.melbournegems.com/pengui....GMgK4FwL.dpbs

St Kilda Penguins: Melbourne Best Kept Secret

Even some locals do not know that there is a little colony of penguin living in the heart of Melbourne.

St Kilda penguins are on St Kilda breakwater every night of the year.
You need to go at the end of the St Kilda Pier. And best things of all, this is absolutely free.

If you are visiting Melbourne you can certainly spend a day at St Kilda beach. Enjoy the beach, the shops and restaurants at Acland street then visit the little penguins.
In mid winter you may only see a few but in summer there are plenty. Best viewing is just after sunset.
You are not allowed to take flash photographs because flash can frighten or disorientate a penguin. So it is extremely difficult to get a good picture.

Do not try to touch them. Please respect their home and do not climb on the rocks.
Penguin Guides are on duty during the daylight saving period and will answer your questions.
Oh my - thank you!

But about the timing... it's not quite clear if the penguins are "at home, and receiving guests" in the mid/late afternoon, or only in the evening or later.

We'll be there in early December, and our ship is scheduled to depart at 6:30pm, which means we'd need to be comfortably on board at least an hour earlier...
How far is this area from where the cruise ships dock, distance and time-wise?

[How in the world can there be a little penguin colony right in town, and it's not well known!?]

Thanks again very much!

GC
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Old Oct 5, 19, 1:31 am
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You won't see any penguins moving around at St Kilda pier until right at sunset or after. This is when they start to return from the ocean.

However, anytime during the day you can walk along the rocks and usually see a penguin or two sleeping in their burrows. These guys have taken the day off 'work', to rest, molt, or look after eggs/chicks.
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Old Oct 5, 19, 7:51 am
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Penquins in Auckland

Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Thank you.
we are still seeking some place to see penguins a bit up close, but without needing strenuous or long walking.

GC
If you are in Auckland then you could try Kelly Tarlton's SeaLife. They have a fantastic penguin exhibition.

Have a look here: https://www.kellytarltons.co.nz/tick...guin-passport/
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Old Oct 5, 19, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Thank you.

We know the "name" of what we thought was "the" Sydney Zoo, but now we'll be careful to be more specific.
When is the "generic" Sydney Zoo open?
Do you know how it will differ (or not) from the Taronga Zoo in Sydney?

We'll be stopping along the way during the cruise from Auckland to Sydney at some other locations with native animals, as that is something of special interest to us once we are in the region.
Any other suggestions (including several regular port stops in New Zealand, then Hobart and Melbourne) would certainly be welcome, in case we haven't stumbled across it.
In case it matters, we are still seeking some place to see penguins a bit up close, but without needing strenuous or long walking.

Thanks again!

GC
There's also Manley, boat ride from Sydney Harbor. Aquarium (versus the aquarium in Sydney) with other animals too. Much smaller but charming and IME you're more likely to see visitors diving with the sharks.
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Old Oct 6, 19, 6:46 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
There's also Manley, boat ride from Sydney Harbor. Aquarium (versus the aquarium in Sydney) with other animals too. Much smaller but charming and IME you're more likely to see visitors diving with the sharks.
Manly also has wild, nesting fairy penguins at certain times of the year. The last colony left in mainland NSW actually.

Fairy Penguins - Manly Wharf
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Old Oct 6, 19, 7:12 am
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Animal Visits

I did the Roar & Snore a few years ago.
We arrived in the evening and they took us for a quick visit to the (I think) Snow Leopard. Then we had dinner and then a 1-1.5 hour tour down the hill to see all the animals at night.

In the morning we were up early to have an experience with a sea lion. As it was a small group it was able to pass through our seats so we could all get a closeup. After that we went to feed the giraffes. This was all before the zoo opened in the morning.

From memory they advertise 3 "experiences" but swap them up to give the animals a break.

I visited with a mixture of adults and a couple of small children.
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