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roothy123

Best Zoo, Wildlife Park in Australia or New Zealand

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My husband and I like zoos and wildlife parks a lot.  It seems like there are quite a lot of them in Australia and New Zealand.  I will probably just figure out which port location looks the LEAST promising in terms of sightseeing activities that interest me, and then see if there's a wildlife area or zoo there.  But I don't want to go to just any place unless it's fairly worthwhile, and the cost is halfway reasonable.  SO - I was wondering if anyone can recommend a particular place, especially one where we can see native animals.  Also, are kangaroos always allowed to just roam free in these places?  I do want to get reasonably close to a few.  And as for koalas, I know they sleep a lot.  Is there any particular place where they're easier to see - asleep or awake?!  And in general, should we go to any place as early in the day as possible, so as to avoid hottest part of the day?  We will be going in late December, which doesn't sound all that hot, but I have never been down under before, so really don't know what to expect. 

 

We'll be in Sydney, Burnie (Wings Wildlife sounds good!), Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Wellington, Auckland,  Dunedin, etc. 

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Well Taronga Zoo in Sydney is spectacular. Those animals have some of the world’s best views.

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While visiting Melbourne, Melbourne Zoo is worth a visit as is Healesville Sanctuary which has all Australian animals. 

 

Leigh

 

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We did the behind the scenes tour at the Taronga Zoo.  It was a highlight of our trip and I highly recommend it.  We booked through Viator.  There were only 4 of us in the group.  We fed Koalas and kangaroos and saw a lot of other animals up close and personal.  

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On 4/9/2019 at 6:28 PM, GUT2407 said:

Well Taronga Zoo in Sydney is spectacular. Those animals have some of the world’s best views.

 

At the moment they are doing a lot of renovation at Taronga which kind of detracts from the experience.

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13 hours ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

At the moment they are doing a lot of renovation at Taronga which kind of detracts from the experience.

 

Do you, or anyone else, have any idea when the renos are expected to be completed?  We will be there in December...

Thanks, Cathy

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hmmm, looks like a 10 year renovation.  Hopefully it doesn't impact our viewing too much, disappointing when animals are off site due to restorations of their habitat.  Really want to see koalas and kangaroos up close!!

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On 4/15/2019 at 10:24 PM, Barwick Cruiser said:

 

Do you, or anyone else, have any idea when the renos are expected to be completed?  We will be there in December...

Thanks, Cathy

 We were at Taronga Zoo in Sydney  in March, it was the best Zoo in the country that we went too. Between Sydney, Brisbane, and Darwin we did five zoos.  The work being done in March was not really that big, it looked more like making the zoo bigger. We saw 95% of what was advertised here. We do recommend Taronga Zoo  Sydney. 

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I don't know....do I understand your question correctly, you're asking about ports that are a bit light on things to do but which might have outstanding wildlife attractions, yes?

 

I definitely agree that Tauranga is a great zoo but....Sydney is an even MORE outstanding city to enjoy a visit in...so many things to see/do. 

 

My suggestion will depend upon how long your port stay is but if there's enough time I guarantee you'll be thrilled. Take a wildlife tour on the Otago Peninsula when you are in port at Dunedin, New Zealand. It is always an exceptional experience to see creatures in their natural habitat but....I hadn't ever seen an albatross in my life nor been that close to very big sea lions sun bathing on rocky cliffs. Then we crawled through a camouflaged tunnel in order to get to a respectfully safe vantage point to watch yellow eyed penguins coming and going from the sea. Amazing.

 

But...we were not along in that tunnel: as we prepared to enter our guide informed us (true blue wildlife researchers) that a penguin had decided to use the tunnel to sit out their molt and so to please be quiet and move slowly. Coolest thing ever to be that close to a kind of scrawny (temporarily) looking penguin, who by the way, couldn't have been more unfazed by the presence of guests inside the molting chamber. It almost exactly this time of year (late April) and gets properly cold at night (days were lovely!) so my guess would be that penguin, shy of many feathers, could feel the chill at night and decided 'why shiver when I can warm up a wee bit inside that tunnel, and oh it's cozy in there, think I'll hang here till the feathers come back!' 

 

So...I spent a lot of time in New Zealand and Sydney so I can't speak to your other incredible port stops in Oz. Perhaps our member GUT can chime in here being an Aussie with thoughts on the other cities but Melbourne is also a winning city with countless things to do. Friends of mine did an extensive tour of Western Australia and which I followed as they went; and it's a wild west....definitely don't think American wild west...this is nothing you've ever seen before, striking beauty, of course unique wildlife, and more opportunities to see them. Land creatures or sea creatures or even....kangaroos on the beach. If I get to go back to Australia ever, I am heading directly to Perth, Fremantle, hopefully Kimberley too and some other places (such a gigantic country!) because I've been obsessed with all the nature and wildlife out there plus the history of Western Australia....that's a dream itinerary.

Found this website that looks to be an info-only official tourism website www.westernaustralia.com 

 

Again, you have outstanding port stops, no real duds in the itinerary and in Australia and New Zealand, there's amazing creatures everywhere. It will be amazing for you. 

Have fun planning! 🙂

 

 

 

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We enjoyed the trip to Wings when we stopped off at Burnie last December.  Taronga Zoo it is not, but set in the middle of gorgeous countryside with plenty of interaction with Koalas, Roos etc if that’s what your looking for.  The day we visited started off very wet and ended with bright sunshine.  The Tasmanian Devils were also very active, something we haven’t seen at other zoos. 

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Sorry I didn't get back to anyone on this.  I thought Cruise Critic would notify me of each response, but I guess they don't do that.  In any case, I'm back now, trying to get serious about initial planning for my cruise.  

 

I was thinking, wow, I guess I'll go to the Taranga Zoo.  Then I realized it was in (or slightly outside of?) Sydney, and we only have a day in Sydney, as we're on a back to back cruise there, not going there to board a cruise.  I'll be doing sightseeing in Sydney instead of zoo-going.

 

We'll be in Melbourne for a day and 2/3rds, so we might possibly have more time there for a wildlife visit.  And no, I'm not really totally gung ho about going to zoos, just want to see at least some native species at some point.  I'll see little penquins on our stop in Cowes, Australia, which is good, because we'll  have to be back on board the ship by 630 PM in Burnie.  I'm thinking that getting to and back from the penquin viewing place by 6:30 isn't feasible unless all I do is look at exhibits.  But that tunnel crawl, wow, that would be awesome!

 

I'd love more info on Fremantle and Perth, as I'm not overwhelmed by the things I've found so far to do there.  I will certainly find enough to make me happy, but compared to some of the other cities we visit, there's nothing jumping out at me - yet!  But we're willing to rent a car and drive somewhere within 2 hours, so maybe I just need to look farther than I've do so far.  I do really love scenery, so comments on Perth and the coastline there would be appreciated.  

 

I really enjoyed looking at the webcam of the gannet pair in the colony north of Dunedin.  But I'm not sure a day trip would be worthwhile .  How close to any gannets do you get?

 

I'm really getting excited about my cruises, even though I still have a long time to wait.  Unfortunately, we won't be able to see the wonderful interior of Aus and NZ on 2 cruises, but I'm hoping there will still be some good scenery near the cities we visit.  The whole itinerary is Exmouth, Geraldton, Fremantle, Albany, Adelaide, Melbourne, Burnie, Phillip Island, Sydney, Eden, Melbourne, Burnie, NZ: Milford Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Welly, Napier, Gisborne, Tauranga, ending in Auckland. 

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Posted (edited)

If you want to see native Australian animals, your best chances are going to be in Sydney (Taronga Zoo which is  just across the harbor from Circular Quay), Adelaide (the excellent Cleland Wildlife Park, but it's an hour's drive from the cruise terminal) and Melbourne (Melbourne Zoo, in the city, and Healesville Sanctuary, about 90 minutes from the cruise terminal.)

 

Taronga Zoo and Melbourne Zoo have sections with native Australian animals, but they also have animals from all over the world.  Cleland Wildlife Park and Healesville Sanctuary specialize in native Australian animals.  Even though it would be more difficult to get to either of those, I would make the effort if you want a good wildlife experience.  

 

And two attractions that we really liked in Fremantle were the Western Australia Shipwreck Museum and the  tour of Fremantle Prison.

Edited by GradUT

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On 5/4/2019 at 1:51 PM, BrissieB said:

You could visit Rottnest Island while in Perth/Fremantle.  The quokkas are pretty cute.  You catch a ferry from Fremantle/Perth. 

 

https://www.rottnestisland.com/

Seriously thinking I’ll do that next time I’m there, any idea if the Ferry is wheelchair accessible, I Last did Rottnest about 45 years ago.

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I visited both Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Cleland Wildlife Park in Adelaide last year.  Both were fantastic!!  I did a ship's tour for the Taronga Zoo, as the transportation issue was handled and I didn't have to worry.  I loved the zoo.  But, hands down, my favorite of the two would be Cleland in Adelaide.  The drive there and back is beautiful as well.  Our guide pointed out landmarks and provided information about the Adelaide area, etc.  At Cleland, we got to walk amongst the kangaroos and other animals, there's a great section with the Tasmanian Devils, as well as dingos.  Lots of different animals, including koalas, and tons of birds.  We did an excursion using a private tour company, not the ship, and it saved us a good amount of money.  We used the company called Puresa.com.  Excellent company, excellent vehicle, excellent guide.  Picked us up at the ship, dropped us back there at the end of the day.  At the actual park, we were on our own for several hours.  Plenty of time.

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