The Best Zoos and Wildlife Sanctuaries to Visit in and Around Sydney

Australian wildlife is simply incredible. With so many animals and species unique to this island country, people visit from all over the world to see them in real life. From kangaroos and wallabies to the adorable koala and the always-smiling quokka, the amount of wildlife here in Australia is unmatched. And, what better way to see them than when you’re visiting Sydney? Sydney has zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, aquariums, and more. You can experience all the magical wildlife that makes Australia so special, without having to venture into the wilderness. Plus, the zoos and sanctuaries in Sydney have conservation efforts, so visiting them helps the wildlife in Australia and beyond. If you’re looking to discover the wildlife of Australia while staying in the Harbour City of Sydney, then this blog is for you.

Taronga Zoo

Arguably the most famous zoo in New South Wales, Taronga Zoo is one of the best zoos you’ll find here in Australia. Located in the Mosman area of Sydney, you’ll easily be able to get here via ferry from Circular Quay. With a huge variety of species, such as Asian elephants, meerkats, gorillas, Sumatran tigers, bears, snakes, sea lions, fish, birds, and so much more, you’ll easily spend the day getting lost in the wildlife. The zoo is also home to some of Australia’s most-loved native species, so you won’t miss out on seeing some of the locals, either. Taronga Zoo is also famed for its incredible view - you’ll be able to look out over Sydney Harbour while you’re there.

Sea Life Sydney Aquarium

It’s time to get ‘Under the Sea’ and discover the marine world at the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. Discover the depths of the ocean while walking through the Aquarium that’s located in Darling Harbour. The underwater world is a mystery to many, so prepare to spend hours fascinated by the fish, sharks, plants, penguins, dugongs, and more. There are plenty of different habitats displayed here too, with named ‘zones’ for you to discover. Walk through Shark Walk, Shark Valley, South Coast Shipwreck, Dugong Island, and Sydney Harbour! It’ll be a great adventure for the whole family. 

Koala at a wildlife sanctuary.
Koala Park Sanctuary

Koalas have captured the hearts of people from all over the world and it’s very easy to see why. These marsupials seem to be cute and cuddly, and extremely docile, which is why they can be hard to spot in the wild. As they’re native to Australia, it’s a must-do to go to a sanctuary and see them with your own eyes in a safe habitat. The Koala Park Sanctuary in West Pennant Hills is a great way to see them and learn about the species. While you’re here you can also spot kangaroos, dingoes, cockatoos, emus, echidnas, wombats and so many more types of animals! It’s a great day out in Sydney and one that you’ll remember for a long time to come. 

A lizard sitting on a log.
Australian Reptile Park

Situated in Somersby just outside the Central Coast is the Australian Reptile Park. This is the perfect spot if you’d like a day trip outside of Sydney to discover some incredible animals you might not see elsewhere. Snakes and reptiles are a common sight in Australia, but it is still magical to see so many different species under one roof. There’s also a Spider World for those that aren’t scared of these eight-legged creatures! Plus, the Australian Reptile Park also houses native animals to Australia, so you’ll find Tasmanian Devils, Koalas and Kangaroos here, too. There’s even a Cassowary!

Australia is home to some incredible animals. The native wildlife here is unlike anything else and it’s all waiting to be discovered at one of the many zoos and sanctuaries located in and around Sydney. Whether you want to discover the underwater world at an aquarium or be face to face with one of the most dangerous birds on the planet at the Australian Reptile Park, you can do it all while using Sydney as your base city. 

To experience all of Sydney's thrilling wildlife adventures, hire a car from Sydney Airport or Sydney Downtown today!

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