Taronga celebrates 95 years in style

Taronga celebrates 95 years in style

Taronga Zoo celebrates its 95th birthday this

month, with the official opening of the famous Edwardian Entrance building and

a new visitors’ plaza.

The new entry is a Taronga Master Plan project and includes

a heritage renovation of the copper-domed entrance building, brand new

admissions offices and new visitor facilities incorporating a café and shop.

Taronga Director, Cameron Kerr, said: “The

completion of this wonderful joint project between the NSW Government and the

Zoo just adds to this world class facility. If people don’t have time to spend

exploring the Zoo they can pop in for a coffee and see some wildlife without

paying to enter.”

“The Plaza and the renovation were completed

earlier this year after about 20 months of construction enabling the Zoo to

gradually introduce the computerised admission systems.”The whole project was designed to make the Main

Entrance easy for everyone to use. The new development also incorporates a bus

interchange to bring visitors quickly and easily from the Zoo Ferry or from the

North Sydney transport hubs.

The project is very green incorporating recycled or

plantation-grown timbers, an underground water catchment system in the green

park around the car park to utilise rainwater at the top of the Zoo’s hillside

site, and careful location of the car park to avoid the need for electrical


Visitors can now stroll through a green park to the

Main Entrance, which also houses the upper Sky Safari Cable Car terminal and is

close to many of the Zoo’s popular Australian wildlife exhibits, including

koalas, the recently refurbished Rainforest Aviary, the Australian Walkthrough

with its wallabies, kangaroos and emu, the Platypus exhibit and the Australia’s

Nightlife nocturnal exhibit.

Mr Kerr said: “The renovation of the

heritage-listed Main Entrance has really returned the building to its original

1916 glory. It includes accurate period colour schemes and magnificent statuary

on the Edwardian Entrance building, which was completely recast, the original

copper dome was replaced and the balcony at the rear was re-opened.

“The construction of the $16 million project was jointly

funded by the NSW Government and the Taronga Foundation under the Zoo’s 12 year

redevelopment Master Plan. The Zoo has already completed the children’s

environmental adventure exhibit, Backyard to Bush, the Rainforest Trail exhibit

which is home to Taronga’s successful Asian Elephant conservation breeding

program and the Great Southern Oceans mega-exhibit.”