Taronga Zoo Roar and Snore Sydney zoo sleepover

Visiting Taronga Zoo is the essential Sydney family tradition – but did you know they also host the best sleepover in Sydney? It’s the Taronga Roar and Snore!

Taronga Zoo Sydney Roar and Snore

If you’re looking for something really fun to do with the family, Taronga is always a winner. We recently spent the night at Taronga Zoo Sydney on a Roar and Snore sleepover, which makes your zoo trip even more fun!

No time to read all about it? Watch our the video of our Roar and Snore adventure!

We arrived in the evening to meet with our zoo guides who would also spend the night at the zoo. After a welcome speech, our bags were loaded onto a trailer to be delivered to our tents, while we headed off for our first walking after-hours tour.

The experience of exploring the zoo at night by torchlight was a mysterious and exciting one. The pathways are deserted from the normal to-and-fro of zoo visitors, and the air is rich with animal noises.

Giraffes by torch light - touring the zoo at night is fun!

Giraffes by torch light – touring the zoo at night is fun!

The kids absolutely loved touring the zoo by red-torch light (the animals are less startled by red light), discovering possums and bats in the trees, and viewing lots of different nocturnal zoo animals which become active when the sun goes down. Our friendly zoo guides were a wealth of information, telling us all about the different animals we came across. No question was too hard for them to answer!

Slowly the spectacular night lights of the opposite Sydney City centre, with its iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge were revealed as we wound our way down to our accommodation for the night – the Roar and Snore area.

The communal lounge tent was a great place to chat with fellow guests

The communal lounge tent was a great place to chat with fellow guests

Everyone was really eager to check out where they would be sleeping for the night, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. This wasn’t camping – it was glamping!

The Roar and Snore accommodation area of the zoo consisted of a gated, low-fenced area containing several elegant pavilion-style individual guest tents, a large communal lounge tent and a luxury amenities block.

Taronga Zoo Sydney Roar and Snore guest tents

Taronga Zoo Sydney Roar and Snore guest tents

Our stylish tent was directly facing Sydney Harbour! Inside we found a double bed and also two single beds. A cosy electric blanket was installed to ward off any chill, and there was an electric light and also a power board (to charge those phones and camera batteries). A zip up screen door and canvas door could be tied up to completely open the front of the tent to those incredible night-light views of the city and harbour.

Taronga Zoo Sydney Roar and Snore is fully catered

Taronga Zoo Sydney Roar and Snore is fully catered

We quickly settled in to our tent and then headed to the main lounge tent for some welcome nibbles and drinks – soft drinks, juices and alcoholic drinks were available. Everyone was having a chat and getting to know their fellow guests.

Some special guests dropped in at this time too – a Shingle Back lizard and Python snake were gently carried in, and we were invited to touch them and feel their smooth skins!

Roar and Snore offers many up-close animal experiences

Roar and Snore offers many up-close animal experiences

Then it was time to walk across the zoo to dinner, which would hosted at the onsite The View restaurant. The View restaurant is a beautiful place to dine, and features panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. We were met with a row of splendid-looking chefs, ready to serve up our delicious buffet dinner. The restaurant was a hubbub of chatter about all the animals that we had seen so far, and how much fun it was going to be to sleep inside Taronga Zoo Sydney!

The View Restaurant had beautiful Sydney Harbour Views

The View Restaurant had beautiful Sydney Harbour Views

After dinner, we were in for another treat – another zoo animal night tour as we made our way back to our camping site! We were loving every second of these special opportunities to see the more shy nocturnal animals in the zoo. A fishing cat stared boldly back at us. An immense crocodile widened his jaws, clearly hoping a bush turkey would fall out of an overhanging tree which held several of them. A Binturong, a kind of half cat/half bear, scooted along the tree branches, so close it felt we could reach out and touch him. We even got to enter the Tiger Trek area and peep in at the sleeping Sumatran tigers – a mother and son lay cuddled up together, completely oblivious to our oohs and ahs!

The children couldn't get close enough to the Sumatran Tigers!

The children couldn’t get close enough to the Sumatran Tigers!

Finally it was time to head back to the Roar and Snore communal lounge tent. Here we relaxed a while to chat with our fellow guests and zoo guides about all the fascinating animals we had seen over some desert, coffee or hot chocolates.

Before bed, there was time to grab a shower at the amenities block. The amenities block central corridor featured several individual deluxe bathrooms opening off of it that would hold there own in any five-star hotel. Pure white tiles shone and chrome fittings glistened – plentiful towels were available for guest use. Yet more confirmation that this was camping in style!

The girls were so excited to be sleeping at Taronga Zoo Sydney!

The girls were so excited to be sleeping at Taronga Zoo Sydney!

As we walked back to our tent, a native possum scampered in front of us – no doubt in search of a dropped treat! We tumbled into our cosy beds, completely exhausted by the day’s events. The girls put up a convincing argument to leave the front of the tent open all night, so I let the city lights twinkle them to sleep before I crept out to let the front wall down and zip us all in. It was winter after all, and so the air was a bit chilly – but it did seem almost criminal to drop the curtain on that breath-taking view!

We left the door of the tent open a while to take in the Sydney Harbour views

We left the door of the tent open a while to take in the Sydney Harbour views

The next morning I awoke to the sound of nature’s alarm clock – a family of kookaburras were perched nearby, laughing their way into the new day. The sun was coming up, casting a rosy-pink hue across Sydney Harbour, and the zoo animals were beginning to stir. Seals barked, monkeys chattered and chimps squabbled over some imagined offense. It was a morning greeting unlike any other!

Our Roar and Snore Sydney Harbour sunrise was spectacular

Our Roar and Snore Sydney Harbour sunrise was spectacular

We quickly got dressed and made our way to the central tent for a coffee and to join our tour guides and fellow guests for a morning chat whilst watching the sun rise together. Everyone was excited for what more might come. We had already done and seen so much, and there was still breakfast and another zoo tour and animal encounters yet to come!

The elephant's morning mud bath was adorable to watch!

The elephant’s morning mud bath was adorable to watch!

When everyone was ready, we walked back over the The View restaurant for breakfast, stopping on the way at the elephant area. Of all the amazing things we saw during Roar and Snore, this was the most memorable. Almost on cue, an elephant mother and baby decided to take a mud bath. What followed was a hilarious series of the baby elephant using his mother as a seat, bed, trampoline and who knows what else – the kids screamed with laughter, the adults gasped in delight. It was such a display of fun and joy that we just couldn’t help but be infected by it for the rest of the day. We practically had to be dragged away to breakfast, maybe ten minutes later.

Freshly made pancakes, fruit and cereal made for a delicious breakfast

Freshly made pancakes, fruit and cereal made for a delicious breakfast

Breakfast proved just as enjoyable as dinner had been. The View now featured gorgeous daytime views of Sydney Harbour, which was bustling with ferries and other craft. Freshly made pancakes, fruits and cereals, tea and coffee set us up nicely for the big day to come.

Behind-the-scenes tours are just part of the Roar and Snore fun!

Behind-the-scenes tours are just part of the Roar and Snore fun!

When everyone had finished breakfast we set off for yet another behind the scenes tour – this time we headed into the back rooms of the reptile night house, where we met their passionate zoo keeper. We spent an entertaining time viewing some incredibly cute Australian native animals, and learning some key conservation messages (keep your cats in at night, everyone! It saves hundreds of native animals in your neck of the woods!).

The seal experience was a Roar and Snore highlight

The seal experience was a Roar and Snore highlight

Next we found ourselves standing at the entrance to the seal enclosure doors – we all looked at each other excitedly – could seals be on the agenda?! Yes – they could! We were welcomed in by Taronga Zoo Sydney’s seal experts and treated to a very special seal experience. The seals showed off their skills in the pool, and some were even brought out and walked amongst us. The children could barely contain their squeals of excitment, eyes sparkling. The adults sat forward eagerly – this was such a treat! What a beautiful way to end our Roar and Snore experience.

We were treated to our own seal show!

We were treated to our own seal show!

With the whole day still ahead of us, we bid goodbye to our wonderful zoo guides – they had been with us every step of the way, and we truly appreciated all of their information, support and companionship. Then we headed off into one of our most favourite adventures – the rest of Taronga Zoo Sydney!

For more information or to purchase tickets to Taronga Zoo Sydney, go to their Taronga Zoo Sydney official website here.

What a fantastic time we had at Taronga Zoo Sydney Roar and Snore

What a fantastic time we had at Taronga Zoo Sydney Roar and Snore

All information is correct as at August 2018 – please check the Taronga Zoo Sydney supplied website link for relevant, up to date information and ticket prices.
Let’s go Mum were hosted guests at Taronga Zoo Sydney, however all opinions remain firmly our own.

Visiting Taronga Zoo is the essential Sydney family tradition – but did you know they also host the best sleepover in Sydney? It’s the Taronga Roar and Snore!

Have you ever visited Taronga Zoo Sydney, or do you plan to go one day? Tell us in the comments below…

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About LetsGoMum

Hi, I'm Barbara, mum of the Let's Go Mum blog. We'd love to hear from you! You can contact me anytime with ideas on where you think we should go or what you think we should try...just drop me a line at barbara@letsgomum.com.au!
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