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Wildlife Retreat at Taronga

Where in the world can you find a wildlife lodge with stunning 180-degree harbour views, five-star accommodation and yet just 20 minutes from a major capital city?

Well, the answer is the Taronga Wildlife Retreat which is a relatively new development and a wonderful addition to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

The Retreat is exactly that: A retreat- a peaceful and incredibly quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of the city, where you feel totally secluded and encompassed by bushland.

My experience surpassed expectations. This was a birthday treat for my husband consisting of overnight accommodation in a beautifully appointed room overlooking a sanctuary where Australian animals such as koalas, bilbies and wallabies roam freely, dinner in the Retreat’s 5-star restaurant Me-Gai and breakfast next morning.

On arrival we were taken for a small group tour around the Sanctuary with a knowledgeable and friendly guide. Here we were followed by some cheeky echidnas, watched potoroos, bilbies and wallabies come out from hiding for their evening treats. 

Then there was time for pre-dinner drinks in the Lodge lounge before a beautiful three course meal in the Me-Gai Restaurant, which has recently won an award. The harbour views from the restaurant are amazing and as the sun set, the lights of the city in the distance sparked. The restaurant is only open to Retreat guests (sadly as we would return).

Next morning from our room we watched the koalas come to life as their eucalyptus branches were refreshed. They were so amusing as we watched them bounce around on the ground in a very excited, un-koala like manner.  After breakfast we ventured into the nearby Wollemi Sanctuary with rare and endangered bird species flying freely through the trees and around the waterfalls and ponds. It was a very unique experience.

All in all, it was a wonderful Staycation which refreshed and revitalised us. Thanks Taronga Retreat.

(The package also included a day pass to the zoo but being Zoo friends already we decided to come back another day)

Dianna Crebbin