Meet friendly and deadly animals up close at Sydney's popular zoos, aquariums and wildlife parks. You can meet koalas and hand-feed kangaroos, watch dazzling bird shows, eyeball a saltwater crocodile – this species of crocodile is the world's largest living reptile – and even dive with sharks.
Taronga Zoo is an enthralling day out, beginning with a ferry ride from Circular Quay across Sydney Harbour. As well as having the animal kingdom's superstars, the zoo has daily bird and seal shows and Annie and her platypus pals. You can also join the wonderful Nura Diya Aboriginal Wildlife Tour.
At Darling Harbour, a stroll from Town Hall station, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium has two of only five dugongs on display in the world – Wuru and Pig. You'll also see king penguins, sharks, stingrays, turtles and seahorses. Behind-the-scenes tours are available, including a free penguin expedition.
Next to the aquarium is WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, where you'll meet Rocky, a saltwater crocodile. You can walk among kangaroos and emus, and meet koalas and join behind-the-scenes tours, including python encounters. Thrill-seekers can crawl inside a tunnel for a close encounter with Rocky.
If you're driving west to the Blue Mountains, stop at the Featherdale Wildlife Park and cuddle koalas. Just south of Sydney you can meet exotic and native animals at Symbio Wildlife Park, and an hour north is the Australian Reptile Park with Elvis, a saltwater crocodile, and snake and spider shows.