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DREAMNIGHT AT TARONGA ZOO

Dreamnight is a global charitable initiative in which zoos, aquariums and museums throughout the world partner with organisations that care for children. Taronga Zoo in Sydney is one of the zoos that participate and we were lucky enough to go along for the first time last week. I had no expectations so everything was a surprise. The moment we arrived the mood was set with friendly zoo staff, bubbles and many excited families heading through the gates.

Dreamniht at Taronga Zoo
BJ was happy to meet the many friendly police on the night

BJ hadn’t even left the carpark before he had a massive smile on his face. He has a mild obsession (understatement) with police, fire fighters and ambulance officers so when he spied the friendly police officer, pictured above, he was lining up to say “Hi!”.

Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo
Bubbly fun

There was definitely a pep in everyone’s step and children’s excited exclamations could be heard even before a single animal had been spotted.

Dreamnight Taronga Zoo
A little 2 year old chimpanzee clinging to his mother at Taronga Zoo.

Our first stop was to watch the chimpanzees being fed. They were extremely vocal the minute they spied the keepers. The keepers threw food to them and they scrambled to pick up the vegetables. The little chimpanzee in the photo above is still testing his, or her, independence by straying from Mum for a short time but quickly returning and hanging on.

Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo
BJ was happy to meet Dexter and his family at Dreamnight

BJ was getting restless waiting for the feeding to start so AJ and BJ headed off for a walk when a lady ran over to them asking if they were from Have Wheelchair Will Travel. It was Lenice from Love Dexter. I’ve followed Love Dexter for quite a while and Dexter’s family follow Have Wheelchair Will Travel so it was really lovely to meet up in real life. We lined the boys up to have a photo together and BJ was quite taken with Dexter.

It turned out that Dexter was the first of many of our Have Wheelchair Will Travel families we met on the night. It’s so lovely that our Facebook friends are comfortable enough to come and say hi and have a chat. For me it’s encouraging to hear how our travels or blogs have assisted families. Hearing the stories and how helpful certain blogs have been really spurs me on to keep writing.
Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo
Although we loved meeting the families there were plenty of others to meet and BJ was happy to get in the shot with any character going.
Dreamnight Taronga Zoo
The seal show and bird show were highlights for many families and a pretty special experience with the sun starting to set over Sydney Harbour providing a lovely backdrop.
Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo
Taronga’s elephant family were on hand for the kids to watch too.
Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo
The Mosman fire brigade were good at giving the kids a demo of some of the equipment

One of the fire fighter’s got quite a crowd around him as he explained all the different pieces of equipment on the truck to one little boy.

Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo
A touch of Hello Kitty!!

Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo

Lots of the kids took part in the craft that was set up at different stations around the zoo.

Dreamnight at Taronga ZooJudging by the kids and adult’s faces, the evening brought much happiness to many. We are strong advocates of getting out and about, having fun with family members but we recognise that the cost attached to this often stops families from doing so. Dreamnight gives families the opportunity to enjoy time together and see our beautiful zoo with free entry and 50% off all food and drinks.

Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo
Smooches between the giraffes at sunset.

It also felt like a judgement free zone. Wheelchairs nearly equaled the number of people walking, families could openly peg feed their children and no-one looked twice. If there was a meltdown by anyone, people just kept on walking. What a joy that must be to anyone who would normally feel concerned about any of these things.

Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo

As we headed home from our lovely night we stopped with many others to enjoy the sunset view over the city. I think the giraffes at Taronga probably have the best view in the city.

Dreamnight at Taronga Zoo

Lastly, I’d like to make special mention of all the wonderful staff and volunteers on the night. As we walked out and one of the many Taronga Staff cheerily waved us off I said to AJ, “It almost feels like Disneyland.” The staff certainly had a bit of Disney magic about them and put a smile on many a visitor’s face.
Just remember, Dreamnight is offered by hundreds of zoos around the world so check with your local zoo to see if they participate. Tickets are usually allocated to guests via hospitals, therapy organisations and charitable organisations like Starlight and Variety.
Thanks Taronga, you put on a cracker evening.
If you know of a zoo or attraction that participates, please share in comments below.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “DREAMNIGHT AT TARONGA ZOO”

  1. Looks like a wonderful night! Taronga seemed to have upped their game this year with access events for people with disabilities! Well done Taronga Zoo! Love your giraffe photos especially!

    Reply
  2. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, what a good event for all members of the family. And how great to meet families of the HWWT community, for you and them too. And now I’m off to read Love Dexter as that’s a cool name!

    Reply

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