Sunday, May 28, 2017

Vivid Sydney 2017 : Taronga Centre & The View Restaurant

After not having been to Taronga Zoo for years (probably since my teens as far as I can remember), I’ve been to Taronga Zoo twice now in the space of three months. By day, it was wonderful to see and hear the animals, where their characters can be observed if you linger long enough at an enclosure. I was there courtesy of Taronga Zoo because their new baby Pygmy Hippo was born earlier in the year, a rare occurrence for the zoo and in wildlife because it is endangered. But by night during Winter from now until 17 June 2017 your focus is not on the animals, well not the live ones in any case, which would have sensibly retired into slumber for the night.

We hopped onto the ferry at Circular Quay and headed out on Sydney Harbour to Taronga Zoo. Even our Prime Minister with his family was heading in the same direction. After dusk, Taronga Zoo illuminates to effectively tell you an animal’s story through lighting installations. In one sense, it is like Taronga Zoo transforms to an art gallery at night, art that is on the outside. The front façade of Taronga Zoo is a kaleidoscope of different colours that meld into each other and you will hear an enchanting echo of a softly spoken lady’s voice as she guides you through a story of the endangered animals that light up on the lighting display on the front building of Taronga Zoo. Personally, I was hit with a little sadness in one sense because many of the animals that I’ve taken for granted as a kid are now on the endangered species list, but a necessary educational display for children today.

When you walk into Taronga Zoo you will see Taronga Zoo’s colourful cast of giant, illuminated endangered animal sculptures with five new additions and surprises this year including PJ the Shark, an animated Pelican, a family of Silverback Gorillas, a Tasmanian Devil with its baby and a swarm of buzzing Bees.

We had dinner at The View Restaurant at Taronga Zoo, a cosy casual dining restaurant and also the first restaurant to offer Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Sustainable seafood. During Vivid Sydney, the restaurant transforms into an oceanic escape with an exquisite light projections and an underwater event theme and you can immerse yourself with a view of the light installations, "Lights of the Wild" whilst having dinner there. For the first time, corporate and private groups as well as the general public will be able to book a ‘Vivid Dinner’ at The View from Friday 26 May to Saturday 17 June.
Head Chef Craig Milnes has created a custom menu that with contemporary and delicious dishes, replicating some of the most vivid colours seen on the Taronga trail. The View restaurant is a casual dining experience and it's a great place to book in if you are heading to Vivid Taronga. We had the Peri Peri Chicken Maryland, tabouleh, roasted corn, mint, tahini dressing Tempura Cod and Chips, a MSC certified cod and chips with tartar sauce and leaf salad and for dessert, the delicious Chocolate brownie, walnut praline with vanilla bean ice cream; and the silky smooth  coconut and lime pannacotta, aged plum, pineapple salsa and a biscotti. The Vivid Sydney menu is available from 26 May 2017.

How Taronga Zoo chooses to display these powerful lighting displays is not only about trying to make an artistic statement while engaging visitors, but also to raise awareness for children about wildlife conservation and to appreciate wildlife existence with the view, hopefully, of finding ways to coexist with them in a highly uncertain future.

Additional Information
Vivid Sydney at The View Restaurant 

General public: Bookings available Thursday to Sunday evenings. Set menu starts at $45 for adults and $15 for children. Must be booked as part of a Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo ticket, visit
Corporate and private events: bookings for up to 70 people available Monday to Wednesday evenings, with smaller group bookings available from Thursday to Friday. Event packages start at $135 per person and include tickets to Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo.
Contact or 02 9978 2400 for enquiries or to make a booking.

Entry to Taronga Zoo is via the main upper entrance on Bradley’s Head Road only.

What: Vivid Sydney at Taronga Zoo

Where: Taronga Zoo, Mosman.

Sessions: Tickets can be purchased for two session times:

Session 1 - 5.30pm–7.30pm
Session 2 - 7.30pm–9.30pm

Tickets: Pre-purchase your tickets at
Adult - $21.95 + booking fee

Child - $16.95 + booking fee
(4-15 years) Under 4 free

Note: Last entry at 8.30pm

Taronga Zoo is not for profit. All ticket proceeds go directly back to work in conservation and wildlife care.

 See.Taste.Do was invited as guest to dine at The View Restaurant courtesy of Taronga Centre/ Cassette PR agency. All photography are taken by See.Taste.Do


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